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ESSAY ON LOGIC: NOW FIRST PUBLISHED, FROM THE MANUSCRIPTS OF JEREMY BENTHAM. - 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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ESSAY ON LOGIC: NOW FIRST PUBLISHED, FROM THE MANUSCRIPTS OF JEREMY BENTHAM.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
Logic, according to the acceptation in which the Author seems to view the term, evidently embraces a far wider range of subjects than can come under the general notion entertained of it,—as a formal science, having cognizance of the laws of thought to the exclusion of its matter. Of the extent of field which the author intended to embrace, in a treatise on the subject—supposing him to have completed such a work according to his original conception of it—some idea may be formed from a perusal of Chapter I. The traces of an intention to fill up this great project in all its particulars, may be found in several of the works published as separate essays—those on Language and Grammar, for instance—where the word “Logic” is written on the margin of the original MS., in company with the more immediate subject of discussion; as if it had been in the Author’s view, after having severally completed these departments, to unite the whole into a complete system of Psychology. The work which immediately follows is thus far from being complete. It, in short, consists merely of those parts of the scattered materials which were most homogeneous, and had the most direct bearing on Logic, as the Author has defined it (the art which has for its object the giving direction to the mind in pursuit of its purposes) independently, on the one hand, of that examination of the powers of the human mind on which it might be founded; and, on the other, of its application to the various purposes to which it may be used. In some places, a system of arrangement had been adopted by the Author; as to others, there was internal evidence of the order he intended. On some occasions, however, there were no means of discovering the order intended to be followed, and an arrangement purely empirical was of necessity adopted. From the dates marked on the MSS., the Author seems to have devoted himself to his psychological works at four distinct periods: in 1811, from 1814 to 1816, in 1826, and so lately as 1831. It was not his practice in resuming a subject, to revise what he had already written, for the purpose of connecting with it the additions he might make. To this circumstance must be attributed many of the abrupt transitions, and the occasional repetitions which the reader may encounter. With regard to the writers whose works were the received authorities on the subject of Logic at the time when he wrote, it was evidently far from the Author’s wish to give an exposition or a criticism on their method of treating the subject, or even to profess any general acquaintance with logical literature. His object was simply to give the world the results of his own ratiocination on the subject of Logic, according to the meaning he attached to the word. There are a few criticisms on the Aristotelian system, which the reader must keep in view are made on the version of Sanderson only, and do not profess to embody any direct exposition of Aristotle’s system.
Part of the riches of these MSS. have already been given to the world in the “Outline of a New System of Logic, with a Critical Examination of Dr Whateley’s Elements of Logic,” by George Bentham, Esq., the nephew of the Philosopher. It was Bentham’s wish that his Psychological works should be edited by his nephew; and from the attention he has paid to the subject, it is to be regretted that circumstances interfered to prevent that gentleman from complying with the request.
Of this work, the parent hints were drawn from the logic of Aristotle, viz. Bishop Sanderson’s Compend of it, in the years 1760 or 1761 to 1762 or 1764, when the author was a youth, or rather a child, at Queen’s College in the University of Oxford. Of the notions therein exhibited, some he found continually applicable, and applicable with advantage, to ordinary practice. These treasured themselves up in his mind.
Aristotle,—the works of his predecessors in the same line, (though the existence of them has, by frequent incidental allusion of his, been made known to us,) being lost, is with reference to us the father of the art called Logic, the sole fountain of everything that has ever been presented, or ever can be presented to our minds under that imposing name.
In such accounts as will here be given of this art, considered in the state in which it has been found by the present work, it may naturally enough be expected that the text of Aristotle should, from first to last, be the object of reference.
But with a view to use in relation to this, as in relation to every other art, the material and only material question is, what is that which is written, not who is he that wrote it. Two thousand years and more have already elapsed since the works of Aristotle, and in particular those which have taken for their subject the field of Logic, were made public. In all that length of time, unless the last century, or century and a half, be regarded as constituting an exception, the making the most and the best of this art, and of the labours of the ingenious founder of it, has afforded occupation to some of the acutest minds that England or Europe has produced. By many of them, if not much has been added to the quantity of matter elaborated by Aristotle, not a little has been done towards the rendering it plainer, and more easily comprehensible by the pupil.
In the instance of this, as of any other branch of art for use, it is to the most instructive work which the field happens to afford, and not the most ancient, that a man whose wish is to make himself more or less acquainted with it, will, if his mind be not absolutely enslaved by prejudice, always betake himself: it is to the works of Davy, or Dalton, or Thomson that a man will betake himself for instruction in chemistry, not to those of Van Helmont or Paracelsus.
In the British isles not a few are the works which at different times have been published, with the professed design of serving for compendiums of instruction in this art. In the University of Oxford, Queen’s College used to be, and for aught the author of these pages has heard to the contrary, continues to be, regarded as the College in which it has been cultivated with greatest success: in this College the Compendium, written in Latin, by Sanderson, who, in the days of Charles the First and Second, was Bishop of Lincoln, used to be, and it is supposed continues to be, the classical work—the work which was taken for the text by the tutor on the occasion of his lectures to his pupils. Considered as a methodical abridgment of what Aristotle and his earliest commentators, the Greek logicians, have left us on this subject, it is, at any rate, the most copious: it is supposed to be the most correct, complete, and, upon the whole, the most instructive. In relation to this or that point, suppose the account given by Sanderson be not a perfectly exact copy of that delivered by Aristotle, what matters it? If it be not exactly the same, the presumption is that it is better. At the end of so many centuries, employed in the endeavour to render the account given of this art better than the account given by Aristotle, the expectation, is it in regard to any point a natural one, that instead of being better, it will be found worse?
Sanderson’s Compendium is, accordingly, the work to which, as often as the question may happen to present itself, what on this point has been said by Aristotle, and by the school of Aristotle, reference will be made. Sanderson’s Compendium is accordingly the work from which, should any supposed imperfections be found in that system, the exemplification and proof of such imperfection will be deduced.
Meantime, what is far from impossible is, that, in this or that instance, an imperfection which, in this way, through the medium of this his English disciple, comes to be imputed to the master, would, if justly chargeable, be found chargeable not on the master, but only on this disciple. But should this sort of injustice, such as it is, chance now and then to be committed,—not that this is any more than a mere supposition for the purpose of the argument,—what would it matter? Where would be the practical mischief? For one who, for instruction, resorts all along, or even to any considerable extent, to the original, some dozen, or some score, will never look further than to this or some other—most probably to this, the most instructive—compendium. Taking the original for its subject, the strictest comment would be a comment, not on the art, but on the language.
If on the occasion of any such imperfections, reference were made, not to the Greek original, but to this or that Greek or Latin commentator, or abridger, volumes and volumes might thus be written, and none of them of any use.
In the sense above brought to view, the logic of Aristotle may be said to have formed the basis of this work. In that storehouse of instruction the author found, at any rate, a considerable number of the tools or instruments which he has had to work with.
But though such was the assistance derived from the great philosopher of old, the author—never at any time, never in any instance, did it occur to him to consider the opinion or discourse of that philosopher, any more than of any one else as the standard or criterion of truth. The human mind, viz. his own mind—that being the only mind open to any man’s immediate observation—was the source from which Aristotle drew the instruction for which we are indebted to his ingenious labours: his own mind was, in like manner the source whence the author of the present work drew those notions which it is the object and the endeavour of this work to communicate to, and tranfuse into such other minds as may find themselves disposed to receive it.
Truth is never capable of being so clearly or strongly impressed, when considered by itself, as it is capable of being when illustrated by a view of any opposite error or errors by which its place has been wont to be occupied.
This system of Aristotle is the system by and according to which whatsoever has been taught under the name of logic, has now, for upwards of two thousand years, been taught; and through by far the greater part of that time it has been considered as being in a state of absolute perfection, little if at all capable of receiving improvement, and not in any degree susceptible of amendment—of amendment in any of its three modes, viz. omission, addition, and substitution.
By whomsoever the present sketch is looked into and considered, if Aristotle’s system of logic, in so far as it is delivered in the first chapter of Bishop Sanderson’s Compendium of that art and science, be looked into at the same time, and compared with it, very different to a considerable extent will the two volumes be seen to be at the very first glance.
The account which in this work is given of logic, in regard to its nature and business, is before the reader; if the extent given to it in that account be not in a considerable part improper and irrelevant, the extent given to it by the Aristotelians will be seen to be incomplete.
Of the topics that presented themselves as appertaining to the art, appertaining to it in such sort that, supposing any one omitted, the account would, pro tanto, have been incomplete: the list is before the reader; if this list be a correct one, that given by the Aristotelians will be seen to be an incongruous one; on the one hand deficient, on the other hand redurdant.
In the art and science of logic, two branches may be distinguished, the tactical and the dialectic. The tactical, that which teaches the arrangement which, for whatsoever purpose, requires to be given to ideas. The dialectic that which, for a particular purpose, gives arrangement to them in their quality of materials of discourse, to wit of the disputatious kind.
In the works of Aristotle, the fountain whence all ideas respecting Logic have been hitherto derived, the tactic was scarcely considered in any other light than that of an instrument employed in carrying on the disputatious branch;—the war of words being a sort of interlude by which men of superior minds amused themselves in the intermission of the war of arms.
Of late years, and by no means without reason, the dialectic has been, as to the greater part of it, an object of neglect; the tactic, being the main instrument in the hands of art, of invention to whatsoever subject-matter applied, can never deservedly be so, so long as man is man. On the present occasion, the precedence, as between the two, may be determined by these observations. In the first place will come the tactical branch; in the next will come the application made of it on occasion of the exercise given to the dialectic.*
In speaking of logic as an art, according to the definition of the Aristotelians, I find myself obliged to add to the word art the word science. For the truth is that, howsoever clearly distinguishable in idea, the two objects, art and science, in themselves are not, in any instance, found separate. In no place is anything to be done, but in the same place, there is something to be known; in no place is anything to be known, but in the same place there is something to be done.
To the presenting, in conjunction with each other, as well as either of them without the other, the idea which the word art is employed to signify, and the idea which the word science is employed to signify, the Latin word discipline is correctly and admirably well adapted. Unfortunately, though so perfectly coincident in respect of its original, and so near to perfect coincidence in sound and appearance, yet in respect of its established, and, at present, customary import, the correspondent English word discipline presents no equal aptitude.†
Great, however, would be the convenience, strong the light, thrown upon the whole field of human power, if, instead of the composite and frequently perplexing locution art and science, or science and art, the men of modern times could prevail upon themselves to employ the simple as well as classical term discipline, discipline would then be the name of the genus, art and science the name of the species included in it.
Definition here given of Logic.—Its amplitude justified.
Logic, in the sense in which the word will, throughout the whole tenor of this work, be employed, may be defined, the art which has for its object, or end in view, the giving, to the best advantage, direction to the human mind, and thence to the human frame, in its pursuit of any object or purpose, to the attainment of which it is capable of being applied.*
That of all definitions that have been, or can be given of this art, this is the most extensive, seems upon the face of it to be sufficiently manifest.
That it is the most useful, will, it is believed, be no less so; for it is in this modern definition alone, and not in any preceding one, that its relation to practical use in any shape has been directly held up to view.
That it is the most proper, will, at the same time, appear from the account given of logic by those who were the first to hold it up to view in the character of an art, and that an attainable one: in a word, by its inventors, viz. Aristotle and his followers, not to speak of his at present almost unknown predecessors.
For to the extent to be given to an art, a more unexceptionable standard of propriety can scarcely be found than that, if any, which has been ascribed to it by its inventors. In the present instance, true it is that, in the definition given of it in form, the extent assigned to it falls considerably short of the extent here assigned to it as above; but, as will also be seen, in the course of an observation by which that definition is immediately followed, the deficiency is made up, an extent is assigned to it much more ample than that which is given to it by their definition: an extent little, if anything, short of that extent ascribed to it as above in the present work.
According to this account of it (it may here naturally enough be objected,) an institute of the art of Logic, and a complete Encyclopædia—at any rate if the Encyclopædia be a methodical one—are one and the same thing. This work, if it be what it professes to be, is therefore an Encyclopædia, and that a complete as well as a methodical one.
Answer.—To entitle itself to the appellation of a complete one, true it is that any institute of logic, and therefore this, cannot have left altogether unvisited any portion whatever of the field of art and science, no nor of the whole field of human thought and action. But of every part of that field an Encyclopædia may, with perfect propriety, give a complete survey; whereas that which, in relation to that same field, comes within the purview of the present work, consists of no more than a general outline, including, together with its principal divisions, here and there a hint, such as may happen to be suggested by a comparative and bird’s-eye view, and thence, in some sort, a commanding view for the more advantageous culture of it.
In relation to some of the principal points, in company with the view here given of the art, will be presented those which have been left to us by the Aristotelians. In this way, mutual light, it is hoped, will be thrown upon each other by the two sketches; and the extent as well as direction of the progress made, should any be found to have been made, by the modern one, will be the more clearly discernible.
As to its field or subject, the subject on which its operations are performed, it is neither more nor less than the entire field of human thought and action. In it is accordingly included the whole field of art and science; in it is moreover included the field of ordinary, i. e. unscientific thought, and ordinary, i. e. unartificial action, or say practice, including, together with the whole contents of these respective fields—viz. all the subjects, not only of human action but of human thought—all entities, not only real but fictitious, not only all real entities but all fictitious ones that have ever been feigned, or remain capable of being feigned: fictitious entities, those necessary products of the imagination, without which, unreal as they are, discourse could not, scarcely even could thought, be carried on, and which, by being embodied, as it were, in names, and thus put upon a footing with real ones, have been so apt to be mistaken for real ones.
On the one hand, artificial action or practice, and scientific thought; on the other hand ordinary unartificial practice and ordinary or unscientific thought: under these two divisions, taken together, the whole field of human thought, as well as the whole field of human action, cannot, it is evident, fail of being included.
What distinguishes this art and science from every other branch of art and science, is that in its field of action are contained the several fields of action of all those other branches of art and science; in the field of action of this discipline, are included the several fields of action of all those other disciplines. By its generality, its amplitude, and nothing else, does it stand distinguished from the aggregate of those same disciplines.
Of the observations which respectively apply to the subject of those several disciplines, those which are most general may be referred to the head of logic. In no quarter, therefore, are those boundaries fixed, by which the field of logic is separated from the respective fields of those several other and subject disciplines. Thus, in government the territorial field of the dominion of the sovereign is composed of the territorial fields of the dominion of the several individual and particular land-owners.
Norrower and more common Acceptations of the WordLogic.
Of the field of exercise belonging to this master-art, the all-comprehensiveness, on the supposition that the definition above given of it is a proper one, will upon examination, it is believed, be sufficiently manifest. In it will be found comprehended, not only all science, and every art that can go by the name of art or science, but every other subject of contemplation or occupation to which it is possible for the human faculties, under the guidance of human reason, to be applied; every occupation, including the most common and unartificial, as well as the most extraordinary, of those occupations by which the measure of human life is filled up.
In no such comprehensive, nor indeed in any steady point of view, does it appear to have ever hitherto been considered.
By the Aristotelians, it has been described in the same breath as comprehending the field of science alone, and as comprehending that same field with the addition of the field of art.
In the narrowest of all the acceptations in which it has been employed, it is neither more nor less than the art of disputing in mood and figure. In a somewhat more enlarged sense it has been employed to denote the art of disputation, in whatsoever manner carried on. When to the whole art this amplitude is assigned, that which has just been mentioned has been considered as a modification of it, and has been styled the logic of the schools, or school logic; meaning by schools, those which in the middle ages were kept for the teaching of this art according to the principles laid down by Aristotle.
In general by those who employ it, a signification considerably more extensive, but still undeterminate, is frequently attributed to it. Arrangement, for example,—arrangement and definition, appear commonly enough to be considered as belonging to it. In so far as these operations,—operations thus extensively useful have been considered as belonging to it, it could not but have been considered as ministering, or at least capable of being made to minister, to the occasions of science in general, and even of art, not to speak of those of common life.
But forasmuch as by the followers of Aristotle, if not by Aristotle himself, the art of disputing in mood and figure seems to have been considered as the ultimate object of pursuit and study,—arrangement, definition, and in general all other portions of the art, and applications made, or capable of being made, of it, being considered and represented as no more than accessory and ministerial to that principal and, in those days, practical use, hence it is, that if the amplitude ascribed to it by the above definition be not excessive and unwarrantable, the most extensive conception which as yet it has been usual to form of it, may be stated to be inadequate.
Relation as between Logic and Metaphysics.
Whatever were said of logic, would be not simply, but perniciously imperfect, if in conjunction with it, something were not said of metaphysics.
Between the imports that have been respectively given to these two words, no one to whose cognisance they have ever presented themselves can be unapprized that there exists a very near relation; by no one, it is believed, has any endeavour been employed for exhibiting any correct idea of what that relation is.
Of the word metaphysics, the origin is still to be seen in Aristotle. In his works what it was employed to denote was, not the nature of this branch of art or science to which it gave a name, but merely the relation in respect of priority and posteriority, which in the collection of his works, the work in which he treated of this branch of art or science happened to bear to the works in which he treated of physics. Another meaning, and though recondite, rather a more characteristic one, may have been;—the branch of art or science, upon which the mind will not in any natural course have entered, until it have touched upon that which is called physics; nor indeed without having passed over, or at least passed through that branch.
When looked at, that treatise turns out to have for its subject neither more nor less than a few terms of the most general, i. e. most extensive, and at the same time the most frequently exemplified import of any which language affords. Existence, contingency, possibility, necessity, may serve as examples.
Upon this view of the matter, it turns out that in its original import this branch of art or science was neither more nor less than a sprig, and that but a small one, of the branch termed logic; forming but a minute portion of it, not only according to the extent ascribed to it, as above, in the present work, but according to the so much narrower extent ascribed to it, as above, by the Aristotelians.
Within this last century or two the word has received an import of which it may in general terms be said, that it is much more extensive, but which is in the highest degree vague and indeterminate.
It seems difficult to know what account to give of it, otherwise than from the various reproaches which from divers and various classes of writers have been cast upon it. Religionists, lawyers, politicians, fashionable sentimentalists, and poets, have, under the name of metaphysics, found something which has appeared to them to thwart their views, opinions, interests or prejudices, and against which they have accordingly used their endeavours to cover it with reproach and bring it into disrepute.
Of the art or science of logic, one, and that one the most immediate use, is the establishment of clear and determinate ideas; in relation to whatsoever discourse we employ on any subject of importance, the taking care that to such discourse the ideas we attach shall be clear and determinate ones, and in so far as in the language employed in the course of their converse with us, by others, any deficiency in this essential quality becomes observable, to employ our endeavours by apt questions, to clear it from whatever clouds of obscurity or ambiguity it may happen to be involved.
The words employed, and the compounds formed of them in the shape of propositions,—in one or other of these classes of objects may be seen the source of every instance of error or perplexity,—every cause of deception to which discourse can give rise; if it be in the structure of the propositions, or in the sort of connexion given to them that the imperfection has, or is supposed to have, its source, logic, (in which grammar may be considered as included) is the name of the art or science, by which alone the remedy, if obtainable, can be obtained; if it be in the import attached to the words taken singly, sometimes it is to logic, sometimes it is to metaphysics, that any endeavours to remedy it are referred.
Voluntary or involuntary—whosoever harbours a favourite error which it would pain him to see exposed, beholds in logic or metaphysics, or both, an object of antipathy and terror. From the adverse current of these affections, logic, being under that its name defended not only by the authority of the most admired of the philosophers of antiquity, but of those reverend persons from whose lips instruction in its highest and most polished forms is imbibed,—metaphysics is commonly the butt against which the chief force of these hostile affections is directed.
LOGIC, ITS CHARACTERISTICS.
General View of the Characteristics.
1. Aristotle’s list.—In the character of an appendage to the definition of the word logic, the Aristotelians have brought to view a cluster of abstract terms which had presented themselves as in some way or other appertaining to it, and as promising to contribute to the explanation of the nature of the art defined by it.
Præcognita de naturâ Logicæ, is the title prefixed to the first chapter in the compendium of Sanderson, in which the definition of logic with these explanations subjoined to it, is contained.
Though taken in detail, the mode of execution has appeared, as will be seen, susceptible of considerable amendments, the design has been regarded as highly useful, and of the sketch therein contained that which here follows, though not a copy, will be seen to be an imitation, or at any rate a sketch executed on a plan of which the general idea, and some of the principal lines, were derived from that source.
1. Uses, Utilitates. 2. End in view, Finis. 3. Functions, Officia. 4. Object, Objectum. 5. Subject, Subjectum, as exhibited in six modifications. 6. Parts, Partes, of which three in number are brought to view. Such is the list of the characteristics of logic, as exhibited by Sanderson and other compendialists; exhibited, though not under that or any other common appellative, unless the word præcognita, things foreknown, be taken for that appellative.
1. General end in view, the attainment of which the art of logic keeps, or ought to keep, in view. 2. Field of exercise appertaining to this art. 3. Operations to which it is capable of giving direction and assistance. 4. Faculties to which it gives direction and assistance. 5. Instrument, viz. Language employed in giving direction and assistance to these same faculties in the performance of these same operations. 6. Functions, to the exercise of which in relation to other arts and sciences it is capable of giving direction and assistance. 7. Uses to which it is applicable. Such is the list of the articles, which, under that same name of the characteristics of the art, will by means of the explanations respectively given in relation to them, be under these same denominations employed in the explanation of it.
Characteristic the First.
End in View or ultimate Object of Logic.
The pursuit of every art being a course of action, and, in the instance of man, as in that of every other sensitive creature, well-being being, in some shape or other, the end of every action, it is not in the nature of the case, that, for the ultimate end, the particular art here in question should not have this for its object; well-being, which, considered as having existence during any given portion of past time, will always have been directly as the magnitude of the aggregate of the pleasures of all sorts experienced during that portion of time, and inversely, as the magnitude of the aggregate of pains of all sorts experienced during that same portion of time.
Such is the explanation which, how premature soever it may seem, it seemed advisable to give, lest, though it were but for a moment, any the least cloud should hang over the import of so important an appellative.
Well-being! But is not this (it may be asked) the end in view, the ultimate as well as direct and immediate object of another and very different branch of art or science, distinguished by a separate and a different name, viz. Ethics?
Undoubtedly, but by being the object, the ultimate object of that other art, it is not the less truly and properly so of the one in question. As every action whatsoever, so must every art (for art is but an aggregate of actions) have this for its object—have this same common result, viz. well-being, for its ultimate object.
If Ethics have this for its object, so has Medicine, for example—so has cookery; and this same result, Logic in so far as it can, with propriety, be said to be of any use, may likewise, with equal propriety, be said to have for its object, meaning for its ultimate object.
If, in the pursuit of well-being, it be the province of Ethics to take the direction of human conduct, in that same pursuit it is the province of Logic to take the command and give direction to the course of Ethics itself. From having his generals under him, the commander-in-chief has not the less command of the army committed to his care.
Logic, like every other branch of art and science, in a word, like everything else, is not any otherwise, nor any further deserving of regard, than in so far as it is capable of being of use. But of use in any intelligible sense, neither can this, nor anything else ultimately be, any further than it has been or is capable of being conducive to the diminution of pain in some shape or other, or to the increase of pleasure.
Be that as it may, assuredly it is not on any other account that it will ever be taken for the subject of consideration in any part of the present work.
