History of an inferential and summary sort only can be derived from monuments in the absence of written records.
In this way the Presocratics and Sophists, and still more Socrates and Plato, threw out hints on sense and reason, on inferential processes and scientific methods which may be called anticipations of logic. But Aristotle was the first to conceive of reasoning itself as a definite subject of a special science, which he called analytics or analytic science, specially designed to analyse syllogism and especially demonstrative syllogism, or science, and to be in fact a science of sciences.
But, as the science of inference, it can make sure that inference, on the one hand, starts from sensory judgments about sensible things and logically proceeds to inferential judgments about similar things beyond sense, and, on the other hand, cannot logically go beyond the similar.
Finally, since sense, memory and experience are the origin of inference, primary inference is categorical and existential, starting from sensory, memorial and experiential judgments as premises, and proceeding to inferential judgments as conclusions, which are categorical and existential, and are true, so far as they depend on sense, memory and experience.
Starting from them, inference is enabled to draw conclusions which are inferential judgments about the existence of things similar to sensible things beyond conceived ideas.
Inference then, so far as it starts from categorical and existential premises, causes conclusions, or inferential judgments, which require conceptions, but are categorical and existential judgments beyond conception.
These are conclusions which primarily are inferred from sensory and memorial judgments; and so far as inference starts from sense of something sensible in the present, and from memory after sense of something sensible in the past, and concludes similar things, inferential judgments are indirect beliefs in being and in existence beyond ideas.
There are indeed differences between primary judgments, in that the sensory is a belief in present, the memorial in past, and the inferential in present, past and future existence.
Judgment is always true of its sensible object, inferential judgments are not always true, but are true so far as they are logically inferred, however indirectly, from sense; and knowledge consists of sense, memory after sense and logical inference from sense, which, we must remember, is not merely the outer sense of our five senses, but also the inner sense of ourselves as conscious thinking persons.
The aim of logic in general is to find the laws of all inference, which, so far as it obeys those laws, is always consistent, but is true or false according to its data as well as its consistency; and the aim of the special logic of knowledge is to find the laws of direct and indirect inferences from sense, because as sense produces sensory judgments which are always true of the sensible things actually perceived, inference from sense produces inferential judgments which, so far as they are consequent on sensory judgments, are always true of things similar to sensible things, by the very consistency of inference, or, as we say, by parity of reasoning.
The history of that conquest itself is mainly inferential; there is the flebilis narratio of Gildas, vague and rhetorical, moral rather than historical in motive, and written more than a century after the conquest had begun, and the narrative of the Welsh Nennius, who wrote two and a half centuries after Gildas, and makes no critical distinction between the deeds of dragons and those of Anglo-Saxons.
Statistics.-Owing to the absence of a religious census in several important countries, the Jewish population of the world can only be given by inferential estimate.
Some recent finds have, indeed, seemed to make inferential reference to the Hebrews, and the marvellous collection of letters of the XVIIIth dynasty found at Tel el-Amarnaletters to which we shall refer later - have the utmost importance as proving a possible early date for the Mosaic accounts.
This elaborate consciousness of inferential process is the justification of logic as a distinct science, and is the first step in its method.
Two things are certain about inferential judgment: one, that when inference is based on sense and memory, inferential judgment starts from a combination of sensory and memorial judgment, both of which are beliefs that things exist; the other, that in consequence inferential judgment is a belief that smiliar things exist.