xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr">

Transcribe Bentham: A Collaborative Initiative

From Transcribe Bentham: Transcription Desk

Keep up to date with the latest news - subscribe to the Transcribe Bentham newsletter; Find a new page to transcribe in our list of Untranscribed Manuscripts


Jump to: navigation, search

Click Here To Edit Geometry

if ever the reader
comes to understand the
proposition it is by
means of having in
his mind ideas of
his own formation,
ideas which the words
of the writer did not
present to him. It is
in a word by having possessing
contrive to form to himself a general proposition
which the
writer ought to have
formed for him but
did not.

For conveying affectually
that is to every
body and at all times
a general idea no
proposition can serve
that is not a general
proposition. A general
proposition that
is really a general
one conveys, the idea
the general idea to
every one who by whom
the import of it is understood,
and to that time
at all times. Of A proposition
that is not a
general one may be
const a man may
understand the import
and that most perfectly
without having
a general idea
in his head mind, without
having in his head
that sort of prop idea which

---page break---
which the proposition
was intended
to convey. In a
word of propositions
that are not general
a man may
understand as many
as would fill a
book that should
have the appearance
of a book
of geometry, without
a syllable of Geometry.

All books of Geometry
hitherto extant
have with
propositions that
are not general.
There is not a book
extant Euclid not
excepted which a
move in which
are not to be found
propositions in abundance
one of which a
man may understand,
and that
most perfectly,
without understanding
any thing of
Geometry. Suppose
a book of Geometry
composed wholly of
such propositions, if
a man by reading
it has learntunderstands Geometry,
the case is
not that he has
been taught Geometry

---page break---
try, but that he
has invented it. So
far as a book
is composed of such
propositions no
man who reads it
understands Geometry
any further
than he has invented
it. Which
the science is
in this state, that
is while books of
instruction in it
are thus imperfect
no man really understands
who has not invented
Geometry. So far
If a book of Geometry were
composed wholly
of general propositions
had no propositions
in it
that were not but general propositions
every man
would be able to understand
and would accordingly would understand
geometry by who was whom
able to comprehend the those propositions
had been were comprehended:
of which the book consisted whereas at present
no man understands
geometry but he
who besides being
capable of comprehending
the propositions
given to him
has been capable
of inventing others.

---page break---

In no instance can
a writer be justified
for not giving his propositions
the general
form above mentioned.
That the reader must
have them in his
mind in that general
form in order to understand
them is indubitable:
if the
reader can, what
then should hinder
the writer from doing
so: and what pretence
can he have for not
doing so? Which
is for a
man to professes to
teach Geometry to
teach it, or for a
man who is only
learning Geometry
to invent it?

---page break---

Propositions in bodies
of Geometry nor continuity | act of
doing what they profess
to do in one or other two ways:
The proposition they
give is either not
a general one nor
not a true one.

Given as true, which
to be it must be true
of all bodies it is
not true of any one
body whatsoever.

The propositions of
Algebra are what
those of Geometry
ought to be, all general
— except only that
they are written in
a kind of short hand.

---page break---

Identifier: | JB/135/078/003
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 135.


Marginal Summary Numbering



Main Headings

Folio number


Info in main headings field






rudiments sheet (brouillon)

Number of Pages




Page Numbering


jeremy bentham



Paper Producer


Paper Produced in Year

Notes public

ID Number


Box Contents

UCL Home » Transcribe Bentham » Transcription Desk