In this instance, as in every other, the usefulness and value of art and science in every shape depending altogether upon their conduciveness and subserviency to this universal end, so in the comprehensive sketch which will further on be given of the field of art and science, it is from this tendency to a common end that the connecting principle, or common bond of relation, by which the several arts and sciences are connected with each other, will be viewed; and, from this common bond of connexion, will be deduced such a plan of encyclopædical arrangement as should naturally be more instructive, and, as such, more interesting than any which has hitherto made its appearance.*
After a sketch taken upon this principle, if dryness and uninterestingness continue to be, as hitherto they seem to have been generally numbered among the properties of this art, it will, at any rate, be, not in respect of the end to which it is directed, but in respect to the principles and plan observed in treating of it.
Characteristic the Second.
Field of Exercise appertaining to this Art.
The definition of this art being given, as above, the field of its exercise has been already given. Within it is contained the field of every other art, the field of every science, the field, in a word, of every occupation, such alone excepted, if such there be, to the exercise of which, in the most advantageous manner, no exertion of mental power is either necessary or in any way conducive.
The word field having, to the purposes of Logic, been found of special and superior use, while, at the same time, other terms there are which have also been employed to these same purposes, a few words to show the title it has to preference here may, perhaps, not be found altogether ill bestowed.
Sphere, circle, subject-matter, subject,—in these four will be found comprehended, it is believed, a complete list of these its rivals.
As to the word sphere, on many occasions it may, no doubt, be employed without much difference in the article of convenience. It labours, however, under considerable disadvantages. 1. Being borrowed from Astronomy, it is apt to present to view, as often as employed, the idea of that abstruse and irrelevant science, and thereby to diffuse over every subject in which it is employed a considerable degree of abstractness, and add difficulty to difficulty,—thickening the obscurity which unavoidably and perpetually overhangs the nomenclature of Logic, which is sufficiently thick without any additional shade to thicken it.
2. A field is susceptible of corners, and, in a word, of every variety of shape, and to the number of describable sources of division according to which it is capable of being parcelled out, there is no limit. A sphere has no corners, and to the number of sources of division according to which it is capable of being subjected to division, there are determinate limits.
3. The fields of the several arts and sciences, parcel of the general field of art and science, and of the still more complex field of human occupation, are, with reference to one another, contiguous and mutually coincident, and may, upon some, if not upon all, occasions, be considered as situated on the same level. But, amongst the objects presented to view by the word sphere, there cannot be any such mutual coincidence or contiguity, and, when spoken of on the same occasion, some are higher, others are lower or inferior.
4. The field of art and science is capable of extension, and is continually receiving it; and the greater the extension it receives, the greater, there seems reason to believe—the greater cæteris paribus—is the quantity of well-being possessed by the aggregate of mankind. Of no such property as extension in particular parts is a sphere susceptible;—if it be so extended it ceases to be spherical.
A circle is a word that is more or less exposed to the same inconveniences. To the last of them in a more practically pernicious degree. The circle of the sciences is a phrase to which, in former days, much importance was attached, and which continues in frequent use. Of the emblem thus employed what are the practical inferences? That, in the track of science, no advance can be made; that by every foot that enters upon the circle, the track taken can be no other than that which was travelled in by its predecessors;—that a man may go round and round, and when he has gone as far as it is possible for him to go, he will find himself at the point from which he set out.
Subject-matters and subjects.—As to these expressions, they are not pregnant with any such delusive allusions, as above; but they do not come up to the purpose in question; and there is another purpose for which they are in demand.
Field is wanted for the designation of the whole of the expanse. Fields in the plural are seldom wanted. Subject-matter and subject are wanted for the expression of this or that particular article considered as situated on or within the compass of this or that field. Accordingly, in the plural number as well as in the singular, there is a continual demand for these words.
By the word subject, the idea conveyed is that of a moveable solid capable of being viewed and handled in all imaginable directions,—by the word field that of a portion of an immoveable whole, of which the surface alone is capable of being thus dealt with.
Real entities and fictitious entities.—To one or other of these denominations will be found referable everything which, with reference to this art, can be considered as comprised under the denomination of a subject.
Characteristic the Third.
Operations,to the performance of which Logic is capable of affording direction and assistance.
Relation of this Characteristic to the preceding ones.
As to the several operations which the human mind is capable of performing in that field in pursuit of the above-mentioned general end, or any of its modifications, and therein in pursuit of any subordinate ends, considered as capable of serving in relation to it in the character of a means;—whatsoever be the subject in relation to which action is required, the following operations will be found capable of being performed in relation to it,—operations all of them contributing or tending to the attainment of the above-mentioned general end, in so far as the discipline, the art or the science, the practice or act, in question, is, in its nature, in any shape applicable to that end.
When these are considered as so many species of operations, to the due, and apt, and successful performance of which the art called Logic is capable of being rendered subservient, this topic,—the topic of mental operations,—is considered as susceptible of being applied to the several subjects of the same art, as above-mentioned, and in that respect is considered in what, in opposition to abstracted or abstract, has been called a concrete or practical point of view.
A different point of view, which, under the name of abstract, has this instant been spoken of, is that in which the operations performable are considered as corresponding to so many faculties of the human frame, by or by means of which they are performable. On which occasion the same denomination is capable of serving, and, accordingly, has, in great measure, been made to serve, for the operation itself, and the faculty—the fictitious part or member of the mind—by or by means of which the operation has been considered as being, and to be performed.
These operations being so many modes or species of action, which is itself but a mode of motion, possess a sort of half reality, and the names of them belong, accordingly, to a class of names which, regard being had to names of substances—the only real entities—may, as will be observed in another place, stand distinguished by the names of semi-real entities. But as to the several correspondent faculties, these belong to the class of purely fictitious entities, feigned in virtue of an irresistible demand, for the purposes of discourse.
A motion has a something next to real that corresponds to it, and of which indication is given by its name, viz. the path taken by the moving body at the time during which it is said to be in motion. Considered as distinct from the mind itself, a faculty is an object manifestly altogether void of real existence. The name of it is the name of a purely nominal and fictitious object, framed for the purpose of holding up to view the imaginary cause or productive instrument of some real effect. The word which is the name of it is not indicative of anything but the operation which, when called into exercise, it performs, if it be an active faculty, or the impressions which, if it be a passive faculty, it receives.
Of the several distinguishable mental operations to which the art of Logic may, in one way or other, be found capable of affording direction and assistance, so great is the multitude, (of the whole number of operations in which the human mind is capable of bearing a part, there not being one to which, from this source, direction and assistance is not in one way or other capable of being lent,) so ample is the number and so great the variety, that, for bringing to view the points in which they agree, together with those in which they disagree, and thus presenting a clear and distinct idea of the nature and differential character of each, it will be necessary to distribute them into distinct groups or classes, which, in the course of the following pages, will be brought to view. Placing first those which, being most simple, require not for their explanation anything to be said of the others, and so on.
Mental Operations, Class I.—Operations, in the performance of which the subject is considered as being regarded entirely, i. e. in an entire state, and at the same time singly, (i. e. not in conjunction with others,) without regard to past or future time, and without regard to any person other than the person himself by whom the operation is considered as performed.
1. Perception, conception, apprehension. When perception has place, the source or perceptible object from which it is derived being an individual portion of matter, or real corporeal entity,—(a body coming under the denomination of body—of a body,)—impressions are, at the time in question, made on sense:—on some one or more of all of the senses to the cognizance of which the object stands exposed. Of the perception thereupon obtained, these impressions are the immediate object and subject. The body itself, i. e. the existence of it, is but in a secondary and comparatively remote way the object or subject of perception. Of this supposed source of the perceptions that are experienced, the existence is, strictly speaking, rather a subject of inference than of perception. Of inference, judgment, ratiocination, which is liable to be erroneous, and in experience is very frequently found to be so.
Scarcely does a perception take place but it is accompanied—accompanied, generally, without any consciousness of, because without any reflection on, without any attention paid to it—by a correspondent judgment or act of the judgment faculty.
At the time when the perception takes place, the mind may either be more or less active, or purely passive, in relation to it; it is only in so far as it is more or less active that any operation can, with propriety, be said to be performed.
If the mind be purely passive, the perception is the work of the simply perceptive, a branch of the intellectual faculty. If, in any mode or degree, the mind be active in so far, the will—the volitional faculty bears a part in the production of it.
Conception is a word which is frequently employed to express the same import as the word perception, would be employed to express. In common usage the distinction is altogether indeterminate. Where any purposed distinction is observed, it is to the word conception that the largest and most complex sense seems commonly to be assigned. While impressions only are considered as the objects of perception, conception is considered as having for its objects, ideas, simple ideas, the copies of these impressions,—the things signified by the signs of which discourse is composed, ex. gr. the import of entire propositions—of a discourse composed of such propositions in any multitude, or even that of single words. In this word intimation is given of a certain degree of complexity in the object denoted by it, by the natural effect of the first syllable.
By the word apprehension, at least, if its etymology be considered, intimation is conveyed not only of action, activity, but of some certain degree of exertion of effort: prehendo—apprehendo, to lay hold of.
2. Attention.—This operation, as the etymology of the word intimates, has place in so far as by an act, by a more or less continued exertion of the will, and the psychological active faculty its servant, the mind is as it were fastened upon the object or subject from which a perception or conception is derived to it: tendo, to stretch,—attendo, to stretch upon.
Mental Operations, Class II.—Operations in the performance of which the subject (whether taken entire or not—taken in conjunction with others or not, and whether with or without regard to any person other than the person himself by whom the operation is considered as performed) is considered with regard to past time.
1. Remembrance; 2. Retention; 3. Recollection; 4. Recalling or revocation to Memory; 5. Reminiscence. These words are either synonymous, or want little of being so. The slight shades of difference by which they may be found to be distinguishable, are not for the present purpose worth attending to.
The sort of fictitious psychological entity called the Memory, is regarded as a kind of receptacle in which perceptions of all sorts that have ever been experienced are, in any number lodged, as likewise, whatsoever thoughts have, by composition or decomposition, been formed out of these materials, are capable of finding a place. So long as on the occasion of the entrance of the object in question into this receptacle, or of its continuance therein, or recession out of or re-emanation from it, no effort on the part of the volitional faculty is considered as taking place, no such word as operation can, with propriety, be employed in speaking of it.
Mental Operations, Class III.—Operations, in the performance of which objects or subjects more than one are considered as being, at the same time, present to the mind.
1. Judgment; 2. Decision; 3. Determination; 4. Comparison; 5. Examination.
When upon and after examination and comparison made of any two or more of the objects that have presented themselves to the mind, any inference is made or conclusion come to in relation to them by it, a judgment is thereby said to have been formed and passed—an act of the judicial faculty exercised—an operation of the judicial faculty performed.
Decision and determination are, with no less frequency and propriety, applied to operations of the volitional, than to those of the judicial, faculty.
Decision, from decido; compounded of de, off, and cædo, to cut,—is a word that represents the mind as if cutting off at a certain point the thread of examination, and thereby cutting short the intellectual process.
Determination, from de, off, and terminus, a term or boundary, intimates that, with reference to the object in question, whatever chain of examination has been carried on, has been brought to an end.
As to judgment, when the word is employed to designate an operation, considered by itself, the operation is not an act of any other than the judicial faculty; it is not an act of the volitional faculty. But the giving expression to this or to any other act of the judicial faculty is an act of the volitional faculty;—even the applying to the subject or subjects in question the faculty of attention, for the purpose of forming a judgment on, or in relation to them, this is an act of the volitional faculty.
Another object which the word judgment is in use to be employed to signify is, the discourse, whatsoever it be, which, on the occasion in question, has been the product of the operation so performed by the faculty so denominated.
As to examination, a notion that may be apt to present itself on the subject of this word is, that on the occasion of the operation expressed by it the presence of more than one object in the mind at the same time is not necessary. Applied to an object considered as entire, the observation may be correct. But an examination of any object can hardly, it should seem, with propriety, be spoken of as made, unless the mind have applied itself to the parts of the object, or some of them. It is only in this way that the import of the word examination can be distinguished from that of the word attention.
Mental Operations. Class IV.—Operations, in the performance of which the subject being such as presents a number of perceptions (viz. impressions or ideas, or both together,) in conjunction, the mind, in the first place, decomposes what it finds thus composed, taking for consideration from the group any one or more of its component elements, presenting them to itself or not presenting them to itself, at any subsequent point of time, either by themselves, or in an order and mode of conjunction different from that in which, as above, they presented themselves in the first instance.
1.Abstraction. In or by this operation, among the impressions or ideas presented, in conjunction by an object, whether present to sense or only present to recollection, and accordingly presenting a group of impressions, or presenting nothing more than a group of ideas corresponding to and derived from the group of impressions presented by it while present, the mind, by its apprehensive faculty, lays hold of some one alone, or some other part of the whole number, leaving the rest unnoticed.
Thus, for instance, in the case of an apple. Applied to the touch alone, the impressions and ideas it gives birth to are those of the external configuration, the degree of smoothness or roughness, the consistence in respect of hardness and softness; presented to the eye, the impressions and ideas it gives birth to are those of shape, as before, with the addition of colour; to the smelling, those of the particular odour of the fruit; to the taste, the particular flavour. In so far as any one of these impressions or ideas is rendered present to the mind, and becomes the subject or object of perception, or thought, or attention, without being accompanied with the rest, the mental operation called abstraction has place.
2.Imagination. In so far as a number of these fragmentitious ideas formed by abstraction are put together by the mind and formed into new compounds, into compounds which either do not exist in nature, or have not as yet presented themselves to the mind of the person in question, in and by the means of a body already existing in nature, the operation whereby this effect is produced, is styled imagination; and in consideration and in respect of it, a correspondent faculty is considered as having existence,—a faculty termed the imaginative faculty, or more shortly, by the same name as that given to the operation itself—viz. imagination.
Thus, taking from the fruit of the apple-tree its shape, and at the same time from any piece of the metal called gold its weight, colour, and consistency, imagination formed the golden apple, the produce of the garden of the Hesperides.
3.Invention.—In so far as any product, formed as above by the imagination, has received, or is considered as receiving a fixed description, or as serving as a guide to active talent or practice, in such sort as in the pursuit of some particular end, to produce effects either new, or produced in any respect to greater advantage than before, the operation is called invention.*
Mental Operations, Class V.—Operations, on the occasion of which a number of entire objects, whether masses of matter or assemblages of ideas, are present to the mind at the same time.
1. Designation,—simple or individual denomination. For the performance of this operation, the conjunct presence of a number of objects not greater than two suffices: the object to which a name is to be attached, and the name which is to be attached; the designand, or object which is considered as requiring to be denominated, and the designation or sign, which,—when sufficiently associated and connected with it, when lodged in the mind in contact with it for a sufficient length of time, and thus called up, in conjunction with it, with a sufficient degree of frequency,—is found by experience to contract, as it were, a sort of adhesion to it; in such sort that when, by the person in question, the sign, being called up out of the memory, is detained by the attention, the idea of the object signified is thereby rendered present, and is continued in that state so long as the sign is present in that same state.
A sign of this sort, by which one individual object, and no more, is designated, is what has been termed by grammarians a proper name.
2. Denomination,—or say common-collective, or generic denomination. In so far as the sort of operation thus designated and denominated has place, the same sign is made to designate, and, upon occasion, render present to the mind, two or any greater number of individual objects: two or any greater number of individual objects, by whichsoever of the two faculties of the mind, the memory or the imagination, are rendered present to it.
Thus, while the human species contained but one individual, viz. Adam, individual designation was the only operation of this class which an intelligent and conversing being, such as an angel or devil, having occasion to designate him, could have occasion to employ in the designation of him; but no sooner had Eve received a separate existence, than the occasion for denomination, i. e. collective designation or denomination, came into existence: a name such as should be capable of designating the species which, by the addition of this second individual, was now formed. One species was then already in existence; at the same time, the two sorts of subordinate species, or rather two species at once, viz. the two species formed together by the difference in respect of sex, received already a sort of potential existence,—were already formed in potentia. At the birth of Cain, the species corresponding to the male sex received an actual existence; Adam and Cain the individuals. On the birth of Cain’s eldest sister, the species corresponding to the female sex, received the like existence; Eve and her anonymous daughter, whoever she were, the individuals.
3. Methodization or arrangement. Of this operation, as will be seen more particularly further on, under a separate head thus denominated,* there are two distinguishable modes, for the designation of one of which the words collective or cumulative; of the other the word lineal may be employed; or, instead of the lineal mode of methodization the term methodization by means of procedure may be employed.
To collective or cumulative methodization, the use of one of the operations above designated by the term denomination, viz. collective denomination seems to be an altogether indispensable requisite. A general name is the common, the necessary tie, by which a number of general or abstract ideas are fixed and fastened together in the mind.
In what respect, then, is collective methodization distinct from collective denomination? In this only, that when the word methodization is employed, a multitude of groups, or collections of general ideas, are considered as being at the same time formed or bound together, and at the same time so constituted and disposed of, that two or more, each having its collective name or denomination, are connected together by, and comprehended within, some common name: some name which, being common to them both, and not applied to any other, serves, at the same time, to distinguish them from all objects to which different names have been applied: the new and larger group thus formed, being at the same time in company with some other group or groups formed in the same manner, formed into still more capacious multitudinous groups, and so on through any number of groups of ulterior aggregation.
The course by which lineal methodization, or arrangement, is performed, is this; of the several subjects (in the present instance the several denominations, on which, as on its subjects, it is performed) some one presents itself, before any other has presented itself to the mind, next to that some other, and so on throughout the whole number; and thus in this same order, one after another, they all present themselves.
To effect and secure the accomplishment of this object, the words or visible signs by which these several groups are respectively represented and presented to the mind, are so placed as to present themselves to the eye of every reader in the course or order thus appointed as above.
From this master-operation, all the other operations, in some way or other, several of them directly, are wont to receive direction and assistance.
The operation of communication of ideas, as performed by its peculiar instrument discourse or language, will come in the next and last place to be considered. To this operation, that of methodization will be found capable of rendering the most essential, and, in some measure, indispensable assistance. But antecedently to this, so, and in an immediate and manifestly visible way will it be found capable of rendering assistance to the operations of retention, judicial decision, and invention: and the larger the scale upon which it happens to them respectively to be performed the greater the assistance.
Mental Operations, Class VI.—Operations, by the performance of which, by means of the operations of designation and expression, communication of the ideas formed in one mind is made to, and those ideas are transferred into another mind.
1. Discourse, or discoursing. 2. Expression.
In the course of this operation, ideas having been, in one mind, formed or lodged, and therein associated with, and, as it were, attached and fastened to, certain of the signs of which discourse or language is composed, are out of that mind expressed, i. e. pressed out; for the purpose of their being received into, or say, finding reception in another.
1. Signs, by means of which the operation is performed. 2. Minds to which, and modes in which application is made of these signs;—from these two sources, taken together, may the operation be seen to receive whatsoever modification it admits of.
1. Signs, by means of which the operation of discourse is performed.
A difference in the nature of the signs capable of being employed, is produced by a correspondent difference in the nature of that one of the five senses to which the discourse is made to address itself.
The hearing, its organ the ear; the sight, its organ the eye; the touch, its organ the skin, and more particularly the skin of the hand;—to all these senses has what is called discourse, been made to address itself. Audible, visible, and tangible, such, accordingly, has respectively been the nature of the signs of which, in these several cases, this organ of the mind has been composed.
Till a comparatively late point in the time of human existence, of all these sorts of signs, those which address themselves to the ear were almost the only ones in actual existence; to the infinite multitude and variety of these, the few that as yet, in those days, addressed themselves immediately to the eye, found but a feeble supplement, and a still more feeble and inadequate succedaneum.
Through the medium of the French word Langue, a tongue,—Language, in French Langage, the discourse of the tongue, is derived from the Latin, Lingua, a tongue. When addressed to the ear, it is from the tongue that the discourse addresses itself. For discourse, for the product of the operation called discourse, in the form in which it addresses itself to the eye as contradistinguished from that in which it addresses itself to the ear, neither the French, nor the Latin, nor the English, affords any proper appellative.
French or English language,—French or English Tongue, if applied to the contents of a manuscript, or a printed book,—a solecism, a palpable contradiction and inconsistency will, upon consideration, be found involved in any one of these expressions.
Yet, for these solecisms, however palpable, the demand is frequent, and so urgent as scarcely to be resisted.
Writing, including its comparatively recent improvements, such as printing, engraving, &c., is, in every case, discourse addressed to the eye. To this organ, discourse, in this form, has been capable of addressing itself in either of two ways:—1. In a remote way, through the medium and intervention of discourse addressed to the ear, i. e. of articulate sounds. 2. In an immediate way, without the intervention of discourse in that or any other form.
In the first case, the audible sounds are the immediate signs of thought; and it is of these audible signs that the visible characters are the signs; and it is only in this comparatively remote way that the function of signs of thought is performed by the visible characters.
In the other case, the function of signs of thought is somehow or other performed in an immediate way by the visible characters.
Of these two modes, the former is the only one familiar to the generality of civilized nations; the other is exemplified in the vast Empire of China, in the Empire of Japan, and in some of the states subject to the dominion or ascendancy of the Chinese.
A remarkable circumstance is, that the Japanese, whose audible instrument of discourse is not the same with that of the Chinese—has little or no affinity with that of the Chinese, employ the same visible instrument, the same characters; and so in the case of some of those other inferior states in that part of the world.
Compared with the footing on which it is in European practice, great must be the incommodiousness of the instrument of discourse, as employed in these Eastern nations; and, accordingly, the more particularly it is seen into, and the nature of it understood, the more manifest do the imperfections under which it labours become. But, for the consideration of these imperfections in the instrument of discourse, and the consequent imperfections in the state of human thought, the proper place will be under the head of language.
In the meantime, concerning this inaudible and purely visible instrument of discourse thus much is certain, viz. that of the characters of which it is composed, there is not one that can ever be spoken of but through the medium of an audible sign. But if, on the occasion of its being spoken of, each visible sign is provided with a correspondent audible one, it has thereby a distinct name, and in this way, and thus far, the Chinese instrument of discourse is placed upon a footing with that of Europe.
A name, therefore, in a word, an audible name, every such visible character cannot but have, in whatsoever nation employed,—the Chinese, for example, or the Japanese. But what is possible is, that, in one nation, a given character has one audible name, in another nation, another; and this is, as reported, actually the state of the case.
The touch has been mentioned above as one of the three senses, through the medium of which the operations of discourse are capable of being performed. This, accordingly, is a medium through which, in the case of the blind, by the help of modern ingenuity, it is customarily carried on. But where this is the one of the three conversible senses employed, it is never any otherwise than in a remote way, viz. through the intervention of one of the other two conversible ones,* if such they may be called.
In the case even of a blind person, this medium may be composed, not only of the ordinary audible, but of the ordinary visible signs, if so it be that he was once in possession of the sense of sight, and, at that time, made an acquaintance with the use and import of the ordinary visible characters.
Of late years the faculty of discourse has even been communicated to persons who, from their birth, were deaf; and, from that cause, or any other, at the same time, dumb;—but, in all these cases, such persons have been in possession of the sense of sight, and thereby have been rendered susceptible of discourse, and conversed by means of visible characters.
Should a human being ever be found unfortunate enough to be, from his birth, destitute of the sense of sight, as well as of that of hearing, to communicate to him the faculty of converse, or discourse in any degree, or to any purpose, will, it seems evident, be necessarily found altogether impracticable.
