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George Boole -
The Laws of Thought (1854)
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[Boole's apparent goal was to] unfold the secret laws and relations of those high faculties of thought by which all beyond the merely perceptive knowledge of the world and of ourselves is attained or matured, is a object which does not stand in need of commendation to a rational mind.
George Boole
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Probability is expectation founded upon partial knowledge. A perfect acquaintance with all the circumstances affecting the occurrence of an event would change expectation into certainty, and leave neither room nor demand for a theory of probabilities.
George Boole
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It is not of the essence of mathematics to be conversant with the ideas of number and quantity.
George Boole
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That axiom of Metaphysicians which is termed the principle of contradiction and which affirms that it is impossible for anything to possess a quality, and in the same time not to possess it, is a consequence of the fundamental law of thought, whose expression is x²=x.
George Boole
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To deduce the laws of the symbols of Logic from a consideration of those operations of the mind which are implied in the strict use of language as an instrument of reasoning.
George Boole
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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.
George Boole
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To infer the existence of an intelligent cause from the teeming evidences of surrounding design, to rise to the conception of a moral Governor of the world, from the study of the constitution and the moral provisions of our own nature; - these, though but the feeble steps of an understanding limited in its faculties and its materials of knowledge, are of more avail than the ambitious attempt to arrive at a certainty unattainable on the ground of natural religion. And as these were the most ancient, so are they still the most solid foundations, Revelation being set apart, of the belief that the course of this world is not abandoned to chance and inexorable fate.
George Boole
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Logic is conversant with two kinds of relations, relations among things, and relations among facts.
George Boole
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There is not only a close analogy between the operations of the mind in general reasoning and its operations in the particular science of Algebra, but there is to a considerable extent an exact agreement in the laws by which the two classes of operations are conducted.
George Boole
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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.
George Boole
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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.
George Boole
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The principles of the theory of probabilities [cannot] serve to guide us in the election of... [scientific] hypotheses.
George Boole
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The above interpretation has been introduced, not on account of its immediate value in the present system, but as an illustration of a significant fact in the philosophy of the intellectual powers, viz., that what has commonly been regarded as the fundamental axiom of metaphysics is but the consequence of a law of thought, mathematical in its form.
George Boole
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It is the ability inherent in our nature to appreciate Order, and the concurrent presumption, however founded, that the phenomena of Nature are connected by a principle of Order. Without these, the general truths of physical science could never have been ascertained.
George Boole
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That logic, as a science, is susceptible of very wide applications is admitted; but it is equally certain that its ultimate forms and processes are mathematical.
George Boole
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Let x represent an act of the mind by which we fix our regard upon that portion of time for which the proposition X is true ; and let this meaning be understood when it is asserted that x denote the time for which the proposition X is true. (...) We shall term x the representative symbol of the proposition X.
George Boole
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The general laws of Nature are not, for the most part, immediate objects of perception.
George Boole
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A distinguished writer [Siméon Denis Poisson] has thus stated the fundamental definitions of the science:
"The probability of an event is the reason we have to believe that it has taken place, or that it will take place."
"The measure of the probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases favorable to that event, to the total number of cases favorable or contrary, and all equally possible" (equally like to happen).
George Boole
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The design of the following treatise is to investigate the fundamental laws of those operations of the mind by which reasoning is performed; to give expression to them in the symbolical language of a Calculus, and upon this foundation to establish the science of Logic and construct its method ; to make that method itself the basis of a general method for the application of the mathematical doctrine of Probabilities ; and, finally, to collect from the various elements of truth brought to view in the course of these inquiries some probable intimations concerning the nature and constitution of the human mind.
George Boole
Quote of the day
I hate the noise and hurry inseparable from great Estates and Titles, and look upon both as blessings that ought only to be given to fools, for 'Tis only to them that they are blessings.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
George Boole
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Born:
November 2, 1815
Died:
December 8, 1864
(aged 49)
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