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Another and a larger portion of the work consists of discussion of matters of contemporary interest, for the Budget was in some degree a receptacle for the author's thoughts on any literary, scientific, or social question. Having grown thus gradually to its present size, the book as it was left was not quite in a fit condition for publication, but the alterations which have been made are slight and few, being in most cases verbal and such as the sense absolutely required, or transpositions of sentences to secure coherence with the rest, in places where the author, in his more recent insertion of them, had overlooked the connexion in which they stood. In no case has the meaning been in any degree modified or interfered with.
One rather large omission must be mentioned here. It is an account of the quarrel between Sir James South and Mr. Troughton on the mounting, &c. of the equatorial telescope at Campden Hill. At some future time when the affair has passed entirely out of the memory of living Astronomers, the appreciative sketch, which is omitted in this edition of the Budget, will be an interesting piece of history and study of character.
A very small portion of Mr. James Smith's circle-squaring has been left out, with a still smaller portion of Mr. De Morgan's answers to that Cyclometrical Paradoxer.
In more than one place repetitions, which would have disappeared under the author's revision, have been allowed to remain, because they could not have been taken away without leaving a hiatus, not easy to fill up without damage to the author's meaning.
I give these explanations in obedience to the rules laid
The publication of the Budget could not have been
The Paradoxes are dealt with in chronological order.
6 MERTON ROAD, PRIMROSE Hill.
P A R A DO XES.
INTRODUCTORY. IF I had before me a fly and an elephant, having vever seen more than one such magnitude of either kind; and if the fly were to endeavour to persuade me that he was larger than the elephant, I might by possibility be placed in a difficulty. The apparently little creature might use such arguments about the effect of distance, and might appeal to such laws of sight and hearing as I, if unlearned in those things, might be unable wholly to reject. But if there were a thousand flies, all buzzing, to appearance, about the great creature; and, to a fly, declaring, each one for himself, that he was bigger than the quadruped ; and all giving different and frequently contradictory reasons; and each one despising and opposing the reasons of the others—I should feel quite at my ease. I should certainly say, My little friends, the case of each one of you is destroyed by the rest. I intend to show flies in the swarm, with a few larger animals, for reasons to be given.
In every age of the world there has been an established system, which has been opposed from time to time by isolated and dissentient reformers. The established system has sometimes fallen, slowly and gradually: it has either been upset by the rising influence of some one man, or it has been sapped by gradual change of opinion in the many.
I have insisted on the isolated character of the dissentients, as an element of the à priori probabilities of the case. Show me a schism, especially a growing schism, and it is another thing. The homeopathists, for instance, shall be, if any one so think, as wrong as St. John Long; but an organised opposition, supported by the efforts of many acting in concert, appealing to common arguments and experience, with perpetual succession and a common seal, as the Queen says in the charter, is, be the merit of the schism what it may, a thing wholly different from the case of the isolated opponent in the mode of opposition to it which reason points out.
During the last two centuries and a half, physical knowledge has been gradually made to rest upon a basis which it had not before. It has become mathematical. The question now is, not whether this or that hypothesis is better or worse to the pure thought, but whether it accords with observed phenomena in those consequences which can be shown necessarily to follow from it, if it be true. Even in those sciences which are not yet under the dominion of mathematics, and perhaps never will be, a working copy of the mathematical process has been made. This is not known to the followers of those sciences who are not themselves mathematicians, and who very often exalt their horns against the mathematics in consequence. They might as well be squaring the circle, for any sense they show in this particular.
A great many individuals, ever since the rise of the mathematical method, have, each for himself, attacked its direct and indirect consequences. I shall not here stop to point out how the very accuracy of exact science gives better aim than the preceding state of things could give. I shall call each of these persons a paradoxer, and his system a paradox. I use the word in the old sense: a paradox is something which is apart from general opinion, either in subject-matter, method, or conclusion.
Many of the things brought forward would now be called crotchets, which is the nearest word we have to old paradox. But there is this difference, that by calling a thing a crotchet we mean to speak lightly of it; which was not the necessary sense of paradox. Thus in the sixteenth century many spoke of the earth's motion as the paradox of Copernicus, who held the ingenuity of that theory in very high esteem, and some, I think, who even inclined towards it. In the seventeenth century, the depravation of meaning took place, in England at least. Phillips says paradox is a thing which seemeth strange'-here is the old meaning: after a colon, he proceeds—and absurd, and is contrary to common opinion, which is an addition due to his own time.
Some of my readers are hardly inclined to think that the word paradox could once have had no disparagement in its meaning ; still less that persons could have applied it to themselves. I