In the same deplorable case will any person be, who, being born deaf and dumb, shall lose his sight without having as yet received, in any competent degree, that sort of instruction, intellectual and literary, of which persons labouring under that complicated imperfection are susceptible.
Thus much, for the present, as to the signs, by means of which the operations denoted by the collective appellation discourse are carried on, and the correspondent faculty exercised.
The different classes, called Parts of Speech, into which, in each and every particular language these signs have been distributed, or found distributable; the mode and order, in respect of priority, in which these signs appear to have been formed;—these are topics which will be found in our way at an ulterior stage of our progress.
2.Minds to which,—modes in which application is made of these signs,—of the signs of which discourse or language is composed.
The mind to which, on any occasion, application is made of these signs, is either the mind of that person alone by whom they are employed, or the mind of some other person; in the latter case, the use made of them may be styled the transitive use; in the other case, the intransitive.†
Thus it is, that how intimately soever connected, designation, simple designation and discoursing, are different operations; without designation, discoursing, it is true, could not have taken place; but, without discoursing, designation may, and it frequently does, to a great extent, take place.
Not that, had it not been for the purpose of discourse, designation there seems reason to think, would ever have taken place; it is, accordingly, as it should seem to its intransitive use, that discourse or language is indebted for its existence.
So much more conspicuous is the transitive use of discourse or language, that, in comparison with it, the intransitive seems scarcely to have obtained notice.‡
In importance, however, it is second only to the transitive use. By its transitive use, the collection of these signs is only the vehicle of thought; by its intransitive use, it is an instrument employed in the creation and fixation of thought itself. Unclothed as yet in words, or stripped of them, thoughts are but dreams: like the shifting clouds of the sky, they float in the mind one moment, and vanish out of it the next. But for these fixed and fixative signs, nothing that ever bore the name of art or science could ever have come into existence. Whatsoever may have been the more remote and recondite causes, it is to the superior amplitude to which, in respect of the use made of it in his own mind, man has been able to extend the mass of his language, that, as much as to anything else, man, it should seem, stands more immediately indebted for whatsoever superiority in the scale of perfection and intelligence he possesses, as compared with those animals who come nearest to him in this scale.
Without language, not only would men have been incapable of communicating each man his thoughts to other men, but, compared with what he actually possesses, the stock of his own ideas would, in point of number, have been as nothing; while each of them, taken by itself, would have been as flitting and indeterminate as those of the animals which he deals with at his pleasure.
Of the seven or more distinguishable mental operations, to the performance of each language, now that it is formed, is instrumental and subservient,—viz. 1. Perception; 2. Recollection; 3. Attention, &c.; 4. Abstraction, whence imagination and invention; 5. Judication; 6. Designation; and 7. Converse, or communication of ideas; this of communication of ideas is but one. Look back upon these others, and you will see there is scarcely one of them to which, in respect of this its intransitive use, to which, in the character of a spring, as well as a regulator of thoughts, language, if not indispensably necessary, is not, in an eminent degree, subservient.
Of this proposition, the truth will appear in a still stronger and stronger light as the thread of the present discourse advances.
So far as depends on the personal use of each individual, independently of those uses which depend on the communication of his thoughts to other individuals at pleasure, for giving determinateness, and, in some degree, permanence to the matter of thought,—language, even of the partly audible kind,—language, even though destitute of the further help afforded by those visible signs which, in their nature, are susceptible of a duration equal to that of the whole human race, affords of itself no inconsiderable assistance.
But, in comparison with the determinateness, the permanence, and thence the improvement of which, even in the mind of though it be but a single individual, language is susceptible, by the means of visible signs, of improvement in itself, not to speak of subserviency to improvement in other objects, the utmost which it is capable of deriving from audible signs alone is but inconsiderable indeed.
By being thrown into measure composed of an appropriate mixture of syllables, such as, with reference to each other, shall require a comparatively long and a comparatively short portion of time for their utterance; by means of the additional association thus formed between import and sound, and by that means between import and import; by this means, or instead of, or along with, these modifications; by means of the regular recurrence after periods of limited and determinate length of similar sounds;—in a word, by rhythm, or by rhyme, or both,—additional permanence, or rather additional chance of permanency is, and at a very early stage in the progress of society and language, amongst most nations, has been given to audible language. But, after the utmost aid that can, in this way, be given, has been given; that which has been, or can be given, in this way, to the improvement,—that is, to the clearness, correctness, and extent of thought,—always has been; nor, in the nature of the case, would, or can, ever fail of being universally inconsiderable in comparison with that which has already been given,—not to speak of what further may remain capable of being given, by visible, that is, by permanent language.
Characteristic the Fourth.
Faculties to which Logic gives Direction and Assistance.
The faculties which it may occasionally belong to Logic to call forth into exercise, and give direction and assistance to, are neither more nor fewer than the whole number of the faculties distinguishable in the human frame.
If there be any to which it will be seen not to apply in so immediate and constant a way as it does to the rest, yet neither can these any more than those, fail to fall on this or that occasion, for this or that purpose, within the field of its cognizance.
Of the faculties of the human frame, the following may be considered as the proximate division.
Passive and active,—in one or other of these two divisions may every faculty distinguishable in the human frame be considered as included.
Physically passive and psychically passive,—under the one or other of these appellations may be included whatsoever faculties belong to the class of sensitively passive ones; physically passive, those sensitively passive faculties by which man is enabled, and made to experience such sensations as present themselves as having their seat in some determinate part of the body; psychically passive, the sensitively passive faculties by which man is enabled, and made to experience such sensations as not presenting themselves as having their seat in any determinate part of the body,—spring up, to all appearance, immediately, and in the first instance, in the mind.
Pathematically passive, and Apathematically passive,—under one or other of these appellations may be included whatsoever faculties belong to the class of physically passive ones; Pathematically passive, corresponding to those corporeal impressions which are accompanied either with pleasure or pain; Apathematically passive, corresponding to those impressions which are unaccompanied either with pleasure or pain,—with feelings of the pleasant, or with feelings of the unpleasant class.
While with the appetite of thirst upon him, a man drinks,—the liquid being, for example, water, a liquid destitute of all exhilirating, as well as of all sapid properties,—so long as the appetite is not yet completely satisfied, a sensation of the pleasureable kind continues;—when the appetite is completely satisfied, the operation may continue some little time without being productive of pain any more than of pleasure; but, continued for a certain ulterior length of time, it becomes productive of the sort of pain applied to the purpose of extracting confessorial evidence, under the Romano Gallic, Romano Batavian, and other modifications of the Romano Imperial Law.
Pathematically passive, and Apathematically passive,—to impressions made immediately on the mental part, without passing (otherwise than by the intervention of those signs of which discourse is composed) through the corporeal part of the human frame, may this same distinction be found to apply with no less propriety and use, than in the case just mentioned.
In the presence of three persons, A, B, and C, an article in a newspaper, respecting the death of a person therein mentioned, happens to be read; to A, the deceased was altogether unknown; to B he was an useful friend; to C, a troublesome enemy; in the mind of A the intelligence produces no sensation at all; in that of B an unpleasant one; in that of C, perhaps a pleasant one.
Originally active and derivately active,—under one or other of these appellations may be comprised every distinguishable modification of the active faculty of the human frame; to the head of the originally active faculty may be referred every exercise of the will, or determination of the will—or say volitional faculty, when considered apart from any act or operation performed in consequence and pursuance of it. An instance of the exercise of the originally active faculty is,—a mere wish, for the gratification of which, whether by reason of consciousness, of want of power, or at the suggestion of prudence, or through any other cause, nothing is done, no act is performed.
Physically active and psychically active,—under one or other of these appellations may be comprised every modification of the derivatively active faculty; to the head of the physically active branch may be referred every human act, in so far as any corporeal organ is employed in the exercise of it; to the psychically active branch, every human act in so far as the mind is employed in the exercise of it.
The observation made of, and consideration bestowed upon, these distinctions, are exercises of the psychically active branch of the derivatively active faculty of the mind, in the instance of him by whom these pages are composed; the committing to paper the signs of them, in the form of a written discourse, was an exercise of the physically active branch of the same derivatively active faculty: antecedently to the performance of these several operations, the determination to perform them was an exercise of the originally active faculty, the volitional.
Descending lower and lower into the region of particulars, with logic for its guide, sooner or later the mind would come to that list of faculties which, as already intimated, correspond not only in nature, but, with little exception even in name, with the articles already brought to view under the general name of operations,—so many operations, so many faculties; corresponding to each operation, a faculty considered and spoken of as if enabling a man to perform that same operation.
Characteristic the Fifth.
Main Instrument of Logic.
The grand instrument of thought, in general, and of thought directed to the purposes of logic, in particular, is the faculty of discourse, including the faculty of speech.
Under the head of operations, in or to the performance of which logic is capable of being rendered serviceable, mention was made of the faculty of expression, of discourse, of converse. Correspondent to this, as to any other operation, a demand may exist, and at any rate in the present instance, does exist for the mention of a correspondent faculty, say the faculty of giving expression to thought, the faculty of carrying on discourse, the faculty of holding converse with other persons, or say more concisely, the faculty of discourse, the faculty of converse, of which the faculty of speech is but a modification, and no more than one out of several modifications.
By means of this faculty, by the performance of the correspondent operations, a correspondent product has, in every nation, in every tribe or group of human beings, howsoever barbarous and uninstructed, been brought into existence. Numberless are the shapes in which the product has, among different assemblages and races of men, made its appearance. In whatsoever of these shapes it has made its appearance, one general appellation, language,—a language, is applicable for the designation of the collection of audible signs, of which, with or without a correspondent collection of visible signs or characters, it is composed. So many different collections of these signs employed by so many different tribes in the designation of the same collection of ideas, so many different languages.
Of the sort of product thus everywhere formed, so great is the importance, so universally extensive the use, that for all sorts of purposes there may be convenience in considering it, and speaking of it, in the character of an instrument in the hand of the mind, and more particularly in the hand of logic.
That language is an instrument of discourse, of converse, of communication between one mind and another, that it is the product of the sort of operation called expression, discourse, converse,—the work of the correspondent faculty: to speak of it in any such way is but tautology. But, as has already been noticed, it is an instrument not only of discourse, but of thought itself; an instrument by which not only are perceptions and ideas communicated, but ideas are formed—an instrument without the aid of which a man would neither be able to communicate to other minds any part of the thoughts of which the stock of his own mind consisted, but without which the greatest stock of those possessions which it would be possible to accumulate in his mind, would be but in an inconsiderable degree more ample than that with which the mind of the species of animal, be it what it may, which, in the scale of perfection, approaches the nearest to his own, is commonly provided.*
Accordingly, while on the present occasion, for the purpose of being held up to view in the character of an instrument, an instrument of thought as well as converse, it is at the same time taken for the subject of converse; it has, moreover, first, in the character of an instrument of thought, then in the character of an instrument of converse been employed and operated with.
Characteristic the Sixth.
Functions of logic, or functions to the performance or exercise of which, in relation to other arts and sciences, logic gives direction and assistance.
By the word functions, if it be not considered as exactly synonymous to the word operations, the mind will naturally be led to the idea of the sort of person expressed by its conjugate functionary—a functionary, considered in the character of a person, by whom, in virtue of some special engagement taken, or task undertaken by him, these several operations will, in the prosecution of some special design or other, in relation to this or that subject or subject-matter, come to be performed.
1. Learning. 2. Using, practising, employing, or applying. 3. Teaching. 4. Improving—viz. the acquirement, the art, the science in question: to one or other of these heads may be referred whatsoever course of operations, considered as having for their ideal subject-matter, any branch of art or science, have been in use to be considered as capable of being designated by the name of functions, any or all of them capable of being at the same or at different times exercised by the same hand, but all of them capable of being considered as the work of so many different hands, or of the same hands at different points of time.
Of the courses or modes of action, for the designation of which the word operation was employed, some there may be that may be found pre-eminently or even exclusively applicable to this or that branch of art or science, inapplicable to this or that other.
Of the more extensive courses of action for the designation of which the word function is here employed, there is not one that is not alike applicable, without exception or distinction, to every branch of art and science.
Characteristic the Seventh.
Uses of Logic, or Uses to which Logic is applicable.
In this case, as in every other, in the instance of this art as in regard to any other, a use is either a modification of the universal end, i. e. well-being, or a subordinate and subservient end, i. e. a means capable of being employed in contributing towards that same universal end.
Be the thing, be the object what it may, if it neither perform, nor contribute to the performance of service in either of these shapes, it is of no use,—real use it has none.
If it have anything belonging to it that can, with propriety and intelligibility, be termed use, it must be either by giving increase in a direct way to the aggregate mass of pleasure, or by applying defalcation to the aggregate mass of pain; or else by contributing or tending to contribute, in some way or other, to the production of one or other, or both of those ever desirable and ultimately only desirable effects.
Of the field of exercise of this art a sketch has already been given above; the aggregate of its uses is coextensive with that field.
Operations, faculties, main-instrument functions—the relation borne by logic to all these articles has just been brought to view: by the art of logic, assistance and direction is given to the mind, in the carrying on of all these its various operations, in the exercise of these its faculties, in the giving employment to that main instrument, in the performance of these its functions. Thus extensive and diversified are its uses: always remembered that on each occasion it is only in so far as, in and by the direction and assistance so given by it, increase is, in some shape or other, given to the balance on the side of happiness, that any use that can be made of this or any other instrument can be of any real value.
Præcognita: or, Preliminary and General Indications concerning Logic, according to the Aristotelians.
Definition of Logic according to the Aristotelians.
“An instrumental art, directing our mind into the cognition of all things that are intelligible.”* Such, according to Sanderson, is the definition of Logic, as given by the School of Aristotle.
Before the above, in the semblance of a definition, comes this short locution—Logic is the art of reason. For recollection, this short phrase may not impossibly have its use: for instruction, for original instruction, it is not in the nature of it to serve.
By this art—such according to the account thus given of it is its nature—the human mind is directed. Good, for so it is said to be by any other art, by every one of those fictitious entities that bear the name of art, Directed?—but into and in what?—Into knowledge—knowledge of all things intelligible, the only things capable of being known, subjectible to the dominion of knowledge: into knowledge, but into nothing else.
Meantime, unfortunately, of the field which nature has thrown open to the dominion of Logic, but over no more than one part out of two, nor that the most useful, did the Grecian philosopher, in so far as this account of what he did is the true one, cast forth his shoe. In point of use, of real utility, and thence, in point of real worth and true dignity, in so far as things are separate or separable, knowledge is inferior to art; so much so, that separated from art, all the knowledge which the human mind is capable of containing, would be of no use. According to their own showing, the logic of the Aristotelians is but an useless, which is as much as to say a worthless art; and so in respect of no small part, though not the whole of it, will it be found.
Even before the first sort of vague and uninstructive definition is completed, comes a parenthesis by which, of the narrowness of the extent attributed to the art by these its cultivators, intimation is given. “Logic,” says the Bishop’s Compendium, “which, according to the figure of synecdoche, is also called dialectica:” the figure of synecdoche is that figure of rhetoric by which the part is put instead of the whole. A very inauspicious commencement this for a treatise on an art which, as to one of its most useful branches, is the art of correct expression and true representation. Before so much as the definition of it is completed, in comes a formulary, taken from that art which, with little impropriety, might be termed the art of misrepresentation.
Again: the art called Logic is the same art, say they, as the art called Dialectics, which, being interpreted, is the art of disputation, viz. in mood and figure. What is true of the art of Logic is, that this art of disputation forms part and parcel of it; but is it thence also true that logic, and the art of disputation, are one and the same object?—that these names are names for one and the same thing? If so, then is a tree, and a branch of that same tree, the same things.
Again, Logic, according to the definition given of it by Aristotle and his followers is an art, the effect, or at least the aim of which is to lead a man to the knowledge of all things intelligible. By Aristotle and the Greek philosophers in general, knowledge taken in the aggregate was an object, on which, to judge from the comparative degree of attention paid to it, and from the comparative quantity of discourse bestowed upon it, a greater value was set then upon happiness itself; and as to its connexion with happiness, either it was regarded as something more valuable than happiness, or as something from the possession of which, in whatever part or shape, at least an equal quantity of happiness would follow, as of course.
Knowledge, or something that with them passed for knowledge, was the prerogative possession of these teachers and their disciples; for happiness, at least in so far as it was composed of pleasures and exemptions from pains, a capacity at least was shared with them by the vulgar herd: hence the transcendent and independent value ascribed by them to everything that went by the name of knowledge, or afforded anything like a promise or prospect of leading to it.
But happiness, including everything that for its own sake is worth having, everything that in itself is of any value, logic, to be of any value, must, in some way or other, be in every part conducive to; and it is only in so far as it is so conducive, that it is worth knowing—that an acquaintance with it is of any value.
Uses of Logic—Utilitates, according to the Aristotelians.
As to the uses of Logic—viz. of their Logic—none, though this topic has been brought to view by them, have the Aristotelians been able to find: practice, they say, will bring them to view. But if practice will, as they are pleased to find it convenient to suppose, bring them to the view of the learner, why not to that of the teacher; and if so it be that to his view it have brought them, why not specify them here at once, as he has done in the case of all the other topics.
Indistinct, indeed, must have been the notions attached by these logicians to the word utilitas. Else, instead of referring under the name of practice to the casual observation of each scholar, how could they have avoided referring to the indication which they themselves had but that instant been giving. Necessary is this art, say they, to the acquisition of every discipline, i. e. of everything that is, or can be the subject of instruction, by which, if they mean anything, they mean everything that is, or can be the subject of anything that ever did go, or ever can go, by any such name as either that of art or that of science. So many disciplines, so many uses—for each discipline a distinct, intelligible, and undeniable use—subsequently to which, in relation to each such discipline, might have come the inquiry into the particular mode in which it administers to well-being. How much more instructive and satisfactory would this indication have been, how much more commensurate with the truth, how much more honourable to the art, would have been such an indication of the uses, than the vague and self-humiliating put off;—go, look for them!—what they are we cannot tell you: if you have good luck, sometime or other you may find some of them yourselves.
End of Logic—Finis, according to the Aristotelians.
After the topic of the uses of Logic—the utilitates, and not before, comes in that list, the topic of the end, finis ejus (scilicet logicæ) i. e. the general end. But of Logic, as of anything else, what are the uses but either so many modifications of the general, the universal end, or so many means tending to the attainment of it? If so, first should have come the end, after that the uses; first the genus, then, and not till then, the species.
This end of logic, this end, when it does come, what is it? Is it the universal, the sole universal end—actually, as well as fitly and properly, the universal end—well-being, i. e. the maximum of pleasures alloyed by the minimum of pains? Not it, indeed: no such amplitude does it possess. It is confined, in the first place, to mere knowledge. But except, and in so far as in some shape or other, it leads to and is productive of well-being—a balance on the side of happiness, what is all the knowledge in the world worth? Just nothing.
In the next place, though the whole of knowledge it might be, and still be worth nothing, it is not so much as the whole of knowledge. Persons and things—under one or other of these heads, may be comprised the subjects of knowledge: of the two, persons a man would be apt to think the most interesting; but to persons, to what belongs to persons, it does not so much as profess to extend: it confines itself, and most pointedly, to things. Finis vero unicus, coqnitio scilicet rerum.
Knowledge of things, viz. either scientific alone, or at least scientific with the addition of unscientific. Knowledge of things, coqnitio rerum; beyond this even the pretensions of the Aristotelians, at any rate any distinct and explicit pretensions do not extend.
Far, indeed, however, were their actual attainments, far even their actual researches from coming up to these pretensions,
The knowledge of words, viz. the import of words,—this was the utmost point, within this field was contained the sum-total of their researches.
A certain sort of coincidence, to exhibit a demonstration, so they termed it, was with them the great work, the object, and, if attained, the fruit of all their ingenuity, and of all them labours.
This demonstration, when exhibited, what did it amount to?—an indication of a certain mode and degree of coincidence between the import of two words, and nothing more.
But this exploit, what did it require? It required that to all the several words employed the same import should have been annexed by the disputing parties. Suppose this identity to have place, then if the demonstration were correct, the opponent could not deny it without falling into a contradiction of terms. But this necessary condition suppose it in any part wanting, in this case no demonstration could take place; not so much as this faint semblance of and spurious substitute for knowledge.
Experience, observation, and experiment, these were the only processes by which real knowledge could be obtained; and by the boasted art of logical demonstration, to what extent soever employed, not a particle of knowledge was obtained through any one of these sources.
Of this assuming science, thus worthless was the end.
In truth, it was not simply worthless, it was positively pernicious. It was pernicious by drawing aside and keeping mankind for so many ages out of the only instructive track of study, as above-mentioned, into and in this uninstructive one.
But out of an ill-directed pursuit, it will sometimes happen that useful results may collaterally, and, as it were by a side-wind, be brought to light.
Though of all the propositions thus demonstrated or demonstrable, the value was, is, and ever will be equal to 0; though logical demonstration, the fruit of all this labour, was and is delusion; yet of the operations which had no other object than the formation and maturation of this fruit, many there are which have been, and will ever continue to be found, applicable to and continually applied to real and most important uses.
The demonstration of the Aristotelian may, in this respect, be compared to the philosopher’s stone. The stone was a nonentity; but in seeking for this nonentity, real entities, pregnant with real and important uses, were discovered in no inconsiderable numbers: for though the stone was never discovered, multitudes of substances applicable to the purposes of medicine and the arts were brought to light.
Functions of Logic—Officia according to the Aristotelians.
Of these no unapt description is given. It is by these functions, as by so many means, that Logic operates towards the attainment of its end.
According to this account, these officia—these functions seem to coincide with sufficient exactness, at least, as far as they extend, with the articles herein above brought to view by the name of operations,—operations of the human mind, or rather of the whole human frame, mind and body together, to all which, in some way or other, Logic is, or is capable of being rendered subservient;—all of them, in some way or other, directed to, and leading to the universal end to which, by the guidance it is capable of affording to them, Logic itself may be, and ought to be made to lead.
Thus much for the general nature of these functions, these means, these operations. But a list, the particular list, any particular list,—anything approaching, or so much as pretending itself to be, or to lead to the finding or formation of anything approaching to a complete list, where shall it be found? Assuredly not in the custody or power of these philosophers. Of these functions, some there are—what, or so much as how many, they cannot tell. Three, however, but no more than three, are what they know of, viz. definition, division, and ratiocination.
Concerning these several functions of Logic or mental operations, how indistinct and inadequate were the notions of these Logicians will be seen in another place.
Object, Matter, and Subjects, according to the Aristotelians.
Of this first chapter in Sanderson, the remainder consists of strings of words* to which no intelligible meaning has ever been attached, and of which no use, no intelligible, no sensible use, has ever been made, or been attempted to be made, which, without any the smallest loss, and with no small advantage, if saving of time and labour be an advantage, the reader may well spare himself the study of. Primary object, the mind; secondary object, language; subject-matter, viz. being and non-being: formal reason, the second intention: logical instruments, so many second notions:—all these so many other subjects.
Words more and more; confusion thicker and thicker: a wood in which, the further a man proceeds, or attempts to proceed, the more inextricably he will be bewildered. Greek, as usual, called in, and why?—that a meaning, which is not to be found in the Latin, may be supposed to be in the Greek.
