To say that this is proved by the past experience of the race, is what logicians call a petitio principii it is assuming the whole point at issue. It is the same argument which our grandfathers would have used against aerial navigation no one had ever travelled in the air, and that proved that no one ever could.

The half-dozen pages or so which he devotes to the refutation of the Pantheistic view reduce themselves to the following simple petitio principii: the power is first assumed to be a Will; it is next affirmed with perfect truth that the very notion of Will would escape us except under the condition of Personality; and from this the existence of a personal God as the source of the power in question deduced.

Of course we fell to talking, and it came out that I was a member of the Church of England. "Ebbene, Caro Signore," said he when we shook hands at parting; "mi rincresce che lei non crede come io, ma in questi tempi non possiamo avere tutti i medesimi principii."

These considerations are not designed to imply that in the relations between States the code of individual ethics is necessarily annulled; but to suggest that the laws which regulate the actions or the suffering of States, as such, have too peremptorily been assumed to be, by nature and the ground-plan of the universe, identical with the laws of individual life, its actions or its sufferings, and that it is something of a petitio principii, in the present stage of our knowledge, to judge the one by the standards applicable only to the other.

And while, from the point of view of the intellect, there is a petitio principii in making geometry arise automatically from space, and logic from geometry on the contrary, if space is the ultimate goal of the mind's movement of detension, space cannot be given without positing also logic and geometry, which are along the course of the movement of which pure spatial intuition is the goal.

Many more of the arguments of the ancient moralists, and especially of the Stoics, fall within the definition of Petitio Principii.

Petitio Principii, as defined by Archbishop Whately, is the fallacyin which the premise either appears manifestly to be the same as the conclusion, or is actually proved from the conclusion, or is such as would naturally and properly so be proved.” By the last clause I presume is meant, that it is not susceptible of any other proof; for otherwise, there would be no fallacy.

In Petitio Principii, the premisses are not even verbally sufficient for the conclusion, since one premiss is either clearly the same as the conclusion, or actually proved from it, or not susceptible of any other proof. Men commonly fall into it, through believing that the premiss was verified, though they have forgotten how.

Still, with the same 'petitio principii' that the Reformed religion and the dogmas of the Contra-Remonstrants were one and the same thing, he assured the Assembly that the authority of the magistrates would be sustained by him so long as it did not lead to the subversion of religion. Clearly the time for argument had passed.

History, which attests it, is the voice of every generation, checked and countersigned in effect by all the men who compose it. This is the last 'moment, to use the language of Mechanics, which we shall notice in this discussion. And here there is a remarkable petitio principii in Hume's management of his argument.