Prejudice (praejudico, to judge before inquiry) is a prejudging, that is, forming or adopting an opinion concerning anything before the grounds of it have been fairly or fully considered. The opinion may be true or false; but in so far as the grounds of it have not been examined, it is erroneous or without proper evidence. "In most cases prejudices are opinions which, on some account, men are pleased with, independently of any conviction of their truth; and which, therefore, they are afraid to examine, lest they should find them to be false. Prejudices then, are unreasonable judgments, formed or held under the influence of some other motive than the love of truth. They may therefore be classed according to the nature of the motives from which they result. These motives are either, 1, pleasurable, innocent, and social; or, 2, they are malignant (Taylor, Elements of Thought). Dr. Reid (Intell. Powers, essay 6, ch. 8) has treated of prejudices, or the causes of error, according to the classification given of them by lord Bacon, under the name of idols. Locke (Essay on the Human Understanding, bk. 4, ch. 20) has treated of the causes of error. Some excellent observations on the prejudices peculiar to men of study may be seen in Malebranche (Search after Truth). See Christian Examiner and Gen. Rev. 4 (1830), 280.

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