The subject of Logic,—a subject of information, of operation, or of tractation: the subject of information, primarily the human mind—secondarily discourse or language. The subject of operation, the material subject, alias a theme, or the theme, alias an intelligible question, alias a πᾶγ γοητὸγ,—(a warming pan, a dripping pan, or a patty pan, would have been equally instructive.) The subject of tractation, the formal subject, which, if total and adequate, is a, or the, second intention; if principal, a syllogism, or more specially a demonstration. In all this heap of words will anything useful, or so much as intelligible, ever be found?
OF ARISTOTLE’S PREDICAMENTS AND POSTPREDICAMENTS.
Of the Ten Predicaments.
Aristotle’s Ten Predicaments are all of them either names of real entities or names of fictitious entities.
1. Substance, the first upon the list, is a name of a real entity,—of a species of real entity,—the only species of real entity that is perceptible, that belongs to the class of perceptible ones.
The nine names of fictitious entities are distinguishable into two groups.
2. and 3. Group the first, quantity and quality. Both these are affections of substance, i. e. of substances of bodies,—of the bodies the existence of which is made known to us by our senses. According to the sort of fiction which, in these instances, is necessary to the purpose of discourse, quantity is, as it were, a smaller body, which is in the substance in question, or a larger body in which the substance in question is. Quality is also, as it were, a small body in which the substance in question is, or it is a sort of object of, i. e. from which the substance of which it is the affection is considered as issuing;—a man is said to be of a quality.
In neither of these two cases does any object necessarily come in question other than the substance or body, real or fictitious, of which they are respectively the affections.
4. In the instance of all the remaining predicaments, seven in number, the predicament is the name of a relation. In the fourth instance, relation is itself the name of the predicament, and this name is the generic name with reference to which all the remaining predicaments are specific ones. They are all of them so many species of relation.
Of a relation it is the essential character to suppose the existence of two objects, between which the relation is spoken of as subsisting. Of this sort is the image, the sort of fictitious picture which the mind presents to itself; two objects—two bodies, of any sort, A and B—between them, an interval of space. In that interval the fictitious body, the relation, is conceived as placed,—for such is the picture exhibited to the mind by the word between, as often as it is applied to two bodies—to two substances of any kind.
5. and 6. By the words actio and passio are brought to view two of these fictitious bodies, between which the particular species of relation respectively denominated by them are considered and represented as subsisting, or having place.
Passio, passion, cannot be conceived of without actio, action. Concerning actio, action, the truth of that proposition, if it be true, seems not quite so clear. Suppose a body moving along in space: true it is that it has no other body on which it acts; but it seems too much to say that it does not act. To move is it not to act? Every motion is it not a species of action?
7. and 9. By the word ubi may be considered as designated place, with the several modifications and relations of which it is susceptible.
By the word situs, site, position, is on other occasions designated the same object, place, or, at any rate, the mode of being of the body, or portion of matter in question, with reference to place, i. e. with reference to its distance from other bodies.
In Sanderson’s Compendium, a distich is inserted, in and by which exemplification of all these several predicaments is exhibited. In the explanation thus given, stabo, I shall stand, is given as the exemplification of the word situs. Standing, at any rate, upon the face of the exemplification as it stands in these two verses in question, is a posture of the body, of the human body. But a posture,—that of standing—what is it? It is the result of the position or situation of the situs of the several parts of the body in question with reference to each other.
Here, then, is a predicament, situs, which is but a modification of, and has, accordingly, already been brought to view by and under a former predicament, ubi.
8. Two other incongruities are, moreover, here observable.—
1. In the first place, in company and on a level with the eight other names of predicaments, which names are all of them, as it was fit they should be, so many names of objects,—nouns substantives, come a pair of adverbs, viz. ubi, where, and quando, when.
2. In the next place comes an instance of disorder. Between the two words here employed to designate place, viz. ubi and situs, comes the word quando, employed to designate time.
10. Habitus, vesture, human clothing, for such is the intimation given by the corresponding portion of the illustrative distich, nec tunicatus ero.*
But clothing, human clothing, is it not a substance? Here, then, we have given, in the character of the name of a predicament distinct from all the rest, an article included under one of them, viz. the first.
Clothing, a predicament distinct from substance? On equal ground might additional predicaments, in any number, be stated as having existence, as being entitled to a place upon the list, many of them, perhaps most, a better title.
A curious predicament, a predicament, the exemplification of which is mere matter of contingency, a predicament which, at one time, had no existence, which in one place has, in another place has not, existence at this present time.
Before eating of the fatal apple, neither Adam, nor Eve his wife, had any clothing,—had possession, or so much as any idea of any such predicament. In fact, it had not any exemplification or any existence. At the very instant of its being placed, the first fig leaf that was ever placed, gave birth to this predicament, gave birth to the first individual from which the species, such as it is, pregnant with all the individuals that ever belonged to it, took its rise.
Of Aristotle’s Post-Predicaments.
Taken together, Aristotle’s Ten Predicaments were to include everything whatsoever. Yet, after this list of predicaments, comes presently a list of five other articles under the name of Post-Predicaments.
These five, how come they to be separated from the ten? For the designation of them, how happened it that a separate and different plan has been adopted?
Look at them and you will see out of the five, one, viz. the last employed, to signify a mixture altogether incongruous, the other four present as good a title as any of the original ten to admittance into the learned language.
Motion, though in this appendixious list, it occupies a place no earlier than the fourth out of the five, has not merely as good a title to a place upon the principal list, as one of those original ones, which are the only ones to whom a share in this general appellative is allowed, but, as will be seen below, a better title to be there.
1.Oppositio, opposition. This is manifestly a species of relation.
Of opposition, the Aristotelians distinguish four different modes.
2.Prioritas, priority. This, again, is another species of relation.
3.Simultas, simultaneity;—another relation, viz. that which takes place between two objects which, with reference to each other, are contemporary, i. e. exist in or during the same point or length of time.
4.Motus, motion. In the field of thought and action, this is an object of the most important and most extensive use.
Of all the ten Predicaments there is not one, substantia excepted, whose title to a place upon the list seems so uncontrovertible as that of this article. It is, as well as substance, matter, body, among the objects of which quantity and quality are predicable. Like substance it ought to have preceded these predicaments.
Actio, action, the fifth of the predicaments is but a species of motion related to motion as a species to its superordinate.
For its non-admittance into the list of predicaments what possible reason can have presented itself?
5. Fifth and last of these Post-Predicaments, Habere, in English—To have.
The discourse has, at this period, fallen off into nonsense, or something very near of kin to it. In the instance of the Ten Predicaments; in the instance of the four first of these Post-Predicaments, determinate ideas, and not mere words, were brought to view. A word is now introduced in the character of the name of a Post-Predicament, and to the word no determinate idea is attached. In the way of specification, what is given is not the modification of an idea, but a multitude or number of significations or senses in which it has happened to this same word to have been employed. Eight in number are these specifications;—eight, according to a statement in a succeeding chapter, is the number of these its different significations. Two, and no more, were the different significations included in the Predicament termed habitus, habit. These two form two out of the eight significations ascribed to habere, to have, this last of the Post-Predicaments.
MODE OF DISCUSSION.
Aristotelian and Socratic Modes—their Difference.
To inform, to be informed, to persuade, to expose to aversion or contempt, under one or other of these heads may be comprised, it is supposed, the supposed good, the advantage, whatever it be, which, in the character of an object or end in view, a man can have on the occasion of his spontaneously joining in discourse.
In so far as to inform or be informed is the whole of the object in view, the seat of what passes is in the understanding,—in so far as persuasion or exposure are in view, it is in the affections;—the affections, which, when excited to a considerable degree of intensity, are termed the passions.†
Great are the eulogiums that have been passed upon the mode of disputation that bears the name of Socrates, compared with that of Aristotle.—What is the real merit, i. e. the real use of it?
Thus much all possible modes of argumentation, consequently these, among the rest, have in common, viz. from some proposition to which assent is given on both sides, an endeavour on the part of the comparatively active collocutor to draw from the comparatively passive collocutor an assent to a proposition, to which the assent of the active collocutor has already been attached, but to which the assent of the passive collocutor has not been, or, at least, is not by the active collocutor supposed to be as yet attached:—whether it be that the mind of the passive collocutor has not as yet taken its side, or that having taken its side, the side it has taken is the opposite side, attaching its dissent to the side to which the mind of the active collocutor has attached its assent,—its assent to that to which the mind of the active collocutor has attached its dissent.
In any form of argumentation this sort of opposition is, if not in actuality, at least, in probability, an essential feature,—from first to last, the existence of it is in contemplation,—from first to last, on the part of the active collocutor, the object and design of his discourse is, to exclude it, and if not, to drive it out, to prevent it from taking place.
For the production of this effect what are the means employed!—what are the means which the nature of the case furnishes? This will presently be visible.
On the part of the passive collocutor, the state of his mind with reference to that of the active collocutor, is, as far as can be collected from his discourse, either negative or neutral; for simplicity sake, suppose it, according to the customary supposition, negative. In this case the discourse, the discussion, is termed a controversy, a debate.
The debate is carried on either with or without the privity of a third person or third persons. According to the customary supposition, it is carried on, not only with the privity, but in the presence of, third persons in an indefinite number.
Of the forms employed by the Aristotelians in their disputations, the function or immediate object is, to designate the several propositions which it is proposed to exhibit to the other interlocutor, say the adversary, for the purpose of his attaching to them successively and respectively the sign of his assent or dissent, of his concession or negation.
The denomination given to the proposition for the purpose of the argument, is one by which the sort of relation which it bears, or is designed to bear, to the other propositions with which it is accompanied and connected, is indicated, or intended to be indicated.
When, in consequence, or in the course of debate, one of the two collocutors passes over to the opinion of the other, a sort of superiority is, by such transition, ascribed to the one with reference to and at the charge of the other;—ascribed to the one whose declared opinion remains fixed, at the charge of him in the state of whose opinion a change has been produced,—a sort of superiority, viz. in the scale of wisdom, or knowledge, or intelligence;—on the part of the superior, the existence of power—a source of enjoyment—is testified to exist: on the part of the inferior, weakness—a source of suffering.
In regard to power,—not only is power itself a source of enjoyment, but so likewise is the reputation of it, i. e. the state and condition of him who is reputed to possess it. So, on the other hand, in regard to weakness, not only is weakness itself a source of suffering, but so likewise, is the reputation of it.
When reputation is mentioned simply, i. e. without addition, it is understood to be reputation of something desirable, of something of which the tendency is to produce enjoyment to him who possesses it. When a debate takes place (a contest for superiority—for the reputation of superiority—a contest, whether avowed or not, not the less real) the side on which the superiority is understood to take place is the side of that one of the collocutors, to which side the other passes. The side on which the inferiority is understood to take place is the side of him, who, from his own side, passes over to the opposite one.
From this source any more than from any other, a man will not subject or expose himself to suffering in any shape but for the avoidance of some apparently greater suffering, or for the obtainment of some apparently more than equivalent enjoyment.
Rather than, as above, acknowledge inferiority, he would continue uttering discourse to any effect, or, if that would serve the purpose, have recourse to silence.
But by silence no such purpose can, on such an occasion, be served. On the contrary, the opposite effect is produced. It is only by action that superiority can be displayed or exercised;—by inaction, whether in the shape of silence or in any other, on any occasion on which action is necessary to the display of superiority, nothing but inferiority and weakness is displayed.
Remains in, and for the sole refuge, discourse. But what discourse? Discourse by which, in the debate in question, the reputation of superiority is capable of being obtained,—discourse by which the reputation—the imputation of inferiority, is capable of being avoided, is, by the supposition, not to be found. But all discourse not conducive to that desirable end is either irrelevant, i. e. unimportant or erroneous. Now, it is only by such discourse as is, at the same time, pertinent and correct, that, on the occasion of a debate, the imputation of weakness can be avoided.
In proportion, as in case of irrelevancy, the irrelevancy,—in the case of erroneousness, the erroneousness, is manifest and glaring, absurdity is the quality universally ascribed to the discourse,—absurdity is the character ascribed to the mind of him by whom it is uttered.
Of debate, in whatever form carried on, what, then, is the object of him, the course taken by him, by whom an active part is taken in it? Answer: So to shape his discourse, that, on return to it, the adversary shall, for the avoidance of a still more afflictive humiliation, submit to the humiliation of coming over to his side. But such will be the effect, if, in return to the discourse, whatever it be, which is uttered by the more active of the two debaters, the discourse uttered by the other is of such a nature as to be, in the eyes of all competent judges, either palpably irrelevant or palpably erroneous.
A case in which irrelevancy is carried to as high a pitch as possible, is that of nonsensicalness; for discourse which has, or propositions that have, not any meaning at all, cannot, with reference to any discourse that has a meaning, be relevant.
What does the Socratic method of disputation?
The Socratic method employs not any such determinate mode and figure as that which is employed by the Aristotelian, nor, in a word, any mode or figure, except in so far as the use of a modification of what the Grammarians call the imperative mood may be styled, as it is by the Rhetoricians, a figure.*
In the Aristotelian method the person by whom is borne the principal part in the debate advances himself the propositions that are brought forward.
Now, then, as to the difference between the Aristotelian method of disputation or debate and the Socratic.
What does the Aristotelian?
Answer: In bringing up his arguments, the object and endeavour of the active collocutor is, previously so to frame and marshal them, that, at the issue, the adversary shall not be able to express his dissent from the proposition, or string of propositions, advanced by him without advancing a proposition palpably erroneous or irrelevant.
In this view all the propositions which, for the reduction of the adversary to this unwelcome dilemma can be necessary are so framed, that while without error, as supposed dissent cannot in relation to the last link in the chain be expressed, without absurdity the expression either of dissent or assent (in which last case the proselytism is acknowledged) cannot be refused.†
The Disputative Branch of Aristotle’s Logic,—in what respects it failed.
In respect of miscarriage and success, the character and lot of the art of logic, as taught by Aristotle, may be considered as a sort of prototype of the art of alchemy, as taught by the searchers after the universal medicine, the universal solvent, and the philosopher’s stone. In both instances, in respect of the ultimate object, a complete failure was the result; but, in both instances, in the course, and in consesequence, of the inquiry, particular discoveries of no small use and importance were brought to light.
Of the art of logic, according to the profession made by the Aristotelians, the professed object was, the communication, in which was necessarily implied the attainment of knowledge, correct and complete knowledge; a perfect acquaintance with relation to everything knowable by human faculties: knowledge, and that not slight, superficial, and imperfect, but correct and complete, viz. such as it was in the nature of the instrument called demonstration to produce.
So much for profession; now for the result. For about two thousand years, little more or less, the precepts of this art have been before us; and the result is, that, of the whole amount of things knowable, there is not a single one concerning which the smallest particle of knowledge has been found obtainable by means of it.
On the contrary, the nature of it is now, or may now, be seen to be such, that, by means of it, of no one thing can any sort or degree of knowledge, at any time, by any possibility, be obtained.
Experience, Observation, Experiment, Reflection, or the results of each and of all together; these are the means, these are the instruments by which knowledge, such as is within the power of man, is picked up, put together, and treasured up, and of no one of these, in the whole mass of the Aristotelian logic, is so much as a syllable to be found.
The import of words,—in this short expression will, in truth, be found the subject, the only subject of it; in such or such a manner, the import of this or that word agrees or disagrees with the import of this or that other.
On this occasion—a notion, and that an erroneous one—a proposition, and that a false one—was all along involved: this is, that to each word was an import naturally inherent, that the connexion between the sign and the thing signified, was altogether the work of nature.
What is now pretty generally, and at the same time, pretty clearly, understood, is, that the connexion between a word and its import is altogether arbitrary, the result of tacit convention and long-continued usage; and, of the truth of this proposition, the short proof is the infinite diversity of languages,—the infinite multitude of signs by which, in the different languages, the same object has been found represented.
The case is, that so firmly connected by habit are the connexions between these signs, and the things which they have respectively been employed to signify and present to the mind, that, in Aristotle’s time, men had not learned sufficiently to distinguish them from one another; and of this inability, one consequence, and thereby one proof, was their aptitude, as often as they observed a word which, in its grammatical form, purported to be the name of a thing, (that form being the form that had been given to such words as were really, and in truth respectively, the names of things,) to infer the existence of a particular sort of real thing corresponding to that word, the observation not having been as yet made that the purposes of human converse could not, in any instance, have been attained, unless to such words as are names of real entities, a mixture, and that a large one, had been added of words which are but so many names of so many purely fictitious entities.
Of useful Instruction how much, and what has been obtained and obtainable from it?
Thus completely (it has been seen) has the disputative branch of this art, that which was regarded as the main and crowning branch, failed in the accomplishment of its promise.
But (besides that as hath been observed in and by the precedent and supposed subservient branches of the same system of instruction,—many, and very useful, helps to instruction, helps to the human mind in its labours in the field of art and science, and even in that of ordinary discourse and converse were afforded)—so it is, that neither has this part of the system, notwithstanding the completeness of its failure, so far as concerns its principal object, been altogether without its use.
Of this use, the following description may, perhaps, serve to convey a general, though antecedently to explanation, not, perhaps, a very determinate idea.
The use of the Aristotelian logic consists in the furnishing to discourse a certain form, whereby, if any two parties agree in the employment of it, it will, in relation to any topic of discourse at pleasure, all along be seen in what, if in any, particulars they agree, and in what, if in any, they disagree.
It operates, to borrow an image from Chemistry, as a sort of menstruum or agent, whereby the portion of discourse placed in it is decomposed, and that part, if any, in which they agree, is lodged in one place, that part, if any, in which they disagree in another place: such of this instrument has been found the effect.
Such as above, and in so far as the instrument has been employed, has been found to be the effect; but the means, the means by which this effect has been produced, what it may naturally be asked have they been?
The answer appears to be twofold.
1. This form being a received and acknowledged test of truth, shame keeps men of sense from refusing to subject their discourse to it.
2. It cannot serve but in proportion as the same ideas have been generally annexed to the same signs, but in so far as this, notorious shame keeps men from denying and questioning it.
RELATION OF LOGIC TO THE BUSINESS OF HUMAN LIFE IN GENERAL, AND THEREIN TO ARTS AND SCIENCES, i. e. TO DISCIPLINES.
Distinction between Disciplines and Occupations at large, its indeterminateness. Disciplines are Arts or Sciences—Distinction between Art and Science, its indeterminateness.
By what is it that the exercise of arts, and the acquisition of sciences, are distinguished from occupations at large? By what is it that the field of art, and that of science, are distinguished from each other.
On these several topics, clear conceptions must be formed and entertained, or the view taken of the field of thought and action, on the one hand, and the relation borne to it by the art of logic, on the other hand, will be unsteady and confused.
On these several topics, clear conceptions must be formed and entertained, or it cannot be understood what an art is, what a science is.
On these several topics clear conceptions must be formed and entertained, or it cannot be understood what is the proper matter for a work bearing the name of an Encyclopedia; where its subject begins, and where it ends.
As often as the words arts and sciences are pronounced, a natural, and, it is believed, a very general, not to say universal, supposition is—that, in the first place, arts and sciences taken together, are different and distinguishable from whatever is neither art nor science; in the next place, that art and science are no less clearly different and distinguishable from each other.
A supposition to this effect, how could it fail either to have been found, or to have been generally entertained? Wheresoever a difference in name presents itself to view, a correspondent difference in nature is, of course, inferred. What can be more natural than such an inference, and, in general, more reasonable than such an inference? The marking of correspondent differences in nature is the very purpose for which differences in nomenclature were invented and established.
Thus much is, indeed, undeniable. Unfortunately, besides that, while distinctions in name, without correspondent differences in nature, are not without example, an inconvenience much more frequently exemplified is, that of the classes or aggregates, for the designation of which these names are employed, the limits are far from being determinate.
As yet, throughout the whole field of language, which is as much as to say, throughout the whole field of thought and action, imperfections such as these are to be found in but too great abundance; little by little, from industry, guided by discernment, they may however expect a cure. In so far as conceptions are already distinct, apt denominations will find the public mind already disposed and prepared to receive and employ them at the first word, and thus the imperfection will be remedied before the existence of it has been so much as noticed. But, where conceptions are still confused and discordant, the imperfections may still be capable of receiving a remedy at the hands of individual industry, but before men can be induced to receive and make use of the remedy, it will, in general, be necessary that the existence of the imperfection, with its attendant inconveniences, should first be held up to view.
The plain truth of the matter seems to be this,—between the field of art and science, and the remainder of the field of thought and action, there exists not any assignable difference; correspondent to these denominations, what there exists in the case, is a difference in the state of the mind of those by whom the part in question, of that field, is cultivated; where the nature of the case requires an operation to be performed, and of that operation the performance is regarded as requiring study, i. e. a certain degree of attention and a certain degree of labour, employed in fixing it; then it is, that in speaking of the operation done, the word science, or the word art, or both together, are employed.
In so far as, whether with or without, a view to further action, so it is that, in the receipt and collection of the ideas belonging to the subject, perceptible labour is employed, then it is that the word science is employed, and such portion, whatever it be, of the field of thought and action to which the labour is applied, is considered as a portion of the field of science. In so far as a determinate object, in the character of an end, being in view, operation in the particular direction, is recurred to for the attainment of that end,—that portion, be it what it may, of the field of thought and action to which the labour is applied, is considered as part and parcel of the field of art.
Of the Business of human Life in General; and hence of Arts, Sciences, and Disciplines.
An occupation, the performance of which is considered as not requiring study:—An occupation, the performance of which is considered as requiring study; i. e. a course of labour, viz. mental alone, or mental and bodily together, in the endeavour to perform it in a manner conducive to the end in view; under one or other of these descriptions may every sort of occupation, which was, is, or ever can be exercised by any human being, be comprised.
Occupations of the studious kind, consisting in the acquiring, or endeavouring to acquire, what is called knowledge; i. e. the obtaining correct conceptions and judgments in relation to the subject in question, but without action in any shape, except that which is exerted or employed in the attainment of those conceptions, and the formations of those judgments, may be called speculative.
The acquisition of science is the result or object of occupations of the speculative class; in the exercise of occupations, which consist in the performance of some operation, consists the exercise of art.
To the number of the Disciplines—the arts and sciences taken together—the nature of the case admits not of any fixed limit.
At any given period, suppose the actual number of them to be what it may; for adding to that number, the nature of things will always furnish two courses. One is logical decomposition, taking in hand any discipline that at present has a name, considering the name of it as a generic name, and giving a particular name to some species, now for the first time distinguished from all other species contained under that generic name, and now for the first time fitted out with a particular name for itself; the other is taking out of the waste field of ordinary and undenominated practice, a mode of operation, and transplanting it into the enclosed and cultivated field of disciplines, of arts and sciences.
Of things capable of being known, there is not anything that may not be considered as the subject of a science.
Of things capable of being done, there is not anything that may not be considered as the subject or object of an art.
Among things capable of being known, between such as are considered as subjects of science, and any which are considered as not being subjects of science, the only distinction that can be assigned is this,—viz. that in the one case the thing is supposed to be capable of being known without effort, exertion, study; in the other case not:—effort, viz. either when it is considered in and by itself, or when it is considered in respect of some relation to other things, without the knowledge of which relation it is regarded as not being, properly speaking, capable of being known,—the relation being such as is considered as not being capable of being known without effort.
