Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX.—No. VI. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
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APPENDIX.—No. VI. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). In 11 vols. Volume 8.
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SKETCH OF THE FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY.
To a course such as that here proposed, a not unapt conclusion may, it should seem, be afforded by a view of what has been termed Technology,—General Technology,—the aggregate body of the several sorts of manual operations directed to the purposes of art, and having, for their common and ultimate end, the production and preparation of the several necessaries and conveniences of life.
Of a view of this art, the amusiveness no less than the instructiveness, will receive no small increase, if to the exhibitive description, accompanied as far as may be, with the exhibition of the instruments and operations themselves, be added an indication of the rationale of the several operations.
By the rationale is here meant, an indication of the end most immediately in view, and the considerations by which, as between instrument and instrument, or operation and operation, the choice appears to have been determined.
By a familiar example, what is here meant will, it is believed, be rendered sufficiently apparent. For the purpose of making holes destined to give admission to threads employed for the purpose of junction, the instrument employed by the tailor is the needle; that employed by the shoemaker, the awl. When the needle is employed, the work, it is evident, may be made to go on with a degree of rapidity much beyond any that can be given to it by the awl. Why, then, in the case of shoemaker’s work, employ the awl?—Answer. Because the habiliment fastened by the shoemaker,—having for its principal object the exclusion of water, to the action of which it is continually exposed, at the same time that the material is of that sort which, when a hole has been made in it, has but little tendency to fill up the vacuity,—could not, if the needle were employed, be made to answer the intended purpose. The needle is capable of admitting the thread only by means of a slit called the eye, made at the thickest end of the needle into which the thread is passed, and, therefore doubled. The needle is a cone, of which the transverse section is a circle. The thread, without being in some part of its length double, cannot pass through the hole made by the needle, without passing in the form of two cylinders enclosed, both of them within the circle formed by the above-mentioned section of the needle. But, in this way, notwithstanding whatsoever elasticity may happen to be possessed by the substance into which the holes are made, it cannot be but that a part, and that a very considerable one, of the circle, will remain unfilled up; and, at this part, if the habiliment be a shoe and the material leather, the water will gain entrance. On the other hand, when, for making the holes, the instrument employed is the awl, the thread is not attached to it. The thread is a strip of leather, the section of which is a square, a form by which the hole will be more exactly filled up than by any other that could be given to it. Of this square, the central part is occupied by a hog’s bristle, a cylinder, which being comparatively inflexible, and of a diameter smaller than that of the hole destined for the strip of leather in which it is imbedded; a ready admission will be obtained into the hole as soon as the awl is drawn out of it.
For the purpose of such a conspectus, a work of indubitable use, would be a logical, i. e. an analytical arrangement of the several manual operations, employed and employable, for the purposes of the several arts considered on this occasion, and for this purpose, in conjunction: say, therefore, of art in general.
To any person by whom a work of this sort should be undertaken, very useful hints would be found afforded by a work of Bishop Wilkins. As a copy of that most ingenious work is not obtainable but by accident, an extract from it, containing as much as seemed applicable to the purpose in question, will be found in the Appendix to this present Essay.*
In the works of recent naturalists, chemists, and nosologists, and, in particular, in the Philosophia Botannica of Linnæus, the father, as he may be termed, of Somatological tactics, much useful instruction, many excellent patterns may be found applicable to such a work. That, in such a work, these patterns or standards of reference, cannot in any part be closely copied, will be evident enough; but that, by the aid of analogy, instruction in abundance will be derivable from them, will be found equally indubitable.
From the consideration of the purpose, together with other considerations subordinate to that leading one, mechanical instruments and operations, and their results or products, may, as well as plants or other natural bodies, be arranged into classes; those classes divided into orders, and sub-divided into genera and species; between orders and genera, other divisions, if found necessary, being interposed; and to these several aggregates, thus continued one within another, names taken for distinction sake, from one or other of the dead languages, may be attached.
Say, for instance, name of one of the genera of instruments, Terebræ—instruments employed for the boring of holes. Species—1, the awl; 2, the gimblet; 3, the augur; 4, the whimble, &c.
Name of another of the genera, Clavi—instruments employed for the effecting a connexion between two or more substances of a rigid texture, and for that purpose to remain inserted partly in one and partly in another. 1, The pin; 2, the bolt; 3, the nail; 4, the trenail; 5, the screwing nail, called for shortness, the screw.
Neither as being, in as far as it goes, complete, nor as being the most apt, that the nature of the case admits of; nor in any such hope as that of its being found to approach to perfection in either of these particulars, is this specimen brought to view; the object of it is merely to afford a general idea of the principles upon which it is proposed that it shall be formed.†
Not only to instruction, but moreover to improvement, to practical improvement, will be the assistances afforded by a systematical, or say an analytical, arrangement of this kind. Taking throughout, for its leading principle, the object or end in view, it will form all along, as the work proceeds, a bond of connexion, and, as it were, a channel of intercourse between art and art; artists of all sorts, how different soever the results and products of their respective arts, may thus receive instruction from each other’s practice; each may thus find his mind expanded—expanded in that direction in which, being prepared for it by antecedent practice, expansion will be most easy and pleasant.
For a work of this sort, in the French, “Descriptions des Arts et Metiers,”* materials will be found in abundance. But, conducted upon the systematic and all-comprehensive plan above brought to view, it will possess a degree of utility beyond any to which that work so much as aimed. Of that work, the compilers were philosophers, and in that character, something in this way might not unnaturally have been looked for at their hands. But of so vast and diversified an aggregate of materials, the collection and the arrangement—the arrangement in logical order, such as is here in question, was too much to look for, not only from the same hands, but, perhaps, from the same half century. In a case such as this, the particulars required had not only to be collected upon a most ample scale, but compared and confronted, one with another, in an infinity of directions before the work of classification could be entered upon with any very promising prospect of lasting use.
Bulky to a degree of unwieldiness is that justly celebrated work.† But, even with those ample additions which, by English practice, might doubtless be afforded to the stock of the materials, it follows not that, in point of bulk, a systematical work of the kind here proposed need, by a great length, approach to the bulk of that vast and elaborate performance. By apt aggregations, infinite is the number of particulars which in such a case may be found superseded. In different trades, an instrument which, in all these several instances, is of precisely the same use; an operation which, in all of them, is of precisely the same nature, may stand designated by so many different names.
For a course of Chrestomathic instruction, as here proposed, a work of this nature would form a necessary text-book. By the indication of such a work in the character of a requisite, the possibility of commencing such a course, may seem, at first view, to be thrown forward to an immeasurable distance.
1. But, in the first place, it is not till the very end of the proposed Chrestomathic course—viz., say for seven or eight years—that any such particular course is so much as proposed to be delivered.
2. In the next place, for a commencement, an extempore work, very far not only from the utmost attainable perfection, but from the degree of perfection of which an idea can be formed at present, will be of indubitable use, and as such, presents an undeniable claim to favourable acceptance. Be it ever so little, ever so imperfect, whatsoever will in this way have been done, will be so much more than will ever have been done before.
3. In the third place, by any one by whom, to the following sketch by the ingenious Bishop, a moderate share of attention will, in this case, be bestowed, no inconsiderable portion of that appearance of extraordinary difficulty, which the subject may, at first view, have presented, will, it is believed, be seen to vanish.
[* ] See Appendix, No. VII.
[† ] See Appendix, No. VII.
[* ] Descriptions des Arts et Metiers faites ou approuvées, par Messieurs de l’Academie Royale des Sciences.
[† ] Nine vols. folio.—Ed.