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for the purpose of taking the auspices, but to enter them as military commanders with the design of doing actual service. * And this is the First Part of the work.
“ Next, having been carried through the ancient arts, we will prepare the human intellect for passing onward. Accordingly what is assigned to the Second Part is the doctrine respecting a better and more perfect employment of the reason in the investigation of things, and respecting the true helps of the understanding ; in order that thereby (in so far as the condition of humanity and of mortality allows) the understanding may be exalted, and endowed with more ample powers for conquering the steeps and obscurities of nature. And that art which we adduce (and which we are wont to call the interpretation of nature) is a kind of logic; although the difference between it and the common logic is very great, and may indeed be described as something passing measure. For that vulgar logic also indeed professes to contrive and furnish helps and guards for the understanding; and in this alone they agree. But that which we bring forward plainly differs from the vulgar, principally in three things; namely, in its end, the order of demonstration, and the beginnings of the inquisition.
" For the end which this science of ours proposes is, to find out not arguments, but arts ; and not what may be accordant with principles, but principles themselves; and not probable reasons, but designations, and indications of effects. And so from a different purpose follows a dif. ferent result. For there an adversary is vanquished and constrained by disputation; here nature by operation.
" And with the diverse ends agree the nature and order of demonstration in the two. For in the vulgar logic almost the whole labour is spent about the Syllogism. Respecting Induction the dialecticians seem to have
* The Latin is, “ut duces, promerendi causa.” Mr. Wood's. translation—"like generals to invade them for conquest"—is hardly authorized by the original. It seems to be founded upon that of Wats—“as captains to invade them for a conquest.” Shaw omits the passage.
scarcely ever seriously thought; merely passing it over with slight mention as they hasten on to their formulas of disputation. But we reject demonstration by syllogism, as proceeding too confusedly and allowing nature to escape from our hands. For, although it cannot be doubted by any one that those things which agree in the middle term, agree also with one another (which is a sort of mathematical certainty), nevertheless there is this of fallacy in the method, that the syllogism consists of propositions, the propositions of words, and that words are but the tokens and signs of opinions.*..... We therefore reject the syllogism; and that not only with regard to principles (to which the logicians themselves do not apply it), but with regard also to middle propositions ; which indeed the syllogism in some way or other educes and brings forth ; but they are such as are barren of effects, and remote from practice, and plainly unsuited to the active part of the sciences. Although, therefore, we leave to the syllogism, and to such celebrated and applauded demonstrations, the jurisdiction over popular arts and those that depend upon mere opinion (for in that department we stir nothing), yet for inquiring into the nature of things we use induction throughout, for the minor propositions as well as for the major. .
“ Wherefore also the order of the demonstration is altogether inverted. For hitherto the matter has beer. wont to be managed in this wise ; that from the intimations of the senses and from particular objects flight is taken at once up to the widest generalizations, as if to fixed poles around which disputation may revolve; and from them other propositions are derived by means of middle terms.f.... But, in our method, axioms are raised up continuously and step by step, so that the most general statements are only arrived at in the last stage; and these most comprehensive generalizations, moreover, come out, not notional, but well defined, and such as
* “ Notionum tesseræ et signa.” Both Wats and Mr. Wood have “ of things.
+ “Per media.” Mr. Wood translates “intermediately."
nature really acknowledges to be known to her, and as enter into the very marrow of things.
" But by far the greatest work which we set in motion is in the form of the induction, and in the conclusion which is attained to by means of it. For that form, of which the dialecticians speak, which proceeds by mere enumeration, is a puerile thing, precarious in its conclusions, exposed to danger from any contrary instance, and occupying itself only with matters generally known; nor does it lead to any result. But science requires an induction of such a form as may solve and separate experiments, and by means of due exclusions and rejections may bring out conclusions which shall be necessarily true.