But by this account of it, every such distinction, it is seen, cannot but be an indeterminate one. Efforts vary in degree down to 0; and on the occasion of the knowledge of that object, to the knowledge of which effort is, in the instance of this or that individual, necessary; in the instance of this or that other individual, no perceptible effort will be necessary.
In so far as among an assemblage of things there exists such a relation as has the effect of causing such assemblage to be considered as constituting a whole; if, in so far as in the case of the class of men in question, that whole be of such a nature, as that the knowledge of that whole, or any considerable portion of it is considered as requiring a considerable degree of effort for the obtaining of it, this whole will naturally be considered as constituting the object of a science.
And so in the case of anything which, by a man, has occasion to be done.
To a considerable extent, different assemblages of these noscenda and facienda; of these subjects or objects of disciplines, have received names,—separate and specific names. And in some of these instances, the discipline has been commonly spoken of and considered as a science; in others as an art.
Where the effort, considered as necessary to the knowing what is to be known, is considered as greater than the effort considered necessary to the knowing what is to be done, the discipline has been put upon the list of sciences; in the opposite case, upon the list of arts.
The use of these observations is to obviate perplexing doubts, and useless and interminable disputations; doubts and disputes, the effect of which is, so far and so long as they have place, to keep involved in clouds the whole field of intellection, including not only the whole field of art and science, but the whole field of ordinary life and conversation.
The several disciplines, being each of them a means of happiness or well-being, considered with relation to mankind taken in the aggregate, the thing to be desired with a view to their happiness, is, that the quantity of disciplines should at all times be as great as possible. Say for shortness,—subservient to the maximum of happiness, is the maximum of disciplines.
But each portion of discipline, requiring for the acquisition of it a corresponding portion of time, and various disciplines being of such a nature, that the acquisition of them requires, in the character of a condition precedent, and sine quâ non, the possession of a particular situation in life; such, that the number of those within whose reach the faculty of occupying it is comparatively inconsiderable; hence it is, that to no one individual is the possession of this maximum of disciplines at any point of time possible.
Relation to well-being, the most instructive Bond of Connexion to all Arts and Sciences.
Logic, say the Aristotelians, is the art by which the mind of man is conducted to the tabernacle of knowledge. Let us now add,—in its road to the temple of happiness.
In this route, then, happiness is the polar star by which our steps will be guided—the test to which the several portions of knowledge will be subjected—the standard by which their value will be tried.
By the relation which the respective disciplines bear to happiness, the relation they bear to each other will be indicated and brought to view;* and in this manner a new mode of training will be applied to the celebrated Encyclopedical tree, cultivated with so much ingenuity and success by Bacon and D’Alembert.
Handmaid, or rather governess, to each individual art and science, Logic beholds, comprehended within her all comprehensive domain, the particular domain of each.
Application of Logic to advancement in the other branches of Art and Science.
By one single memento, as much may be done towards advancement in all the several branches of art and science, as by everything put together that can follow it.
On the occasion of every art and science, place before you continually the use or uses capable of being made of it, always with reference to happiness, in so far as capable of being influenced by it. For shortness, say, Look out for the end in view. More shortly still, and for strengthening the impression, borrowing an ancient and foreign language—Aspice finem.
Only by attention to the end—only in so far as attention is paid to the end, can improvement, in any shape, be made. Only with reference to use, understand always to the augmentation of happiness, in some shape or other, has knowledge, how consummate soever, any claim to attention;—only by its subserviency to practice, has knowledge any use,—only by its subserviency to art, is science in any shape of any use.
By science, we mean knowledge considered in respect of the attention employed in, or requisite to, the attainment of it.
Such being the course recommended with a view to advancement (whether in respect of the mode of learning and teaching the art and science in its present state, or by giving extension to the quantity of knowledge possessed, and the success with which the art is practised at present,)—of this memento, what is the use and need?—whence does it arise? Answer, it arises from the fact,—that the course commonly pursued is a different one. It consists in proceeding in the track in which others have proceeded: eyes directed constantly to the investigation of that track: never turned directly to the end in view.
Blind imitation track,—goose track,—sheep track;—geese follow the first that starts—sheep follow the bell-wether.
The track that presents itself as leading to the end in view, is the track pointed out by reason,—the track that others have travelled in, or are supposed to have travelled in, is the track pointed out by custom.
Changing the metaphor,—let reason be fruitful, custom barren. So preached Bacon, but hitherto with comparatively small effect—with small effect in comparison with what the reasonableness of the instruction upon the face of it would lead us to expect. To preserve the image, the fruitfulness of reason, has been that of the Foumart,—of custom that of a Doerabbit.
So little frequented is this only reasonable course, that whoso, in the study of any science, or practice of the corresponding art, is seen to pursue, or suspected to pursue it, is in such sort, and to such a degree thereby distinguished from the general run of the cultivators of that same art and science, as to be regarded as standing alone, and affecting singularity; and as such, becomes the object of a mixture of contempt and jealousy and envy:—of contempt, in so far as this practice of his is regarded as indicative of folly,—of jealousy, in so far as his success, and thereby his chance of superiority with reference to the person thus occupied in making observation of him, is an object of apprehension,—of envy, in so far as it is a subject matter of conviction and belief. Innovation is the word, by the use and application of which, expression is given to the sentiment of displeasure towards the person in speaking of the practice. Of the practice, and by reason of it, the practiser, it is made known that they are sources and objects of a sentiment of displeasure in the breast of the person by whom the word innovation is thus applied.
CLEARNESS IN DISCOURSE, HOW TO PRODUCE IT? AND HENCE OF EXPOSITION.
Seats of unclearness,—the Words or their connexion,—Exposition what?
A sentence, in the grammatical sense of the word sentence, consists either of a single proposition, in the logical sense of the word proposition, or of a number of such propositions; if of one only, it may be termed a simple sentence,—if of more than one, a compound sentence.
A proposition is clear, in proportion as it is clear—that is, free—at the same time from ambiguity and obscurity.
Clearness is, on every occasion, relative;—relation being had to the person considered in the character of hearer or reader.
There exists not, nor ever will exist, any proposition that is perfectly clear to every hearer and reader. There exist but too many that neither will be, nor ever have been to any one;—not so much as to those by whom they were respectively framed.
Instances are not, however, uncommon where ideas, which in the mind of him, by whom the discourse meant for the communication of them, was uttered, were perfectly clear, are expressed in such a manner as not to be clear to any one else. Clear in the conception—clear in the expression—clear in neither,—clear in the conception alone, not in the expression; if in the conception a set of ideas were not clear, it is not natural that they should be clear in the expression, yet by accident it may happen to them so to be.
Where unclearness (why not unclearness as well as uncleanness) has place in a discourse, the seat of it will be either in the words or in the syntax:—in some one word, or number of words, each taken singly, i. e. without regard to the mode of their connexion, or in that mode itself; in the state of their mutual relations with reference to the import of each other.
In so far as the seat of the unclearness is in the words taken singly,—clearness has for its instrument, exposition. Exposition is a name which may, with propriety, be applied to the designation of every operation which has for its object, or end in view, the exclusion or expulsion of unclearness in any shape;—to the operation, and thereby (for such, on the present occasion, is the poverty, and thence the ambiguity of language) to the portion of discourse by which the end is endeavoured to be accomplished, and by which the operation of accomplishing it is considered as performed.
Subjects to which Exposition is applicable.
Be the exposition itself what it may, a subject it cannot but have;—a subject to which it is applicable.
This subject,—what may it be? What are the diversifications of which it is susceptible? Questions to which, in the first place, an answer must be provided. Why? because, on the nature of the subject will depend the nature of the mode of exposition of which it is susceptible.
In relation to the subject of this instrument of clearness, two observations require to be brought to view in the first place.
1. The subject of exposition, viz., the immediate, and only immediate, subject, is, in every case, a word.
2. That word is, in every case, a name: i.e. a word considered in the character of a name.
Exposition supposes thought.—A word is a sign of thought. How imperfectly soever,—in a manner how deficient soever in respect of clearness,—thought, it is true, may be expressed by signs other than words,—by inarticulate sounds,—by gestures,—by deportment. But as often as any object has been considered in the character of a subject, of or for exposition, that object has been a word;* —the immediate subject of exposition has been a word:—whatsoever else may have been brought to view, the signification of a word—of the word in question, has been brought to view:—the word is not only a subject, but the only physically sensible subject, upon and in relation to which the operation called exposition has been performed.
Of the two cases which follow, for the purpose of this inquiry, convenience seems to require that the first place should be allotted to the case where the exposition takes for its subject, an object proposed to be expounded, as well as the word with the assistance of which, in the character of its sign, the object is proposed to be expounded;—the second place to the case, where, without reference to any particular object or class of objects, the exposition takes for its subject a word considered in the character of a sign, which, for the designation of some object, or class of objects, is wont to be employed.
Mode of Exposition where the Thing which is the Subject is an Individual—Individuation—Individual and Generic.
Thus much being premised, the word in question is either the name of an individual object, or the name of a species or sort of objects.
If it be the name of an individual object, individuation is the general name by which the only mode of exposition, of which (regard being had at the same time to the subject) the name of an individual object is susceptible.
Individual individualization, or say, individuation,—generic, or specific individuation,—by these two denominations may be distinguished two modes of individuation, which, for practical purposes, may require to be distinguished.
Individual individuation is, where, in relation to an individual object, an indication is endeavoured to be given, whereby, or by the help of which, an individual object may be distinguished from any or all other individual obects wherewith it is regarded as being liable to be confounded.
Take, for instance, on the surface of the earth, the designation of the several distinguishable portions which it contains; and into which, physically or psychically speaking, it is capable of being divided. In so far as the portion in question is considered as relatively large, geography is the portion of art and science, to which, with the help of astronomy, the individuation of the object is considered as appertaining:—Topography, in so far as it is considered as relatively small. From geography will be sought, on the surface of the terraqueous globe, the portion distinguished by the name of Europe; from geography, again, in Europe, England,—in England, London, and Westminster; [from topography] in London and Westminster, Queen’s Square Westminster, and Queen’s Square Place.
Generic, or Specific Individuation.—By this appellative may be distinguished the operation which has place in the case where, regard being had to a genus of objects, as distinguished by a generic name, instructions are given, having for their object the causing men to be agreed in determining within what limits or bounds an individual, when designated by and under that name, shall be considered as limited, so as to be distinguished from all objects which are regarded as liable to be confounded with it,—or in relation to any individual aggregate, likely to be considered as designated by that name, of what elements that aggregate shall be considered as composed.
The field of law is the field in which the demand for this mode of individuation, for this mode of exposition, is most copious and most urgent, and the use of it most conspicuous and incontestable.
In the individuation of moveable physical objects, the instruments are conjunct portions of time and space.—Axiom. No two portions of matter can exist at the same portion of time in the same portion of space.
Mode of Exposition where the Teacher and Learner have no common Language.
1.Representation.—If all words were significative of real entities, and if these were all objects which might at all times be brought within the reach of the perception both of the learner and the teacher, exposition would be easy and consist in the pointing to the object in question, and pronouncing at the same time the word which it is wished to attach to it as its name. This is exposition by signs, and may be termed representation. Among persons who have no common language by which they can communicate their ideas, this is at first the only practicable method, and we see it continually exemplified when a child is taught to speak, or a foreigner who understands no words with which we are acquainted, or who cannot make use of dictionaries or any other written explanations of our words, is instructed in our language.
Next to these names of real entities, perceptible and present, those which are the most readily expounded by representation, are names of collective fictitious entities. By representing successively a number of objects comprehended in the collective fictitious entities,—book, plant, &c., we may easily succeed in attaching to those words in the learner’s mind, a general idea of the sense we attach to them, and which, though at first very vague and imperfect, will, at any rate, serve as the groundwork of the discourse by which a clearer and more correct exposition may subsequently be given.
A generic idea once formed, the meaning of words indicative of specific differences, may be deduced from it; still, by mere representation, not perhaps the substantive names of that class of fictitious entities called relations, but those abbreviate words called adjectives, which designate at once the relation or property, and the fact of its being attributed to the object represented. A great book, a little book, a yellow flower, a red flower, &c., may be thus expounded, whilst the explanation of the words greatness and smallness, colour, &c., may require one or other of the species of discourse which are comprehended among the other modes of exposition.
As yet, however, we have but substantives and adjectives, and without verbs, no discourse can be held,—no farther exposition given, and consequently, no clear ideas communicated: we must again have recourse to representation, but in a manner far more complicated. Taking verbs expressive of operations as the most simple, it will be necessary to repeat the operation in question, within the reach of the senses of the learner, a number of times more or less considerable, according to his intellectual powers, before we can have any security for his attaching to the word the idea we wish to convey.
Thus, by taking successively a variety of things, and alternately putting them in motion, and pointing to them, whilst at rest, and pronouncing on each occasion either the words I move, (naming the thing whatever it may be,) or the name of the thing with the words at rest, the constant repetition of the same word will soon cause the mind of the learner to attach to it the idea required. A phenomenon, which appears to depend particularly on that passive property of the mind, which may be designated by the name of habit. It is evident, however, that great mistakes may frequently occur in the learner’s mind in these cases,—if, for instance, all the things represented as being in motion happen to be red, and all these which are spoken of as being at rest are white, he may just as well attach to the words I move, the meaning red, and to these at rest, the meaning white, as the signification intended to be conveyed.
The exposition by representation of the substantive verbs to be and to have, and of prepositions and other expletives necessary in the composition of discourse, must then be undertaken. But it will, in most cases, be still more complicated, and consequently, still more liable to misconception. As soon, however, as any tolerable degree of certainty is obtained of the having conveyed a sufficiently adequate idea of the signification of these several classes of words, extensive enough to form a connected discourse, a more exact exposition may then be undertaken in that one of the other modes which may be found most suited to the object in question.
Modes of Exposition, by Comparison with Words, intelligible to both Teacher and Learner.
The two modes comprehended under this head are Translation and Etymologization.
1.Translation.—Exposition by translation is performed by mentioning a word already known to and understood by the learner, and by giving it as expressive of the same idea or image of the one represented by the word to be expounded. The proposition man is what you, a Spaniard, call hombre; Oxide of hyrodgen is what you, in ordinary conversation, call water; are expositions by translation of the words man and oxide of hydrogen.
This operation supposes the ideas represented by the word in question to be equally well-known to both learner and teacher; and in that case only will this mode suffice. If the idea entertained by the learner with reference to the words hombre or water be not exactly the same as that of the teacher, (as will frequently be the case,) a further exposition is necessary by some other mode.
From the two examples given above, it may be inferred, that exposition by translation may be usefully employed for two distinct purposes: 1st, for teaching words in the same language more convenient for particular purposes, because they are those made use of by this author, or that practitioner, with whom it is the learner’s interest to become conversant; or, 2dly, because the word is more convenient for use than the one the learner is already acquainted with.
Sets of words thus translated for the use of particular classes of learners, and arranged in an order convenient for reference, are compiled under the name of Dictionaries of Languages,*Dictionaries of Technical Terms, Dictionaries of Synonyms; and may furnish examples of the very extensive use of the mode of exposition. In the case of the two latter dictionaries, however, very few expositions are, by mere explanation, particularly in the case of synonyms, this name having been unfortunately given sometimes to words which have exactly the same meaning, sometimes to those which have nearly the same meaning, an inconvenience which I shall more fully expose under the head of synonymation.
In physical sciences, where the use of exact exposition has been so much felt of late, the word synonym has retained its correct signification, and the name of synonomy is given to a collection of results of translation, and may serve as an excellent example of this mode of exposition, applied to the second of its two above-mentioned purposes. A similar synonomy or translation of the leading words of many ethical, noological, or pathological works, would throw a singular light upon many subjects of controversy between authors hitherto irreconcileable.
2.Etymologization.—By etymologization I do not mean to indicate that long and uncertain investigation of the various changes and transformations of sense and sound which a word has undergone in the course of time,—that search after etymology which leads into so many blunders, and which, though sometimes productive of a certain degree of advantage to the study of some sciences, is more frequently of no other use than mere momentary amusement. The operation I have now in view is the exposition of inflected words and conjugates by the exhibition of the root from which they are derived.
The distinction between inflection and conjugation will be more fully given when we come to the analysis of language. In the meantime, for the understanding of the above definition, I shall only mention that I comprehend under the terms inflected words and conjugates all such words as are modified in part so as to change their signification, corresponding modifications being applicable, with the same effect, to a number of other words. The original words thus to be modified go under the name of roots. Thus from the root rego are derived the several inflected words and conjugates rexi, rectum, regnans, regnum, inter-regnum, rex, regalis, &c. &c.
In all cases where each inflection has a particular name, which, as well as the root, is equally well understood by both learner and teacher, exposition by etymologization will suffice, and should be preferred to any of the succeeding ones as being next in simplicity to translation. Thus the expression rexi is the first person singular, perfect tense, and indicative mood of the verb rego. Children’s is the genitive case, plural number, of the substantive child—Reader is the name of the operator that relates to the operation to read—will immediately give a clear and correct idea of their meaning to one who understands already the names of the classes of inflection, first person, plural number, perfect tense, indicative mood, genitive case, operator relating to an operation, and of the roots rego, child, to read.
Whenever this is not the case, etymologization will not suffice; but even then, whenever an inflected word occurs, it is almost always more advantageous to reduce it to its root, to expound that root, and to explain the class to which the inflection belongs. As a general rule, we may say, that exposition by etymologization, as well as by translation, should be given, whenever the case admits of it, either alone or in conjunction with any of the other modes.
Modes of Exposition where the Subject is a Class.
1. Definition, meaning the sort of operation and correspondent work ordinarily understood by that name. 2. Operations and works incidentally employed as preliminary and preparatory to that of definition, say preparatory operations. 3. Operations incidentally employed as subsequential and supplementary to that of definition, say supplementary operations. 4. Operations which, in certain cases in which the purpose cannot be accomplished by definition—understand by definition in that same form, require to be performed in lieu of it,—say succedaneous operations. By one or other of these subordinate appellations may the operation of exposition, in every shape of which it is susceptible, it is believed, be designated.
To define a word is to give indication of some aggregate in which the object of which it is the sign is comprehended, together with an indication of some quality or property which is possessed by that same object, but is not possessed by any other object included in that same aggregate.
Elliptically, but more familiarly, to define a word is to expound it by indication of the genus and the difference—per genus et differentiam, say the Aristotelians.
In this account of the matter, two things, it may be observed, are, howsoever inexplicitly, assumed, viz. 1. That the object in question belongs to some nest of aggregates.* 2. That it is not itself the highest, the most capacious, the all-comprehending aggregate of the nest: in other terms, that the word is not of the number of those the import of which is not included in the import of any other of the words employed in giving names to aggregates; that it belongs to some nest of aggregates, and that it is not itself the most comprehensive and all-comprehensive aggregate of the nest.
The genus represented by a word which is the name of that aggregate, in which all the other aggregates of the nest to which it belongs are contained and included, has no genus which is superior to it: it is, therefore, in its nature incapable of receiving a definition; meaning always that mode of exposition which, in modern practice, seems to be universally understood by that name.†
Meantime the class of words which are in this sense of the word incapable of receiving exposition in that shape are among those, in the instance of which the demand for exposition is the most imperious. For these then that mode of exposition is necessary to which, by the description of succedaneous modes of exposition, reference has just been made, and of which an account will presently be endeavoured to be rendered.*
Yet of these words which are all of them incapable of receiving a definition, in effect definitions are very generally, not to say universally wont to be given with a degree of unconcern and confidence, not inferior to that with which the operation is attended, when the subject upon which it is performed, is with the strictest propriety susceptible of operation in that mode.
Of Exposition by Paraphrasis, with its Subsidiary Operations, viz. Phraseoplerosis and Archetypation.
Explanation of these Modes of Exposition, and of the Case in which they are necessary.
Paraphrasis is that mode of exposition which is the only instructive mode, where the thing expressed being the name of a fictitious entity, has not any superior in the scale of logical subalternation.
Connected, and that necessarily, with paraphrasis, is an operation, for the designation of which the word Phraseoplerosis (i. e. the filling up of the phrase,) may be employed.
By the word paraphrasis may be designated that sort of exposition which may be afforded by transmuting into a proposition, having for its subject some real entity, a proposition which has not for its subject any other than a fictitious entity.
Nothing has no properties. A fictitious entity being, as this its name imports, being, by the very supposition, a mere nothing, cannot of itself have any properties: no proposition by which any property is ascribed to it can, therefore, be in itself, and of itself, a true one, nor, therefore, an instructive one. Whatsoever of truth is capable of belonging to it cannot belong to it in any other character than that of the representative—of the intended and supposed equivalent and adequate succedaneum, of some proposition having for its subject some real entity.
Of any such fictitious entity, or fictitious entities, the real entity with which the import of their respective appellatives is connected, and on the import of which their import depends, may be termed the real source, efficient cause, or connecting principle.
In every proposition by which a property or affection of any kind is ascribed to an entity of any kind, real or fictitious, three parts or members are necessarily either expressly or virtually included, viz. 1. A subject being the name of the real or fictitious entity in question.—2. A predicate by which is designated the property or affection attributed or ascribed to that subject; and 3. The Copula, or sign of the act of the mind, by which the attribution or ascription is performed.
By the sort of proposition here in question, viz., a proposition which has for its subject some fictitious entity, and for its predicate the name of an attribute attributed to that fictitious entity, some sort of image—the image of some real action or state of things, in every instance, is presented to the mind. This image may be termed the archetype, emblem, or archetypal image appertaining to the fictitious proposition, of which the name of the characteristic fictitious entity coustitutes a part.
In so far as of this emblematic image indication is given, the act or operation by which such indication is given, may by termed Archetypation.
To a considerable extent Archetypation, i. e. the origin of the psychological, in some physical idea, is often, in a manner, lost;—its physical marks, being more or less obliterated by the frequency of its use on psychological ground, while it is little, if at all, in use on the original physical ground.
Such psychological expressions, of which, as above, the physical origin is lost, are the most commodious for psychological use. Why?—Because in proportion as it is put out of sight, two psychological expressions, derived from two disparate and incongruous physical sources, are capable of being conjoined without bringing the incongruity to view.
When the expression applied to a psychological purpose is one of which the physical origin remains still prominent and conspicuous, it presents itself to view in the character of a figurative expression—for instance a metaphor. Carried for any considerable length through its connexions and dependencies, the metaphor becomes an allegory—a figure of speech, the unsuitableness of which, to serious and instructive discourse, is generally recognised. But the great inconvenience is, that it is seldom that for any considerable length of time, if any, the physical idea can be moulded and adapted to the psychological purpose.
In the case of a fictitious proposition which, for the exposition of it, requires a paraphrasis, having for its subject a real entity, (which paraphrasis, when exhibited, performs, in relation to the name of the fictitious subject, the same sort of office which, for the name of a real entity, is performed by a definition of the ordinary stamp, viz. a definition per genus et differentiam)—the name forms but a part of the fictitious proposition for the explanation of which, the sort of proposition having for its subject a real entity, is in the character of a paraphrastically-expository proposition required. To compose and constitute such a proposition as shall be ripe and qualified for the receiving for itself, and thereby for its subject, an exposition by paraphrasis, the addition of other matter is required, viz., besides the name of the subject, the name of the predicate, together with some sign performing the office of the copula;—the operation by which this completion of the phrase is performed, may be termed Phraseoplerosis.
