- Thoughts are formed in words, invisible and unheard words.
- Thoughts are the results of past experience.
- The study of right thinking is called Logic.
- There are exercises for the mind as well as for the body.
In psychology, we learn that the first thing that the child receives is an impression from the outside world. It may be by the sense of sight, of hearing or of touch. It is a long time before the child gains the power of building up from those impressions the power of thought. But we do not know that passes through the mind of a child. Perhaps thought is there. Wordsworth tells us that the child has a spiritual nature which is gradually lost in contact with the material world. For all of us, “The world is too much with us.”
The thoughts of a child of ten years are advanced in comparison with those of an infant, but are still simple and direct. He has learned certain lessons in life. He knows that a certain cause will be followed by a certain result. In fact, thinking is an understanding of the process of cause and effect which runs throughout the universe.
Logic is the science of thinking, of the mind. It teaches us how to reason correctly, how to come to conclusions from certain data or “premises.” The premises are: A is B; B; is C. The conclusion, therefore, is: A is C. Nowadays logic is not a popular subject in the universities, where the great demand is for technical and scientific subjects. But its value is great. Boys and girls in school are quick to see the force of reasoned argument, and also the pitfalls which words may set for us consider the following:
All great men are hard workers,
Our mali is a hard worker.
Therefore our mali is a great man.
No dog has five legs:
Every dog has four legs more than no dog.
Therefore every dog has nine legs.
The absurdity of the conclusion is plain, but the process of arriving at it seems all right. Where has the error crept in?