George Boole - Principle Quotes
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That to the existing forms of Analysis a quantitative interpretation is assigned, is the result of the circumstances by which those forms were determined, and is not to be construed into a universal condition of Analysis. It is upon the foundation of this general principle, that I purpose to establish the Calculus of Logic, and that I claim for it a place among the acknowledged forms of Mathematical Analysis, regardless that in its object and in its instruments it must at present stand alone.
The following work is not a republication of a former treatise by the Author, entitled, "The Mathematical Analysis of Logic." Its earlier portion is indeed devoted to the same object, and it begins by establishing the same system of fundamental laws, but its methods are more general, and its range of applications far wider. It exhibits the results, matured by some years of study and reflection, of a principle of investigation relating to the intellectual operations, the previous exposition of which was written within a few weeks after its idea had been conceived.
It has been said, that the principle involved in the above and in similar applications is that of the equal distribution of our knowledge, or rather of our ignorance the assigning to different states of things of which we know nothing, and upon the very ground that we know nothing, equal degrees of probability. I apprehend, however, that this is an arbitrary method of procedure. Instances may occur, and one such has been adduced, in which different hypotheses lead to the same final conclusion.
Let us conceive, then, of an algebra in which the symbols x, y z etc. admit indifferently of the values 0 and 1, and of these values alone The laws, the axioms, and the processes, of such an Algebra will be identical in their whole extend with the laws, the axioms, and the processes of an Algebra of Logic. Difference of interpretation will alone divide them. Upon this principle the method of the following work is established.