Phraseoplerosis is thus another of the operations connected with, and subservient to, the main or principal operation, paraphrasis.
Exemplification in the Case of the fictitious Entity Obligation.
For exposition and explanation of Paraphrasis, and of the other modes connected with it, and subsidiary to it, that which presents itself as the most instructive of all examples, which the nature of the case affords, is that which is afforded by the group of ethical fictitious entities, viz. Obligations, rights, and the other advantages dependent on obligation.
The fictitious entities which compose this group have all of them, for their real source, one and the same sort of real entity, viz. sensation, the word being taken in that sense in which it is significative not merely of perception, but of perception considered as productive of pain alone, of pleasure alone, or of both.
Pain (it is here to be observed) may have for its equivalent, loss of pleasure; pleasure, again, may have for its equivalent, exemption from pain.
An obligation (viz. the obligation of conducting himself in a certain manner,) is incumbent on a man, (i. e. is spoken of as incumbent on a man) in so far as, in the event of his failing to conduct himself in that manner, pain, or loss of pleasure, is considered as about to be experienced by him.*
In this example,—
1. The exponend, or say the word to be expounded, is an obligation.
2. It being the name not of a real, but only of a fictitious entity, and that fictitious entity not having any superior genus, it is considered as not susceptible of a definition in the ordinary shape, per genus et differentiam, but only of an exposition in the way of paraphrasis.
3. To fit it for receiving exposition in this shape, it is in the character of the subject of a proposition, by the help of the requisite compliments made up into a fictitious proposition. These compliments are, 1, the predicate, incumbent on a man, 2, the copula is; and of these, when thus added to the name of the subject, viz. obligation, the fictitious proposition which requires to be expounded by paraphrasis, viz. the proposition—An obligation is incumbent on a man, is composed.
4. Taking the name of the subject for the basis, by the addition of this predicate, incumbent on a man, and the copula is, the phrase is completed, the operation called phraseoplerosis, i. e. completion of the phrase is performed.
5. The source of the explanation thus given by paraphrasis, is the idea of eventual sensation, as expressed by the names of the different and opposite modes of sensation, viz. pain and pleasure, with their respective equivalents, and the designation of the event, on the happening of which such sensation is considered as being about to take place.
6. For the formation of the variety of fictitious propositions, of which the fictitious entity in question, viz. obligation, or an obligation, is in use to constitute the subject, the emblematical, or archetypal image, is that of a man lying down, with a heavy body pressing upon him, to wit, in such sort as either to prevent him from acting at all, or so ordering matters that if so it be that he does act, it cannot be in any other direction or manner than the direction or manner in question,—the direction or manner requisite.
The several distinguishable sources from any or all of which the pain and pleasure constitutive of the obligation in question, may be expected to be received, viz. the several sanctions, distinguished by the names of the physical sanction, the popular, or moral, sanction, the political (including the legal) sanction, and the religious sanction;—these particulars belong to another part of the field, and have received explanation in another place.†
To that other place it also belongs to bring to view the causes by which the attention and perception of mankind have, to so great an extent, been kept averted from the only true and intelligible source of obligation—from the only true and intelligible explanation of its nature, as thus indicated.
On the exposition thus given of the term obligation, may be built those other expositions, of which it will form the basis, viz., of rights, quasi rights or advantages analagous to rights, and their respective modifications, as well as of the several modifications of which the fictitious entity, obligation, is itself susceptible.
Of Modes of Exposition subsidiary to Definition and Paraphrasis.
1. Synonymation—indication of some other word, or words, the import of which coincides, or agrees with the term to be expounded, more or less correctly.
The use to be derived from the employment of synonymation, consists in maximizing the number of the persons by whom conception, clear of obscurity and ambiguity and incorrectness, may on each occasion, be collected from the several expressions.
It is not, however, without great danger of error, that any two words can be stated as synonymous.
2. Antithesis—indication of some other word, or words, the import of which is opposite to that of the word in question.
3. Illustration—bringing to view some word, or words, by which, in any one or more of the above ways, or in any other way or ways, light may be thrown upon the import of the word in question, i. e. the import of it may, in some way or other, be rendered clearer, i. e. more surely clear as well of obscurity as of ambiguity.
4. Exemplification—indication of some individual, or of some lesser aggregate, as being included in the name of the aggregate in question.
Without any difference, or, at any rate, without any difference worth remarking, all these subsidiary modes of exposition seem capable of being applied with equal propriety and utility, whether the main mode of exposition be in the form of a definition, or in the form of a paraphrasis.
5. Description is a detailed exposition of those properties, the exhibition of which is not necessary in order to distinguish the object in question from all such which are not designated by the same name. It may, accordingly, be more and more ample to an indefinite degree. A definition is a concise description, a description is an enlarged definition.
Description may be considered as referring to an individual, in which case it may be termed individual description, or as referring to the name of a collective entity, in which case it may be termed specific.
The differences, in use and importance, between individual and collective description are analogous to those which distinguish the corresponding operations of individuation and definition. Definition applies to an indefinite number of individuals, connected together only by those properties exhibited by that operation, and, therefore, by means of it, whensoever any individual is brought to view, a decision may be formed, whether it does or does not belong to the aggregate in question. The individual characterized by individuation is unique; being unique, every property described as belonging to him must have belonged to him at the time and place of his individuation; but the greater the number of properties enumerated, the less chance is there of their aggregate being possessed in common by other individuals, or of their not having undergone any change other than such as may be accounted for, and calculated upon, during the change from the time and place fixed by the individuation. Description, therefore, though itself uncertain as to answering the purpose intended, is the only mode of exposition which can efficiently be adopted in such cases.
6. Parallelism is the pointing out of certain particular properties of a thing, with a view to the showing the resemblance it has to some other thing. Its use is to resolve any doubts which may arise, either from imperfect conception or imperfect expression, whether the object in question does or does not belong to the class of objects expounded.
Comparison is an act by which Distinction and Parallelism may be indifferently carried on.
7. Enumeration is the exhibiting the nature of the class of things characterized by any name, by bringing to view the names of certain subordinate sorts of things, or even certain individual things which it is meant to signify. It may be complete, or incomplete.
Enumeration is arithmetical or systematical. Systematical enumeration is by division, or rather is accompanied with, and performed by division. It is the gathering up and naming of the parts which result from the division of the whole.
8. Ampliation is the declaring concerning any word, that it has been, or that it is intended that it should be understood to have a more extensive meaning than, on certain occasions, people, it is supposed, might be likely to attribute to it,—that is, to comprehend such and such objects over and above those objects which they, it is supposed, would be apt to understand it to comprehend.
9. Restriction is the declaring concerning any word that it has been, or that it is, intended, it should be understood not to have so extensive a meaning as, on certain occasions, people, it is supposed, might be likely to attribute to it,—that is, not to comprehend such and such objects of the number of these which they (it is supposed) would be apt to understand it to comprehend.
Distinction and Disambiguation what?—in what Cases employed.
Distinction, or real Antithesis, is the pointing out of certain particular properties of a thing, with the view of showing its dissimilarity to some other particular thing with which it is apprehended it may be confounded in such manner as to be deemed either the same with it, or more similar to it than it is in reality.
Distinction precedes division in the scale; distinction exhibits the relation of the object to the equally ample objects, its congeners; division breaks it down into its component species; distinction is a fragment of a supposed preceding division of an ampler term, bearing the ratio of a genus to that in question.
Disambiguation is distinction applied to words.
Such is the imperfection of language; instances are numerous in which the same words have the same audible with their attendant visible signs, and, in the same language, have been employed to designate objects that have nothing in common.
Be the word what it may, if so it be that it is wont to be employed in more senses than one, between or among which no coincidence, either total or partial, is perceptible, when, at the same time, while by one person it is received in one sense, by another person it is received in another different sense,—an operation, necessarily preliminary to definition, is distinction or disambiguation; in other words, when so it happens that the word in question has been employed in the character of a sign for the designation of several objects, insomuch that, without further explanation, it may happen to it to be taken as indicative of one object, when, by the author of the discourse, it was meant to be indicative, not of that, but of a different one, what for the exclusion of such misconception, may every now and then be necessary, is—an intimation, making known which of all these several objects the word is, in the case in question, meant to designate, and what other, or others, it is not meant to designate.*
Take, for example, the English word Church; this English word is uniformly considered and employed as the correct and complete representative of the Latin word Ecclesia, which, in other letters somewhat different in appearance, serves for the designation of the same sound as the correspondent Greek word; in French, Eglise.
1. Among the Greeks, in its original acceptation, Ecclesia was employed to signifiy an assembly of any kind; it was manifestly from the union of two words, εχ and ϰαλεω, which signified to call out, viz. for the purpose of a joint meeting, and more particularly of a joint meeting for a public, for a political purpose.
2. Thence, among such of the first Christians whose language was Greek, it came to signify, in particular, such assemblies as were held by these religionists, as such, whether for the purpose of devotion or conjunct economical management.
3. In an association of this kind there was commonly, at least, one member, whose occupation consisted in taking the lead in their common exercises of divine worship, and by the exposition of that book, or collection of books, which, by all of them, was recognized as constituting the standard of their faith and action, to administer instruction to the rest. The operations thus performed being considered as serviceable, with reference to the persons at whose desire they were performed, the persons by whom they were performed were, accordingly, sometimes designated, in consideration of such their services, ministers, the Latin word for servants; sometimes, in consideration of their age Presbyters, from πϱεσβυτεϱοι, which was the Greek word for Elders, i. e. for men of any description when advanced in age (from which word Presbyter, the French word Prestre, and the English word Priest,) sometimes in consideration of their acting as overseers or overlookers, overlooking and overseeing, in relation to deportment, the behaviour of their disciples, the members of the association at large, Επιςϰοποι, Episcopi, whence the English word Bishop.
In process of time, those members of the association whose occupation, originally with or without pay, consisted, on the occasion in question, in acting as the servants of all, came to act as rulers over the members at large, at first on this or that particular occasion, at length upon all occasions.
At this time, besides the other senses, of which mention will require to be made presently, the word Church came to signify, according to the purpose which, by those who were employing it it was designed to serve, three very different assemblages of persons: viz. 1. The whole body of the persons thus governed; 2. The whole body of the persons thus employed in the government of the rest; and, 3. The all-comprehensive body, or grand total, composed of governed and governors taken together.
When the persons in question were to be spoken of in the character of persons bound to pay obedience, then by the word Church was meant to be designated these subordinate subject-members of the association, in a word the subject many. When the persons in question were to be spoken of in the character of persons to whom the others were bound to pay obedience, then by the same word were designated the ruling few; when, for the purpose of securing in favour of both parties, and especially of the ruling few, the affections of respect and fear, then would the import of the word open itself, and to such an extent, as to include under one denomination the two parties whose situations and interests were thus opposite.
4. From designating, first, the act of calling together an assembly, then the assembly composed of all persons, and no other than all persons, actually assembled together at one and the same time in a particular place, and then all the persons who were regarded as entitled so to assemble at that place, it came also to be employed to designate the place itself at or in which such assembly was wont to be held: the place consisting of the soil, the portion of the earth’s surface, on which, for containing and protecting the assembly from the occasional injuries of the weather, a building was erected, and such building itself when erected.
Such as above being the purpose for which the sort of building in question was erected, viz. the paying homage to God, God, although present at all times in all places, was regarded as being in a more particular manner present at and in all places of this sort; attentive to whatsoever was passing at all other places, but still more attentive to whatsoever was passing in these places.
Being thus as it were the dwelling-places of God, these places became to the members of the association objects of particular awe and reverence, of a mixture of respect and terror—they became, in one word, holy; whereupon, by an easy and insensible transition, this mixture of respect and terror came to extend itself to, upon, and to the benefit of, the class of persons in whose hands was reposed the management of whatsoever was done in these holy places: holy functions made holy places, holy places and holy functions made holy persons.
On the score of beauty, admiration; on the score of kindness and tenderness, love; on the score of fitness for domestic management and rule, respect: these affections are in use to find their joint object in the character or relation designated by the word mother. Admiration, love, and respect, on the one part; all these are on the other part so many instruments of governance. The servants of the subject many had their assemblies for acting in such their capacity, and securing to themselves the faculty of continuing so to do. Of these assemblies, the members were some young, some middle-aged, some elderly men. Upon contemplating themselves altogether in the mirror of rhetoric, it was found that of all these males put together was composed one beautiful female, the worthy object of the associated affections of admiration, love, and respect—the Holy Mother Church.
Besides this, this holy female was seen to possess a still greater quantity of holiness, than could have entered into the composition of the aggregate mass of holiness composed of the separate holinesses of the several holy males of which she was composed, had they not, in the above-mentioned holy place been thus assembled and met together. By ordinances issued by this holy female, a greater and surer measure of admiration, respect, and consequent obedience, was obtained than would have been obtained by the assembly in its plain and original character of an assembly of males, notwithstanding all their holiness.
By this combination thus happily accomplished, an effect no less felicitous and convenient than it was holy, was produced; in the holy compound, while all the perfections of which both sexes are susceptible were found united, all imperfection, as if by chemical precipitation, were found to have been excluded. The holy men might, notwithstanding their holiness, have remained fallible; the Holy Mother was found to be infallible. Her title to implicit confidence, and its naturally inseparable consequence implicit obedience, became at once placed upon the firmest ground, and raised to the highest pitch.
Great is the scandal, great to all well-disposed eyes the offence, if to her own children, or any of them, a mother has been an object of contempt: proportioned to the enormity of the offence is the indignation of all well-disposed spectators, the magnitude of the punishment which they are content to see inflicted on the score of it, and the alacrity with which they are ready to concur in promoting the infliction of such punishment.
How much more intense that indignation, should any such indignity be offered to that holy character, should her servants or even her ordinances be violated. Flowing, from the maternity of this holy, this sanctified, this sacred character—to all these epithets the same venerated import belongs, they deserve the same respect: how convenient and useful the result!
When an edifice of the holy class has been erected and duly consecrated, proportioned to the holiness, the sanctity, the sacredness bestowed upon it in and by its consecration, is the enormity of any offence by which it has been profaned and its sanctity violated.
When, again, an edifice of the holy class has been erected and duly consecrated, the more sumptuous, the more magnificent, the more lofty, the more admirable, the more venerable the structure, the greater the calamity, the wider the ruin, the more intense the shock arising from its being subverted, the more intolerable the apprehension of the danger of its being subverted, the more intense and implacable the indignation excited towards and pointed against all persons regarded or considered as capable of being the authors or promoters of so shocking a catastrophe.
Already has been seen the advantage derivable and derived by and to the rulers of the Church, themselves being that Church, by the creation of a Church capable of being violated.
Here may now be seen the advantage producible and produced by and to the same rulers of the Church from the creation of a Church, themselves being that Church, capable of being subverted.
By any unholy person is this holy will in any particular opposed, or threatened to be opposed,—that same sacrilegious, unholy, profane, unbelieving infidel, miscreant, reprobate person is already a violater, and, in intention, a subverter of the Church, worthy of all indignation, all horror, all punishment, all vengeance, which it is in the power of any dutiful and worthy son of the Church to contribute to pour down upon his devoted head.
In the above example may be seen an instance of that impracticability which is liable to have place,—the impracticability of exhibiting a definition of the term in question, where the import of the term is such, that, antecedently to any such operation, a division of the contents of such its import requires to be made, its imports being in such sort compound and diverse, that no one exposition, which shall at the same time be complete and correct, can be given of it.
In the particular instance here in question, although before any correct definition could be given, it was necessary that an apt division should be made, yet, when once such division has been made, the need of any ulterior exposition in the shape of a definition may, perhaps, be seen or supposed to be, pretty effectually superseded; other instances might, perhaps, be found in which such ulterior exposition might still be requisite.
Beard.—Do you mean the beard of a man? Beard!—do you mean the beard of a plant?—for example, barley or wheat? By these questions division is already made: and then for the instruction of any one to whom (he being acquainted with other sorts of wheat) it had not happened to him to have heard of the sort called bearded wheat, some sort of an exposition, in the shape of a definition, might be necessary.
In the above instance the imports, how widely and materially soever different, might, however, be seen to be connected with each other by a principle or chain of association. But the more important, especially in respect of practical purposes, the difference is, as also, the more liable the several senses are to be mistaken for each other, and that which, in one sense, is not true, however in another sense it may be true, to be understood in the sense in which it is not true, the more material is it that whatsoever distinction has place should be brought to light, and held up to view.
In all matters relative to the Church in so far as concerns the interests of the members of the Church, the good of the Church ought to be the object pursued in preference to any other. By each of two persons this proposition may, with perfect sincerity, have been subscribed. But according as to the word Church, the one or other of two very different, and in respect of practical consequences, opposite imports, has been annexed, their conduct may, on every occasion, be with perfect consistency exactly opposite; one meaning by the word church the subject many,—the other, by the same word, the ruling few.
At the same time, the number of pronounceable changes of which the letters of the alphabet are susceptible, being, how ample soever, not altogether unlimited, instances cannot but have place in which, to one and the same word, divers imports, altogether uninterconnected by any such bond of association may have happened to be attached.
Many, however, are the instances in which, of two or more in appearance, widely different imports, the connexion, though real, may not be generally perceptible.
In French, by one and the same word, worms and verses are designated. Between two objects so widely dissimilar in any mind would there have existed any principle of connexion?—Possibly not; in this instance possibly no such connexion has had place; but neither is the contrary impossible. The French vers is from the Latin versus, a verse; but, in Latin, vermes is the name of a worm; in the same language verto is, to turn: and, who can say but that of versus and vermes, this verb verto, may have been the common root. “Tread upon a worm and it will turn,” says an English proverb; and, in the construction of verses, how much of turning the stock of words of which the language is composed requires, is no secret to any person by whom a copy of verses has ever been made or read.
Modes of Exposition employed by the Aristotelians.
In the preceding sections we have seen what the species of discourse, called an exposition, is, and of what modifications it is susceptible. Of some of these no conception appears to have been entertained by the Aristotelians. Others, it will now be seen, have been noticed by them, and stand comprised under the head of definitio, definition.
Of these modes, by far the most important is the one, styled in the language of ancient Logic, definitio per genus et differentiam.
It consists in an indication given of a certain class of objects, to which the object in question is declared to belong, that class being designated by a denomination styled a generic name. But the case being such that the object in question is not the only object which belongs to that class, some mark is, at the same time, attached as indicative of some property which is possessed by the object in question, and not possessed by any other individual, or sub-class of objects included in that same class.*
Here, then, it may be seen already to what a degree the ancient Logic,—for these 2000 years the only Logic,—has in this by far the most useful track of it, the tactic branch, been all this while deficient. Its defectiveness of arrangement forms a sort of counterpart to its defectiveness in respect of argument, as exemplified in its list of Fallacies.†
To objects in general the system of division has never yet been applied, though, towards exhibiting the indefinite chain of divisions, one other advance, it is true, had been made by the ancient Logic. This advance consists in the use of the term genus generalissimum. By this term intimation, how obscure soever, was given of these links,—of the three highest links in this chain. By the term genus generalissimum was designated the first class; by the genus which was not the genus generalissimum, but of narrower extent, and comprised within it, the next class; and, by the term species, a class which was to the genus what the genus was to the genus generalissimum—a bi-sub-class.
Assigning the appropriate genus being one of the two operations included in the idea of a definition, according to this exclusively common acceptation of the word, the consequence was, that whatsoever names were of such sort that no genus, in the import of which the classes respectively indicated by them were contained, were afforded by the language in use, of the words so circumstanced no such exposition as a definition, properly so called, could be furnished.
Susceptible of receiving a definition in this usual, and, indeed, only sense of the word definition, a term cannot be, unless it belong to and form a step in some assignable scale of aggregates, related to each other in the way of logical subalternation.
This word definition has, in many cases, been used as the collective designation for all modes of exposition. Sanderson does not, however, appear to have fallen into this error, he always using definitio alone as the name of the genus and definitio per genus et differentiam, as the name of the particular species. In the foregoing chapter his example in this respect has not been followed, both on account of the difficulty there would be in finding a more appropriate single-worded denomination for the species, and, on account of the more expressive nature of the word exposition as the name of the genus.
The Bishop has certainly not succeeded so well in the very first exposition he had occasion to give. In his chapter on the subject of the very word definition,‡ —Definitio, he says, est definiti explicatio. And what, we may ask, is explicatio? The answer might, with equal clearness, be Explicatio est explicati definitio. The words employed are synonymous; and the one as easy to be understood as the other. Not one of the rules of exposition laid down in the next page are followed in this case; in fact, no new idea is at all conveyed. If any tolerably correct conception can be formed of what he meant by definitio, it must be gathered up from the subsequent enumeration of its species, and not from this exposition.
His first division of the subject nearly coincides with its division into the exposition of words alone, and of objects connected with words; but he falls into an error by giving to the results of this division the designations of definitio nominis and definitio rei; every exposition being the exposition of a name, the difference consisting in this,—that in one case we consider the name alone, in the other, the object in conjunction with that name, without which we cannot speak, nor perhaps think, of any fictitious entity, or of any real one, which is not present to our perception.
No mention is made of exposition by representation,—the only mode that can be employed where the parties in question have no common language.
The division of definitio nominis would appear to comprehend the modes of translation and etymologization, whilst definitio rei may have been intended to mark the distinction made above into necessary and subsidiary modes of exposition; by the first, such properties only being exhibited as are necessary for exact exposition; by the latter, other properties being presented to view for the purpose of facilitating comprehension. Exposition by paraphrasis, for want of a due conception of its nature, is put into the latter class; the genera generalissima, and those fictitious entities to which that mode applies, being designated as things not susceptible of a perfect exposition. Of definition they certainly are not susceptible; but the exposition of them by paraphrasis may be quite as perfectly applied as definition to real entities.
Of modes of description, the enumeration, or rather exemplification, is very imperfect. The first and last examples are alone applicable. Frui est uti cum voluptate, is a definition; Sol est mundi oculus, belongs to archetypation; Frigus est absentia caloris, is mere translation.
The four canones definitionis correspond with the four properties desirable in discourse:—1. Definitio verbis propriis, perspicuis, usitatis, et ab omni ambiguitate liberis, exprimatur, refers to clearness of expression; Nihil contineatsuperflui, to conciseness; Nihil desit, to completeness; Sit adequata definitio, to correctness. How far the author has himself followed these rules, has already appeared in an instance derived from this chapter.
The modus investigandi rerum definitiones, detailed in the fifth paragraph, are sources of classification, and belong to that head. His division of Definitio, lib. iii., cap. 16., refers also to that subject.
Of the different Modes of Division.
Division is either systematical or unsystematical.* Systematical division is the indication of the species, without the assignment of their reciprocal differentiæ.
Division may be complete or incomplete. The following is an example of complete and exhaustive division:—Vitale est vel sensitivum, i. e. animal, vel non sensitivum, i. e. planta; sensitivum est vel rationale, i. e. homo, vel irrationale, i. e. brutum.
Strict division is bipartite; loose division is multipartite.
Division imports separation; the separation has not been performed if the parcels are not distinct. They are not distinct if any object which is included in the one is included in the other.
Physical and Psychical—under one or other of these two epithets may every possible mode of division be comprised; physical, where the subject matter to be divided—say the dividend—is a physical body or aggregate; psychical, where it is a psychical, or say an ideal aggregate, viz., any aggregate of objects individually assignable or unassignable, for the designation of which a common name, or say appellation, has been provided.