“Nor is even this all. For we carry down the foundations of the sciences to a greater depth, and construct them with greater solidity, and begin our investigations from a higher point, than has been hitherto done ; subjecting to examination those things which the vulgar logic takes on trust. ... We have resolved that true logic should force even supposed first principles to give reasons for themselves, until they are clearly evident. And, in so far as respects the first notions of the understanding, there is no one of those things which the understanding, left to itself, has collected, but is held by us in suspicion. Nay we sift in many ways the information of the senses themselves. To obviate the risks thence arising, we have with much and faithful service sought and collected helps for the senses from all quarters ; that substitutions may make up for their deficiencies and rectifications for their variations. Nor do we attempt that so much by instruments as by experiments. For the subtilty of experiments is far greater than that of the senses, assisted even by the most exquisite instruments; we speak of such experiments as are skilfully and artistically imagined and applied in accordance with the design of the inquiry.
“ Such are the means which we prepare for the kindling and immission of the light of nature ; and they might of themselves be sufficient if the human under.
standing were quite plain, and resembled a smoothed table. But, seeing that the minds of men are so wonderfully beset, that a clear and polished surface for receiving the true rays of things is altogether wanting, a necessity arises that we should seek a remedy for this also.
“The spectres by which the mind is pre-occupied are either adscititious or innate. The adscititious have made their way into the minds of men either from the assertions and sects of the philosophers, or from the perverse rules which have been laid down for demonstrations. But the innate are inherent in the nature of the understanding itself, which may be shown to be much more prone to error than the senses. And the two former kinds of spectres may with difficulty be eradicated ; the latter not at all. All that can be done is, to indicate them. ... Wherefore this doctrine of the purifying of the understanding, that it may be fitted for the reception of truth, is reduced to three reprehensions ; the reprehension of philosophies, the reprehension of demonstrations, and the reprehension of the natural reason of
And this is the Second Part of the work. “ But it is our intention not only to point out and prepare the ways, but also to enter upon them. The Third Part of the work, therefore, comprehends the phenomena of the universe; that is, experience of every kind, and such a natural history as may serve for a foundation on which to rear a system of philosophy. For no manner of demonstration, or form of interpreting nature, however excellent for defending and sustaining the mind from error and failure, can also provide and supply it with the material of knowledge. But by all who would not guess and divine, but discover and know, and who desire not to invent buffooneries and fables about worlds,* but to inspect, and as it were to dissect, the nature of this real world, all knowledge must be sought from things
* This, which is Mr. Wood's translation, appears to be the best that can be given of “simiolas et fabulas mundorum comminisci." But the word simiolas is, we believe, unknown to the Latin language.
themselves. Nor can any substitution or compensation of wit, or meditation, or augmentation, suffice in the stead of this labour, and inquisition, and perambulation of the world ; not if all the wit of all men were to combine for the
purpose. The labour, therefore, must be undergone, or the undertaking for ever abandoned. ... It would be of no use to smooth the mirror if there were nothing for it to reflect. . . . But our natural history also, like our logic, differs in many respects from that which is generally received ; in its end or office, in its very structure and compilation, in its nicety, finally, in its selection, and the order in which it is arranged in reference to what follows it.
For, in the first place, we propose such a natural history as may not so much amuse by variety of matter, or even profit by present fruit of experiments, as shed light upon the discovery of causes, and yield the first milk for the nursing of philosophy. . .
“ And as for the compilation, our history will be not only that of nature in a state of freedom and ease, when, that is to say, she flows on and performs her work spontaneously-such as is a history of the celestial bodies, of meteors, of the earth and sea, of minerals, plants, and animals; but much rather of nature constrained and vexed, that is, when she is thrust down from her proper state, and pressed upon and made to take a new form, by the art and ministry of man.
“Nor do we present the history only of bodies, but we have besides thought it right to exert our diligence to prepare separately also a history of properties themselves ; of those, we mean, which may be deemed to be as it were cardinal in nature, and in which the first elements of nature plainly reside, as being matter in its first passions and desires ; namely, density, rarity, heat, cold, consistency, fluidity, gravity, levity, and many more. . . .
“After having thus guarded the understanding with the surest helps and protections, and prepared with most severe selection a complete host of divine works, it may seem that nothing more remains but that we proceed at once to philosophy itself. Yet in a matter so arduous