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RELSE ! BARD
In the year 1890 I asked Professor Minto to contribute a volume on “Logic, Inductive and Deductive," to the series of University Manuals” which I had organized some time previously, and was then editing. It was not completed till shortly before his death, but the proof had been revised by himself in all its details; and it seemed only loyal to his memory to send it to the press in the exact form in which he left it.
It has now fallen to me to edit a volume of his Lectures on the Literature of the Georgian Period; and, although they would have been greatly altered and recast had he lived to see them through the press, it is now inexpedient to do more than correct clerical errors in transcription. Mr. Lobban,—who acted as Professor Minto's assistant for some time, and whose estimate of his master will be found in a later page,--has been good enough to go over these Lectures with the same end in view.
At the request of Mrs. Minto I agreed to edit this book, and to write a brief introductory sketch of my late friend. We differed on many points,-philosophical, literary, political, artistic, and social,--but I never knew any man with whom recognized differences counted for less, so far as personal esteem was concerned. Indeed,
our differences enhanced my regard for him every time we met.
He was not only the most chivalrous of intellectual opponents, but the most appreciative; and he had the rare gift of presenting to those who differed from him the very doctrine from which they dissented, and the kernel of the position from which they stood aloof, in a non-controversial and attractive manner.
I have never known a more genial, generous, or upright man than Professor Minto. He never alluded to the points on which men differed from him in reference to ultimata, as expressed in their published writings; and, so far as friendly intercourse was concerned, these differences were as though they were not. He instinctively met every one on his own level, sympathetically appreciating truth and excellence wherever he found them. This characteristic came out most notably in his comments on those who had misconstrued, and even opposed, him. I never heard him say an unkind word of any opponent.
The first occasion on which we met was at a University Extension Conference which was being held in Glasgow, and to which those representatives of the four Scottish Universities who had interested themselves in the work as organizers or secretaries, etc., were invited. There was one person in the room whom I did not know; and he seemed to know no one present from Edinburgh, Glasgow, or St. Andrews. But, observing this silent man with a noticeable countenance sitting in the background and in a corner of the room, I went up to him and asked him what University he represented. As soon as he
had introduced himself he was asked to help in
I can never forget the days he spent at Edge-
As I was a friend of his later years it seemed appropriate to follow the plan which I pursued in the case of the late Principal Shairp of St. Andrews, and to place together a series of photographic sketches-taken from opposite points of view of the character, genius, and career of a remarkable man, by his earlier friends and more intimate pupils. · These tributes have been rendered spontaneously, and given very cordially.
I do not feel it incumbent on me to characterize
I consider it not the least merit in Professor
excellence,--and for many years diverted from Philosophy to Literature by his work as a Journalist, and a critic of men and public measures,he succeeded, during his tenure of it, in making the Aberdeen Chair, with its dual claims, quite as distinguished in the department of Philosophy as in that of Literature. All students bear witness to this. His book on “Logic, Inductive and Deductive," is as original and bright as that of any writer on the subject in Great Britain during the last quarter of a century. In all probability his previous life as a journalist not only confirmed that rare capacity for work which distinguished him as an undergraduate, but fitted him for popularizing an abstruse subject, and keeping his exposition of it free from the techni. calities which have so often disfigured the treatment of Logic. The fact that he had been no mean power in the literary circles of the south gave a special weight to what he said from his academic chair; and while the bejants of the north found that they had before them, in the English Literature class, a Teacher of whose achievements among his contemporaries it might be truly said, --although he would never have said it, nor thought it, -pars magna fui, the students of Philosophy found that they were being taught by an original mind, and not by a mere expositor of school Logic.
A wonderful critic of his “Logic plained of its “laxity of reference to Greek writers and to modern," and has added that the editor should have supplied a bibliography, and index, and notes, and references, etc. He has even doubted whether it should ever have had a place in
" has com
such a Series ! But the ways of reviewers are inscrutable. To none of the authors whom I asked to co-operate in this series of Manuals was it a greater satisfaction to me to delegate work than to hand over this volume to Professor Minto; and its success, both in this country and in America, has been marked. It has a value of its own which has already made it useful in University and College class-rooms, being one of the freshest and most stimulating books which our British philosophical literature has received for many years.
As a contribution to logical science, its Introduction will probably be welcomed generations hence by students of the subject when dry-asdust logicians are forgotten. To be taught how to escape from illusion and fallacy of every kind, so as to get into the light of reality, is no small gain to the student of evidence; and there can be little doubt that Professor Minto's book-while a reflection of the work done by him in the Logic class-room of Aberdeen for thirteen years--will be found one of the best handbooks introductory to the study of Philosophy for those who cannot resort to a University, and for whose assistance these Manuals were originally designed.
In Philosophy Minto was singularly open to light from every quarter. I often told him that he was more eclectic than I was. When discuss. ing the ideal and the real in Philosophy or in Art, he always proved himself one of the most fair-minded of men, a reconciler of differences, and as ready to recognize merit from the most opposite quarters as any disciple of the school of a priori thought,