Of these modes, the first—the physical—is the only original and proper mode. It is the archetype of the other. The ideal aggregate is feigned to be—is considered as being a body, a mass of matter; any number of lesser aggregates into which, they being contained in it, it is considered as being capable of being resolved, are considered as so many parts into which it is considered as capable of being divided.
Of these two modes, the psychical is the only one that belongs to the present design; the only one employed in the exercise of the art of logic. In an institute of that art, the physical would not have had any title to a place, had it not been for the light which it may serve to throw upon, the explanation which it may serve to give of the psychical, which has been deduced from it.
It is by arrangement in a line of subalternation in this mode, and no other, that the operation of division, understand of psychical division, can be performed. In the character of a dividend, a name constituting a receptacle of a comparatively larger content, is assumed. Its contents, the articles contained in it, are lodged in two or more other receptacles, so constituted, in respect of extent, as to contain all of them together the exact amount of the contents of the dividend or greater receptacle; the aggregate contained in the greater receptacle being considered as divided, the component articles or units of the aggregate mass are considered as distributed among the compartments which, by such division, have been created.
Of bipartite, dichotomous, or perfect Division.†
Be the subject of discourse, and the purpose for which the subject is taken in hand, what they may, correctness, and, with reference to the end, completeness,—these are the two qualities which every man, in proportion as it is his desire that the expression given to his thoughts should be at once true and useful, would be desirous should be found to appertain to it.
For correctness at large, not much instruction can be given, without special reference all along made to the particular nature of the subject, and the purpose in view, i. e. the portion of the field of thought and action operated upon. But, be the purpose and the subject what they may, correctness will, in a considerable degree, depend upon clearness; correctness of conception, on the one part, upon clearness of expression on the other; and, in so far, some instruction on the subject of correctness has already been endeavoured to be administered.
But a case may be brought to view, nor that a narrow one, in which correctness altogether depends upon completeness; insomuch, that if the discourse be incomplete, it is certain, to the exact amount of the degree of incompleteness, to be likewise incorrect. Such, it is evident, is the case, in so far as it has happened to a man to undertake, whether for his own sake, or for the sake of others, that his view of the subject, and accordingly the expression which he gives as the result of that view, shall prove complete.
Towards the accomplishment of an object at once so desirable, and at the same time so much above the reach of human power, logic may perhaps be seen to afford a sort of instrument or engine of greater power than might readily have been imagined. This engine is the exhaustive mode of division.
To answer its intention in the completest manner, an analysis or division must always be throughout dichotomous; “the condividents,” says the logical compend, “ought to be distinct and opposite.”*
Every division is a distribution of individuals:—an assignment of distinct names, simple or compound, univocal or multivocal, under which, as if in ideal compartments, these individuals may be found. These compartments were marked out in the mind of him who distinguished them, marked out by certain properties or qualities in such sort, that an individual possessing such a property, was deemed to belong to such a compartment, an individual possessing such another property, to such another compartment.
For the purposes of discourse, these respective groups of individuals are distinguished by certain names corresponding to these properties;—one name denoting that the individuals it is applied to, the individuals comprisable within the compartment it denominates, possess all of them such a property, or set of properties; another name that the individuals it is applied to possess another property, or set of properties.
Now the use of different names is to distinguish different individuals,—to distinguish the individuals possessing one property, or set of properties, from the individuals possessing another property, or set of properties;—in so much, that if on any occasion a man wish to be understood to say of any one individual, or set of individuals, what he wishes not to be understood to say of another, he may have the means of making himself understood accordingly.
Conceive, then, a group of individuals which are known apart, and distinguished from other individuals by a certain name. Of a part of this whole number of individuals, is it wished to say something which it is not wished to say of the remaining part; in what way, then, is this to be done? There is but one way, that is, by dividing in imagination the whole set, into a certain number of lesser sets,—in the present instance into two; in other words, by distributing the whole assemblage of individuals into two compartments, in one of which shall be contained all the individuals to which it is wished to apply the proposition; in the other, all those to which it is not wished to apply it.—And these compartments that they may be known wherever there is occasion to bring them to view, must be characterized each by a peculiar name.
A division, to answer this purpose, must be exhaustive, must comprise the whole of the subject.
Call the parcel to be divided A: instead of dividing it into two parcels only, such as B and C, divide it at once into three parcels, B, C, and D. Is this division as satisfactory as it might be? No; it will probably be perceived that it is not, though the reason may not be immediately perceived: what then is the reason? It is as follows:—It exhibits all the discongruencies of the three parts or members, but it does not exhibit all their congruencies. Let them be properly distributed and named, that is, so distributed and named, that to no article to which one of the names is applied, could either of the other two names be applied; then, no A that is a B, is either a C or a D; no A that is a C is either a B or a D; and no A that is a D, is either a B or a C. The discongruencies between these several sets are sufficiently expressed,—expressed by the circumstance of their being condivident members of the whole in question, according to a plan of partition which is announced to be an exhaustive one; but on the other hand, there is a congruency between them which is not expressed.—Every A which is a B, agrees with a C, in this that is not a D.—Every A which is a C, agrees with a D in this that it is not a B.—And every A which is a D, agrees with a B in this, that it is not a C.
It is plain, therefore, that A, instead, of being divided into three parcels, B, C, and D, might always, in the first instance, be divided into two, only B and C; for of the three parcels, any two may be consolidated into one, having this property in common, that no A that belongs to either of them, belongs to a third.
And this plan of division is the more simple of the two: first step,—Every A is either a B or a C; second step,—Every B is either a D or an E. In the first step, the attention gets repose: it has but two compartments to examine, in order to see that every A belongs to one or the other of them—which is shown by the circumstance of their having for names the name A, with an epithet, and that no A that belongs to the one, belongs to the other.
In the case of an aggregate of the physical kind, the greatest number of integral parts into which it is capable of being divided, is always a determinate number: in a bushel of apples, containing 400 apples,—400 is that number; in a bushel of wheat, containing 400,000 grains of wheat,—400,000 is that number: in a garden containing every species of plants, suppose 65,536 to be the number of each different species,—65,536 is that number.
These 65,536 plants, each of them of a species distinguishable from every other species; suppose it required so to divide into subordinate and lesser aggregates, the universal or all-comprehensive aggregate, of which, by the supposition, the word plant is the name;—to divide it in such sort, that by a series of successive divisions, from the descriptions given of the products of these several divisions, it should be made to appear in what points each of these 65,536 plants coincided with and in what points it disagreed with the description given of every other; the following is the only mode of proceeding by which the object can be accomplished:—Divide the whole aggregate into two equal parts, or say, divisions; divide each of these divisions into others, which call divisions of the second order,—calling the two first-mentioned divisions, divisions of the first order; each of these divisions, dividing always by two, divide into divisions of the third order,—the total number of divisions eight: and go on, dividing always by two, until the whole number of the component aggregates, thus formed, comes to be 65,536, the assumed number of different species of plants. This mode of division is termed from the Greek, dichotomous; from the Latin, bifurcate,—two-forked.*
This mode of division is subservient to the obtaining of the properties of clearness and correctness, in respect of the conceptions formed and entertained of the subject matter of consideration.
Assured, and altogether incontrovertible, is its all-comprehensive, or say exhaustive, property,—it has place at the very first step, or stage of division,—it has place at every other, be they ever so numerous.
At every step, one article of information it affords as equally incontestible;—it shows a point of agreement and a point of difference between the two results which it brings to view,—point of agreement, the properties belonging to the genus of which they are species,—point of difference, some property which the one has, the other has not.
Still, however, of all the distinguishable species contained in the highest genus, the genus generalissimum, scarcely are there any limits to the number of those which may still remain unincluded. At the same time, still do there, whatsoever be the number, remain means of reaching them by fresh divisions from new sources.
This points to another resource for aiding the mind in the performance of this task.
When, after a first division, the all-comprehensive process has proceeded on in a course of subdivision, till it have picked up as many of the objects belonging to the source as are found capable of being designated by it, if any remain unarrested and unsorted, look out for a fresh source of division, and go on as far as that will carry you.
If any still remain behind unenlisted, look out for another source of division, and so on.
When in a number more or less considerable, divers sources have thus been employed and exhausted, take in hand the sources themselves, apply to them the exhaustive mode of analysis, their eventual points of agreement and difference will, at any rate, be elicited; and if the articles that require to be taken up are not all of them enlisted, some fresh means of enlistment may perhaps be brought to view.
Of the Aristotelian Rules of Division.
By the Aristotelians no division was recognised as legitimate, or at any rate as perfect, unless it were exhaustive.
The object to be divided being termed the dividendum, the parts into which it is divided, and which constitute the result of the operation, the dividing, or condivident members;—follow, according to Sanderson, under the name of canons of perfect division, the following rules.†
1. Let the parts be such as that, by their union, the whole shall be recomposed. Membra absorbeant totum divisum.
2. The dividend is greater in extent than any one of its members—it cannot but be equal to all of them when put together, Divisum esto [say rather est] latius singulis suis membris, adæquatum universis.
3. Let the condivident members, in their import, be distinct from, and opposite to, each other;—in such sort, adds an explanation, that they be not liable either in any point to be coincident, or to be confounded. Membra condividentia sint contradistincta et opposita, ita ut confundi nequeant, vel coincidere.
4. The members which are produced by each division, let them be the nearest and immediate members, and let the number of them be as small as may be. Divisio fiat in membra proxima et immediata et (quam fieri commodè potest) paucissima.
From the nearest result thus formed (continues the text in the way of explanation) to the more remote and minute portions descend by subdivisions. A proximis porro ad remotiora et minutiora descendendum per subdivisiones.
The dichotomous mode of division (it goes on to say) is that which has been most approved of, where it can conveniently be employed. Dichotomiæ (dichotomies) sunt laudatissimæ, ubi commodè haberi possunt.
Nor yet (continues this explanation) ought it to be everywhere hunted after, too superstitiously and anxiously pursued, as it is by the Ramæans. Non tamen nimium superstitiosè et anxiè ubique venandæ, quod faciunt Ramæi.
An example, unfortunately not a very unfrequent one, of the conjunction of self-sufficiency and emptiness, may be seen in the account of Dichotomy, as above delivered.
Of the existence of a state of things in which dichotomy can be employed commodiously, intimation is given, and in that state of things, says the instructor, dichotomies are most praiseworthy things. What is that state of things? To any such question not so much as any, the smallest endeavour and attempt, is made to find an answer.
What renders the deficiency the more to be regretted, is the danger which it seems there is of dichotomies being too superstitiously and anxiously hunted after, a danger which, in the practice of the sort of persons here called Ramæans, (meaning, it should seem, the followers of a certain Peter Ramus,) had actually been realized.
Upon the whole, however, of two propositions relative to the matter in question, viz. the dichotomical, or bifurcate mode of division, intimation is hereby given, viz. 1, that there are certain cases in which this mode of division has its use,—2, that there are cases in which,—forasmuch as in those cases, it either has no use at all, or none but what is outweighed by inconvenience,—the practice of employing it may be considered as matter of abuse. Let us see whether some criterion may not be discernible whereby the one of these classes may be distinguished from the other.*
Relation of Synthesis to Analysis.
Psychical, or say logical, division supposes the antecedent existence of psychical aggregation. A bushel of apples, a bushel of wheat cannot be divided until it has been collected. Psychical division has no subject but the ideas commonly called general ideas. These general ideas are all aggregate, or say abstract, ideas, formed by aggregation and abstraction out of simple ones.
Of the aggregate thus formed, the extent is determined and measured by that of the import of the term, the appellation employed for the expression of it.
If of this extent the amplitude be, in a certain degree considerable, the aggregate idea, of which that appellative is the sign, will hardly have been formed, but that, antecedently to its formation, some other aggregate idea, or ideas, less ample in extent and in their whole, contained within the one in question, will also have been formed, formed, and by their respective appellatives designated and fixed.
Thus, in a country in which human society has, in the scale of civilisation, reached the pastoral state, an appellative correspondent to the word animal will scarcely have been formed till after the two appellations corresponding respectively to the words man and sheep have been formed and brought into use: by the observation of the properties which are possessed by all men and not possessed by any sheep, the aggregate idea expressed by the word man will have been formed; by the observation of those properties which are possessed by all sheep and not possessed by any man, the aggregate idea expressed by the word sheep will have been formed.
In the instance of man, the properties which are common to all men, can never have been presented to the senses of any man, but at the same time the properties by which the several different men that have come under observation, have differed from each other, have also, and at the same time, been presented to his senses.
The respective aggregates, composed of the several simple ideas presented by each of these men respectively, may be termed individual aggregates; the aggregate composed of the several simple ideas, drawn alike from the contemplation of all these several men, and fixed and designated by the classical term man, may be termed a classical aggregate.†
In the formation of the aggregate idea corresponding to the term man, in the formation of the classical psychical aggregate termed man, the attention has turned itself aside from all the several simple ideas that have alike been presented by the above-mentioned individual aggregates, turning itself at the same time, and therefore confining itself, to such of those simple ideas as have been presented by every individual belonging to that class comprehended under that appellative; and those to which it has thus exclusively turned itself and confined itself, it may be said by so doing to have abstracted, i. e. drawn off from the rest. It is thus that to the process or operation by which, in this way, classical aggregates are formed, the term abstraction has been applied, and to the classical aggregates themselves the term abstract ideas as well as general ideas.
These explanations premised, the time may have come for observing, that where, of the name of a classical aggregate the extent is to a certain degree considerable, it will scarcely have been formed but by repeated exercises of the process of abstraction, a certain cluster of ideas having been first abstracted, or as it were, distilled from the cluster contained in the several individual, i.e. physical aggregates; and from the product of this first distillation, others, drawn off to compose what may be termed a classical aggregate of the second stage from the bottom; from this product of the second distillation others again drawn off to compose an aggregate of the third stage from the bottom, and so on.
By certain terms, which, in the description of this process, have sometimes been employed, (viz. synthesis and analysis,) it seems as if it had been taken for granted, that the two operations thus denominated were each of them the exact counterpart and converse of the other: that the stages passed over in the one process and in the other would, everywhere, and on all occasions, be exactly the same, consequently the number of those stages likewise; and that whatsoever had by synthesis been put together, the putting of that asunder—of all that, as far as they both went, and no more than that,—was the operation performed by analysis.
Wide indeed from the truth of the case would any such conception, however, be found. Small has probably been the number of the successive operations of the kind in question—viz. abstractions, by which,—correspondently small the number of the stages in passing in or through which, the idea of the most amply extensive classical aggregate of which the mind is capable of forming to itself an idea, has in this way been formed. Of this most extensive aggregate, termed by the logicians of antiquity, the genus generalissimum, being, or existence, or entity, is the name. Five, or at the utmost, six, is the number of successive distillations by which this most sublimated and refined of all abstract ideas has, as appears, been formed. Five, or, at the utmost, six, has accordingly been the number of steps successively taken by the mind in its ascent towards this most exalted pinnacle: five, or, at the utmost, six, the number of stages at which it has stopped. Of these abstractions, these distillations, these steps, these stages, the number corresponds to and is indicated by the number of the ramifications exhibited by the famous Porphyrian Tree,* and of these operations and their results, indication has been given, and at the same time recordation made, by the names respectively employed for the designation of the classical aggregates of different amplitudes which have been their respective products.
Far indeed from being thus limited is the number of aggregates of different orders capable of being formed by the decomposition of that all-embracing aggregate.
Division the first all-comprehensive.—Divide the aggregate of universal amplitude being or substance into its two aggregates immediately issuing from it, you have corporeal beings and incorporeal. For corporeal beings, say, in one word, bodies; as, on the other hand, for incorporeal beings, in one word, spirits.
Division the Second.—Divide the aggregate, corporeal beings, into its proximate component aggregates, living and not living; for its proximate component aggregates, you have those endued with life and those not endued with life, to which latter description belong mineral bodies.
Division the Third.—Divide the aggregate corporeal beings endued with life, into its proximate component aggregates, you have such as are endued with animal life, with sensation as well as life, say in one word animals; and such as are not endued with sensation as well as life, say in one word vegetables.
It was from the observation and contemplation of individual animals, and from the observation made of a quality which such of them as were most exposed to observation had in common with one another, and which was not observed or observable in vegetables, viz. the habitual act of respiration, that the common name, expressive of the faculty corresponding to the exercising of that act, viz. animal, was first formed. Here then are four stages which have place alike in the ascending and the descending line.
But in the descending line, between the psychical aggregate designated by the word animal, and the individuals from the observation of which the existence was deduced of that faculty from which the classical appellative of that aggregate was deduced as above, there has been framed a whole nest of physical aggregates, one within another, in a long chain or series of intus-susceptions or enclosures; and so in the case of vegetables another such series; and so in the case of minerals another such; each such box, with its companions, at the same distance from the all-enclosing box, being the result of a division which at that part had been made of the contents of that larger box, within the limits of which they had all of them been contained.
Though at a few of the highest stages, the steps taken in the ascending line, and the steps taken in the descending line, are coincident, agreeing with one another in number,—in the line of ascent, they were taken with the seven-leagued boots of fairy land, assisted by the wings of the genius Imagination; in the line of descent, they were taken by Observation, retarded at every step by Reflection and Discernment, and in several tracks by Experiment.
Taken in their original acceptation, synthesis and analysis, the synthetic method and the analytic, are packing and unpacking; the latter operation being the exact converse or reverse and counterpart of the former: the road the same, the stages or stepping places the same, the direction alone different, and that opposite.
But very different it has been seen from a course thus simple in description, is the course taken by the mind when occupied in working in the field of logical method.
Instead, therefore, of the number of integral parts contained in a logical aggregate being a limited, in a word, a given, a determinate, or, at any rate, a determinable number, as it would be were it not for the powers—the unlimited powers, of decomposition and recomposition possessed by the human mind,—of these powers, one effect is to exclude as fruitless every possible attempt at circumscribing within any limited extent the number of such parts into which a logical whole is capable of being divided.
In the case of physical aggregates, it may be done; but not so in the case of logical ones. Take a bushel of apples: the number of integrant parts of that aggregate, each apple constituting one of those integrant parts, will be the number of apples that were put into the bushel, neither more nor less.
Some years ago, the aggregate number of all the species of plants then known was estimated at 40,000. Suppose a garden, and in it a specimen of every one of these 40,000 species; 40,000, neither more nor less, is, in this case, the exact number of integrant parts into which the aggregate here in question is capable of being divided. But, upon this supposition, 40,000 is not equal to the number of integrant parts called species, into which the logical aggregate, designated by the names of plant and vegetable, is capable of being divided.
In this supposed case, for every species there is one individual, and no more; for every individual, one species, and no more.
But as, within the extent of one species, an indefinite number of individuals may be, and habitually are, contained, so from any one individual, much more from a greater number of individuals, an unlimited number of species may be deduced.
No new species, it is true, can be formed, except so far as in description it is capable of being rendered different from every species which had been described, before it had ever been described. But, in regard to any of the observable species of natural bodies, taken as they come out of the hands of Nature, this is a condition, of the failure of which no reasonable probability seems to present itself. Take, for instance, the 40,000 different species of plants, that having, some years ago, been said to be the number of those species already known to be in existence. Of these, there exists not any one which has not some property, or aggregate of properties, which is not to be found in any of the others, and which constitute that difference, or say differential character, whereby it stands distinguished from every other. Of these differences, the ideas were respectively formed in the mind by the process of abstraction. They were formed from the observations made of some individual plant or plants, which, at the time of observation, were respectively considered as belonging to those same species. On this occasion, in the formation of any such species, what was done was, not to take for the character, or essence of the species, every mark whereby the individual in question, the individual, or individuals, then and there observed, was seen to differ from all individuals that had ever been observed before, but only some one or other small number of these marks. For, in all the different species of plants that have thus been formed, take any one whatsoever: answerable to the description, how ample and particular soever of that one species, will be found individuals in a multitude absolutely inexhaustible, no two of them so perfectly similar but that, upon a simultaneous comparison, differences, perceptible and describable differences, between them might be found.
Hence it is, that the denomination given to the operation by which the fictitious aggregates created by the joint powers of observation and imagination, or by the imagination alone, is, abstraction. Out of an indefinite number of peculiar marks, by which the several really existing individuals lying open to observation are distinguishable, the mind fixes upon some one or other comparatively small number, and leaving the others unnoticed, and in this way separating them from these others, makes its own use of them, applies to the purpose in question the property, or properties, thus abstracted; establishing them in the character of so many marks, whereby the thus new-formed species, and as many individuals as will ever come to be included under it, i. e. be found to exhibit marks of the same description, are made to stand distinguished, as supposed, from all other species* and individuals that are, every have been, or ever will be, in existence.
Misapplication of the Terms Synthesis and Analysis to Geometry and Algebra.
Expressing the difference between Geometry and Algebra is another of the purposes to which the opposite terms Synthesis and Analysis, with the methods respectively denominated from them, viz. the Synthetic method, and the Analytic method, have been employed.
But, between these two branches of science, no such difference or distinction will be found as that of which intimation is given, by that pair of correspondent and opposite appellatives.
In Geometry, quantity is never considered but with relation to figure; in Algebra it never is considered with relation to figure: of the difference between these two branches of Mathematics, this account is at once true, short, and clear, and no other account that is in equal, if in any degree at all endowed with these qualities, will, it is believed, be found.*
In Algebra, as well as in Geometry,—in Geometry as well as in Algebra,—that which is unknown, or supposed to be unknown, is inferred from its relation to that which is known, or supposed to be known: in Algebra, unknown quantities, as expressed by letters, are made known by means of the relation they bear to known ones, as expressed by figures; in Geometry, unknown quantities, as expressed by figure, and supposed to exist as between figure and figure, or parts of the same figure, are made known by means of the relations they bear to known quantities, as expressed by figure.
In Geometry, true it is, that objects are put together; quantities known and unknown are put together; whereupon, of such as are unknown, a description is given, and a conception conveyed by means of the relation they bear to certain known ones.
Of Geometry this is true; nor is it less so when applied to Algebra.
A quantity is mentioned to me, of which I wish to know the amount, it being as yet unknown to me. By the amount, in this case, is always meant the amount in numbers; for, in truth, the subject of Algebra is number—numbers and nothing else. Suppose the number in question six;—in answer to my question, What is the number? the number six is not mentioned by that name; but I am told it is that number which is as great again as number three, or half as great exactly as number twelve. Simple as they are, either of these answers is already Algebra.
And it is thus that, by Algebra, the known and unknown quantities being put together, a description of such as are unknown is given, and a conception conveyed by means of the relation they bear to certain known ones.
Subjects to which it is applicable.
At the very first mention of the mental operation thus denominated, a distinction requires to be brought to view, a distinction respecting the nature of the subjects or objects to which it is applicable; for, according as it is considered in its application to the one or the other, of the two very different subjects or classes to which it is applicable, for the most part altogether different and disparate, will be found to be any rules from which the application of it may be capable of receiving direction and assistance.
On the one hand, a group of subjects or objects of any kind, considered as distinct, separate, and detached from one another; on the other hand, the fictitious body entitled a discourse,—a discourse of any kind, a literary composition included,—considered in respect of the mutual relations of which its several distinguishable parts are susceptible.
Of the operation termed methodization, or arrangement, the fictitious object, the fictitious receptacle, called method, is the fictitious result, or produce; when a number of objects are considered as methodized, they are said to be put into a method.
