CONSENT, UNIVERSAL, Argument from
CONSENT, UNIVERSAL, Argument from,
to the necessity of the truth involved. "These things are to be regarded
first truths, the credit of which is not derived from other
truths, but is inherent in themselves. As for probable
truths, they are such as are admitted by all men, or by the
generality of men, or by wise men; and among these last,
either by all the wise, or by the generality of the wise, or by such of
the wise as are of the highest authority" (Aristotle, Topic, bk.
I. ch. I.).
Cicero used it to prove the existence of the
gods. De quo autem omnium natura consentit, id verum esse
necesse est. Esse igitur deos, confitendum est (De Nat.
Deor., lib. I. cap. XVII.). The argument is also used (De
Nat. Deor., lib. II. cap. II.; and Tuscul. Qust,
lib. I. cap. XIII., where we read Omni autem in re, consensio
omnium gentium lex naturæ
Multum dare solemus prsumptioni
omnium hominum. Apud nos veritatis argumentum est aliquid omnibus videri
(Seneca, Epist., CVII., CXVII.).
Bacon is against this argument in the preface to his Instauratio
Magna, aphorism 77. Reid applies this argument to establish first
principles (Intellectual Powers, essay I. ch. II.). V.