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0574

Section 1. Classification of the Sciences.

[*E.C. Richardson,
in a little book on
classification, quotes
an assertion of
Robert H[?] in the
Presbytarian Review
for 1886. VII [?], to
the effect that that Comte
plagiarized [?]
system from [?]
[?] and thus
the idea of it
came from one
Dr Burdin, whom
I never heard of.]

Auguste Comte it was, as far as I am informed, who
first had the idea of arranging the sciences in a ladder, each
leading to the next. From the point of view of logic, at least,
this is decidedly the best arrangement; because, in order to prove
one thing to be true, if one is to proceed beyond mere perceptual
facts, it is necessary to assume the truth of something else,
while to attempt to prove this something else by assuming the
truth of the former proposition would be to complete a vicious
circle. It does not very often happen that that there are two
independent ways of proving the same thing; and when this
does happen, one of those ways will usual be more satisfac-
tory or more fundamental than the other. When this is not so,
it is to be presumed that time will show that both the general
premises, or principles, are cases under one still more gen-

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