Method, as applied to insulated objects; method as applied to discourse: by these two denominations may the distinction between the two branches of method, resulting from the consideration of the two great fields to which it is applicable, be, it is hoped, commodiously brought to view.
The two species or modes of method thus constituted, may be compared with, and observed to bear some analogy to, the principle of the fundamental division applied of old to the field of quantity, viz. that which corresponds to the distinction for the expression of which the terms discrete and continuous were employed: by discrete—quantity, number, or rather numbers being designated: by continuous quantity, that which, by the juxtaposition of its ultimate parts, presents the idea expressed by the words form, figure, configuration, conformation or shape.
For illustration and explanation, take a discourse having for its field any portion of the field of Natural History. In this particular field will be comprised a portion, more or less considerable, of the whole number of distinct and distinguishable subjects belonging to that general field. To the aggregate of these subjects, the species, and that the only species of method or methodization applicable, will be that, to the designation of which, as above, the compound denomination, method, as applied to insulated objects, or, more shortly, to objects, has been appropriated. But of any discourse which has taken for its field any portion of the field thus brought to view, any part in and by which the art of method is applied to these same objects, will have constituted but one part, how large soever in comparison with the whole; and while, for the guidance of the mind in the disposition to be made of these same objects, one set of rules and observations will be adapted, another and a very different set of rules and observations will be found requisite for its guidance in the task of putting together the ideal fabric, termed a discourse.
Methodization as applied to Objects—its Two Principles or Modes: Principle of successive Exhibition—Principle of connected Aggregation.
Applied to subjects or objects, methodization is an operation which, in so far as it has any determinate and useful import attached to this its name, bears an indispensable, though not a very prominent, nor, in general, sufficiently apparent, relation to the particular end or purpose to which it is or ought to be regarded as subservient. Methodization supposes a multitude of articles on which, in the quality of subjects, it has to operate; and, in so far as it is apt and useful, it is effected by making such a disposition of them as promises to render them, as far as depends upon itself, subservient to that purpose.
Physical and psychical, as in the instance of so many others, so in the instance of the present subject, this presents itself as the first distinction which the nature of the subject requires to be brought to view. Physical, in so far as the articles to which this operation is applied, are so many portions of matter: psychical, in so far as they are so many ideas, creatures of the mind, of the immaterial part of the human frame.
Psychical entities, i. e. ideas, not being capable of being communicated or so much as fixed and rendered determinate, otherwise than by means of the words employed to serve as signs of them; hence, in so far as psychical methodization is in question, words will be the instruments by which whatsoever is done will all along be considered and spoken of as done.
In so far as in any number whatsoever, any objects whatsoever are put together in a particular manner, by design directed to a particular end, the operation termed methodization or arrangement may be considered as performed, and the objects so dealt with are said to be arranged or methodized.
Disposition by means of succession, or priority and posteriority,—disposition, without regard to succession, or priority and posteriority,—under one or other, or both of these denominations, will every possible mode of methodization be found comprehendible.
And with equal propriety it will be found applicable to arrangement in the physical and in the psychical sense.
Priority and posteriority are relations that apply alike to place and time.
On this occasion, of the two Predicaments, place is the one of which the conception is commonly the most simple. Why? Answer. Because, where it is, in respect of place, that a number of objects are to be arranged, they may be all of them designated at the same time in such sort as to be present to the view of the individual in question at the same time. Whereas, if they are to be arranged with reference to time, without being arranged with reference to place, they cannot be brought to the view of the same individual at the same time.
Audible signs are the only signs by means of which objects are capable of being arranged according to priority and posteriority in respect of time, otherwise than by means of reference to priority and posteriority in respect of place. By visible signs, priority and posteriority in respect of time is no otherwise designated than by priority and posteriority in respect of place. By tangible signs they may be designated in either of these ways. To tangible signs the organs may be applied successively or all at once; but, if all at once, the number to be distinguished must not be large.
Methodized by means of priority and posteriority, objects must be disposed in such manner as to exhibit altogether some conspicuous and familiar figure.
Of all figures the most familiar is a right line. Objects disposed in such manner as to exhibit a right line are said to be disposed in a row.
In that case, if the position of the row be vertical, the article to which priority is ascribed will be that one which stands highest; if horizontal, that one which is nearest to the position from which it is designed to be viewed.
Methodized otherwise than by means of priority and posteriority, objects may be said to be methodized by aggregation, by simple and promiscuous aggregation, by enclosure,—by being shut up altogether, as it were, in a box.
To physical and psychical methodization this distinction is alike applicable.
Fifty guineas disposed in a row are methodized by means of succession; enclosed altogether in a rouleau—a sort of extempore paper-box—they are methodized by aggregation and enclosure, or inclusion.
Where the number is thus great, the superior convenience of the principle of aggregation and enclosure, as compared with the principle of succession, has been experienced by the gamesters whose invention it was; and of this convenience the existence is evidenced by their practice. Displayed in a row, such a number would have required time and labour for the counting of it, and more for the re-union, re-collection, and re-display, of it. Disposed in a rouleau, an aggregate, in the instance of which the number of its elementary parts is known, no counting, no collection, no re-display, is necessary.
In the psychical mode of methodization, arrangement of the names of the objects in a determinate figure, such as a line vertical or horizontal, is arrangement on the principle of lineal succession; arrangement of them under a common denomination, is arrangement on the principle of aggregation and enclosure. The name, the common denomination, is, as it were, the box, the rouleau, in which they are enclosed, and by which they are kept together.
Methodization—its Uses—Purposes to which it is Applicable.
In the whole field of the art of Logic, so large is the portion occupied by the art of methodization,—so large, and, at the same time, so difficult to confine within any certain determinate limits, that the task of showing what it is that the art of method can do, is scarcely distinguishable from the task of showing what the art of Logic can itself do in all its totality.
Of the several distinguishable mental operations to which it belongs to the art of Logic to give direction and assistance, a list, supposed to be a complete one, has already been brought to view.*
In this list, methodization is but one article in a multitude. But, in comparison with all these its associates, such is its importance, that they are all of them but, as it were, so many instruments in its hands.
No one is there to which the art of Logic is not, in some way or other, capable of affording direction and assistance. But neither is there any one of them to which the art of conducting this same operation, termed arrangement or methodization, is not in like manner capable of affording direction and assistance.
If, in the style of Poetry and Rhetoric, Logic were to be termed a queen, methodization, method, might be termed her prime-minister.
Method is not the same thing as invention; for, from method, invention, it will be seen, as well as the other operations and their correspondent faculties, is capable of receiving direction and assistance; and a thing cannot be said to be an assistant to itself.
But method is itself the product of invention;—one of the most difficult works that it was ever employed in the execution of.
In the investigation of the uses capable of being made of this operation, (or, figuratively speaking, of this instrument,) for clearness of conception, it will be proper to be careful not to confound this operation with the aggregate of the operations of which Logic is capable of taking the direction; nor, as some appear to have done, with the art of literary composition, to whatsoever subject applied.† Co-acervation and successive exhibition,—these and these alone are, strictly and properly speaking, the two branches of the art of methodization.
Whatsoever assistance a different and distinguishable operation may be capable of receiving from methodization, it is not to methodization alone that the work performed by means of that other operation can, with propriety, be referred.
Great, for example, is the assistance which, from this source, invention has already drawn,—still greater, perhaps, the assistance which it may yet be capable of deriving. Yet, it is not by methodization alone that what has been performed in the way of invention has been performed. To chance and to analogy great, also, have been its debts: it has received much favour and assistance from this or that single and insulated analogy presented in some happy moment, by the hand of chance.
Functions applicable to any other branch of art and science.—In relation to art and science without distinction, teaching, learning, and improving—in relation to art, practising.
In relation to the exercise of these functions, method will, in every branch of art and science be found capable of affording useful direction and eminent assistance.
Correctness and completeness in these intimately connected, though still distinguishable, qualities, will be found so many properties desirable in relation to the view taken, or the conception formed and retained, of the matter of any branch, whatsoever it be, of science.
Towards conferring on the conception these kindred qualities, be the science what it may, methodization, taken as above, in the strictest and narrowest sense of which the word is susceptible, will be found rendering indisputably valuable assistance.
In relation to every other branch of art, methodization considered in respect of its successive-location branch, indicates, as the object which, on the occasion of whatever is done or contrived in the practice of it, should always occupy the first place—the characteristic end in view.
An object correspondent to the end in view is constituted by the properties desirable on the part of the sort of work, whatsoever it be, which the art in question has for its fruit.
Subjects of Methodization by Denomination—real Entities—fictitious Entities.*
Of methodization, in so far as performed by denomination, the subjects, the immediate subjects, are names, and nothing more. Things? Yes; but no otherwise than through the medium of their names.
It is only by means of names, viz. simple or compound, that things are susceptible of arrangement. Understand of arrangement in the psychical sense; in which sense, strictly speaking, it is only the ideas of the things in question that are the subjects of the arrangement, not the things themselves. Of physical arrangement, the subjects are the things themselves—the animals, or the plants, or the minerals disposed in a museum; of psychical, the names, and, through the names, the ideas of those several objects, viz. as disposed in a systematic work on the subject of the correspondent branch of Natural Philosophy—on the subject of Zoology, Botany, or Mineralogy.
If of this operation (viz. methodization by denomination) things were the only subjects, after names of persons, names there would be none, other than names of things; but of names that are not names of things, there are abundantly more than of names that are.
By things, bodies are here meant, portions of inanimate substance.
By this denomination, we are led to the distinction, the comprehensive and instructive distinction, between real entities and fictitious entities; or rather, between their respective names. Names of real entities are masses of proper names,—names of so many individual masses of matter; of common names,—names respectively of all such individual masses of matter as are of such or such a particular description, which by these names is indicated, or endeavoured to be indicated.
Words—viz. words employed to serve as names—being the only instruments by which, in the absence of the things, viz. the substances themselves, the ideas of them can be presented to the mind; hence, wheresoever a word is seen, which, to appearance, is employed in the character of a name, a natural and abundantly extensive consequence is,—a propensity and disposition to suppose the existence, the real existence, of a correspondent object,—of a correspondent thing,—of the thing of which it is the name,—of a thing to which it ministers in the character of a name.
Yielded to without a sufficiently attentive caution, this disposition is a frequent source of confusion,—of temporary confusion and perplexity; and not only so, but even of permanent error.
The class of objects here meant to be designated by the appellation of names of fictitious entities, require to be distinguished from names of fabulous entities; for shortness, say;—fictitious require to be distinguished from fabulous entities. To render whatsoever is said of them correctly and literally true, the idea of a name requires all along to be inserted, and the grammatical sentence composed and constructed in consequence.
Fabulous entities are either fabulous persons or fabulous things.
Fabulous entities, whether persons or things, are supposed material objects, of which the separate existence is capable of becoming a subject of belief, and of which, accordingly, the same sort of picture is capable of being drawn in and preserved in the mind, as of any really existent object.†
Of a fabulous object, whether person or thing, the idea, i. e. the image delineated in the mind by the name and accompanying description, may be just the same, whether a corresponding object had or had not been in existence, whether the object were a historical or a fabulous one.
Fictitious entities, viz. the objects for the description of which, throughout the whole course of the present work, this appellative is meant to be employed, are such, of which, in a very ample proportion, the mention, and consequent fiction, requires to be introduced for the purpose of discourse; their names being employed in the same manner as names of substances are employed; hence the character in which they present themselves is that of so many names of substances. But these names of fictitious entities do not, as do the above-mentioned names of fabulous entities, raise up in the mind any correspondent images.
Follows a sort of commenced catalogue of these fictitious entities, of these names of fictitious entities; from which the common nature, in which, as above, they all participate, will presently become perceptible. Like the names of real, and those of fabulous, entities, all these words, it will be seen, are, in the language of grammarians, noun-substantives. All these fictitious entities are, accordingly, so many fictitious substances. The properties which, for the purposes of discourse, are attributed to them, are so many properties of all substances.
That the properties belonging to substances, to bodies in general, are attributed to them,—that they are spoken of, as if possessed of such properties, appears, from the prepositions by which the import of their respective names is put, in connexion with the import of the other words of which the sentence, the grammatical sentence, is composed.
Physical and psychical.—Under one or other of these two denominations may all fictitious entities be comprised.
Let us commence with physical:
I. Motion,—motions.—In the physical world, in the order of approach to real existence, next to matter, comes motion. But motion itself is spoken of as if it were matter; and in truth, because, in no other way,—such is the nature of language, and such is the nature of things,—in no other way could it have been spoken of.
A ball,—the ball called the earth, is said to be in motion. By this word in, what is it that is signified? Answer.—What is signified is, that motion is a receptacle, i. e. a hollow substance: and that in this hollow substance, the ball called the earth is lodged.
A motion, or the motion we say of a body. The body is one portion of matter, the motion is another, which proceeds of, that is from that substance.
Of names of motions, i. e. of names of species, or modifications of motion,—vast, not to say infinite, is the number and variety.
Genus generalissimum, is a term employed by the logicians of old, to indicate the name of any one of those aggregates which is not contained in any other aggregate that hath as yet received a name.
The idea of motion necessarily supposes that of a moving body,—a body which is in motion, or in which the motion is; necessarily supposes, i. e. without the one idea, at any rate, without the one image, the other cannot be entertained.
The idea of motion does not necessarily suppose that of another body, or the idea of the motion of another body, or the idea of another body, from which, or from the motion of which, the motion in question proceeds, or did proceed. The planets, that they are in motion, is matter of observation,—whence the motion took its rise, is matter of inference, or rather of vague conjecture. On the earth’s surface, we see various bodies in the act of deriving motion from various primum mobiles. But the primum mobile, if any from which the earth itself derived the motion in which it is at present, what can we so much as conjecture in relation to it?
Where a motion of any kind is considered as having place, it is considered either with reference to some person who is regarded as the author of it, or without such reference. In the latter of these cases, motion, and nothing else, is the word employed: in the other case, action or operation; and in respect of it, the author is termed agent or operator.
II. Quantity.—Next to motion and motions, come quantity and quantities.
Quantity is applicable in the first place to matter, in the next place to motion.
Of and in are the prepositions in the company of which it is employed.
A quantity of ink is in the ink-glass which stands before me. Here ink, the real substance, is one substance; quantity, the fictitious substance, is another which is proceeding, or has proceeded, from ink, the real one.
The ink which is in the ink-glass, exists there in a certain quantity. Here quantity is a fictitious substance,—a fictitious receptacle, and in this receptacle the ink, the real substance, is spoken of as if it were lodged.
In this word quantity, may be seen the name of another genus generalissimum: another aggregate than which there is no other more capacious in the same nest of aggregates.
When quantity is considered, it may be considered either with or without regard to the relation between part and whole; and if considered, in one or other of these ways it cannot but be considered; the division is, therefore, an exhaustive one.
When quantity is considered, or at least, attempted to be considered, without regard to the relation between part and whole, it is considered with reference to figure. But if, without regard to the relation between part and whole, the idea of figure be indeed capable of being entertained, it is indeterminate and confused.
Quantity, according to the logicians of old, is either continuous or discrete. By continuous quantity, they mean, quantity considered with regard to figure, and without regard to the relation between part and whole. By disorets quantity, they mean, quantity considered with regard to the relation between part and whole, and without regard to figure.
If the three branches of mathematical discipline be separately considered,—continuous quantity is the subject of geometry; discrete quantity, the subject of arithmetic and algebra.
But it is only by arithmetic, that either in relation to any proposition appertaining to geometry, or in relation to any proposition in algebra, any clear conception can be obtained. Divide a circle into any number of parts, for instance, those called degrees, clear and distinct ideas are obtainable respecting the whole, and those or any other parts into which it is capable of being divided, or conceived to be divided. Refuse all such division, the best idea you can obtain of a circle, will have neither determinate form nor use.
III. Quality.—Quality is applicable to matter, to motion, and to quantity.
Of and in are the prepositions in the company of which it is employed.
Qualities of bodies, or say, portions of matter, animate or inanimate, are good and bad, viz. with reference to man’s use.
Qualities of motion, i. e. of motions, are quick and slow, high and low, viz. with reference to any object taken as a standard, uninterrupted and interrupted, &c.
Qualities of quantities are great and little, determinate and indeterminate, i. e. with reference to man’s knowledge of them, or conception concerning them.
Qualities of quantities, are qualities either of bodies, i. e. portions of matter, or of portions of space, considered with reference to quantity to the exclusion of every other quality.
Property is, in one of the senses of the word, synonymous, or nearly so, to quality.
As we speak of the quality of a quantity, so do we of the quantity of a quality.
When men speak of the quantity of a quality, instead of saying quantity of a quality, they commonly say a degree,—in a high degree, in a low degree,—instead of high, we say sometimes, in a great degree; instead of low, in a small degree.
Degree, in French degré, is from the Latin gradus, a step or stair; that which is said to be in a high degree, is considered as situated upon the upper steps of a staircase. Scale, in French Echelle, is from the Latin Scala, a ladder; whether the word be staircase or ladder, the image is to the purpose here in question much the same.
IV. Form or Figure.—No mass of matter is without form; no individual mass of matter but has its boundary lines; and by the magnitude of those lines, and their position with reference to one another, the form, the figure of the mass is constituted and determined.
But neither is any portion of space without its form. Form or figure,* or say, to possess form, or figure is, therefore, a property or quality of space as well as of matter; it is a property common to matter and space.
A mass of matter may have throughout for its bounds or limits, either another mass, or other masses, of matter, or a portion of space, or in some parts matter, in others space.
A portion of space cannot, in any part, have for its bounds anything but matter.
A mass of matter is said to exist in a certain form; to be of a certain form or figure; to be changed from one form into, or to, another.
V. Relation.—In so far as any two objects are regarded by the mind at the same time, the mind, for a greater or less length of time, passing from the one to the other, by this transition, a fictitious entity termed Relation,—a relation, is considered as produced.
The one of these objects,—either of these objects is said to bear a relation to the other.
Between the two objects, a relation is said to exist, or to have place.
The time during which the two objects are regarded, or kept under consideration, is, as above, for shortness, spoken of as the same time. It should seem, however, that, with exactly the same degree of attention, objects more than one cannot be regarded, considered, examined, surveyed, at exactly the same instant, or smallest measurable portion of time; but that, on the occasion, and for the purpose of comparison, the mind is continually passing and repassing from the one to the other, and back again, i. e. vibrating, viz. after the manner of the pendulum of a clock.
This motion, viz. vibration, (the motion acquired by an elastic cylinder or prism, in which the length is the prevalent dimension, on its being suddenly dragged, impelled, or drawn, and let go in a direction other than that of its length,) being the simplest of all recurrent motions, is the sort of motion best suited, or rather is the only sort of motion in any degree at all suited to the purpose of comparison.
Hence it seems to be that, in speaking of a relation, any number of objects greater than two, are not brought to view; for, on this occasion, the preposition employed is always between, never among. By the preposition between, the number of the objects in question is restricted to two; restricted universally and uncontrovertibly.
Hence it is that, in methodical division, the bifurcate mode is the only one that is completely satisfactory.
Of the relation between Genus and Species.
From methodization on the principle of aggregation, follows the sort of relation that has place between genus and species; the relation, by means of which aggregates of different dimensions are lodged, with reference to one another, in the order called subalternation or introsusception.
It is from this order,—that is, from the practice of ranging ideas in this order by means of correspondent denomination, that the logical operations, called logical division and logical definition, took their rise.
The order in which, by the Aristotelians, the component elements of a system of subalternation are exhibited is the reverse of the historical order in which they made their appearance. By these logicians an immense aggregate is held up to view, the most extensive of which they were capable of conveying or framing a conception: that aggregate is represented as divided, or divisible, into other aggregates; these again, each of them, into others, and so on, till at last comes the last link in this sort of chain;—a link consisting of an aggregate which, not having within it any other aggregates, is composed wholly of individuals, which individuals must, if those spiritual substances are excepted, which, on the occasion, are commonly introduced, of course, consist of portions of matter, being natural bodies, or parts or portions of such bodies.
This order, according to which (the principle of methodization being, in this respect, the principle of priority and posteriority) the object of largest dimension, is that which presents itself in the first instance, is called the analytic order, or the order of analysis, analysis from a Greek word, which signifies to melt or break down into a number of parts, an object considered in the character of a whole.
The reverse of this is the order of priority, as chalked out by the hand of Nature. Sense is the fountain from which all ideas take their rise. To sense no objects but individual ones ever present themselves. The names first in use must, accordingly, have, all of them, been of the sort of names called proper names,—names invented and employed for the designation of individual objects.
From the invention of proper names to the invention of common names, must have been a very wide and ample step: long may the race have continued before any instance of its being taken actually occurred.
As often as any separation to the eye happened to take place, the first man, desiring the presence of the first woman, would have need to lift up his voice to give intimation to her of such his desire; the sound thus uttered by him would, if, to any degree of constancy, the same sound were repeated, become her name. In the same manner, from the first woman, would the first man receive his name. In the same manner would the dog,—the first dog, between which and any part of the human species any intercourse established itself,—receive, and, at the same time, learn his name.
Had Adam and Eve remained childless, the human species would never have received, at least from human lips, a common name. On that supposition, himself and Eve would have been all the human beings whom Adam could have had need to speak of; for any common name, including these two, still less for a common name, including other human beings in an indefinite number, could either of these, our first parents, have had any use.
In the language of the modern Hebrews, and even in the language of the Hebrew Scriptures, the same word which is employed to designate the earliest individual of the human species, is employed to designate the species likewise. A name employed constantly by Adam for designating himself, to the exclusion of Eve, could never have been employed, or pitched upon, for designating both of them together.
It was taking a wide step the forming in this way an aggregate denomination, and with it an aggregate idea, in which the component individuals were determinate. It was another, and still wider step, the forming such a denomination of this sort, in which the component individuals were all, or any of them, indeterminate.
Whether for an aggregate denomination the component individuals of which were determinate, any effectual demand presented itself, antecedently to a like demand for an aggregate denomination, of which the component individuals were indeterminate, would naturally depend in good measure upon the number of individuals naturally susceptible of the same denomination that happened, at the same time, to come within the cognizance of the interlocutors. So long as the number of his sheep was small, Abel would have no need of finding for them an aggregate, a specific denomination;—the larger and larger it became, the more and more urgent would be the demand for an all-comprehensive name.
Of an aggregate composed of determinate individuals, the idea and denomination being thus once formed, it would not be long before the same denomination would have been found capable of serving for the designation of an aggregate, composed of individuals, some, or all of which, were indeterminate;—between individual and individual the less wide to any practical purpose were the difference, the sooner would the transition from the employment of an aggregate denomination of the more obvious nature to an aggregate denomination of the less obvious nature be made.
Under the direction of an attentive observer, geography serves, in some sort, for supplying the gaps left by history. The description of nations exhibiting themselves on different levels in the scale of improvement, or, to speak more precisely, having before them fields of observation of different extent, serve, when put together, to exhibit a simultaneous view of no inconsiderable portion of the history of the human race.
In this view, the most curious, and to the purpose of instruction the most valuable, chapter in this sort of contemporary history, would be composed of the vocabulary, if a complete one could be obtained, of a tribe, the seat of which, supposing it have all along been there, was in the narrowest field as yet known, in a small and thinly inhabited island, or cluster of islands, destitute of communication with any other inhabited portion of the globe.
At Otaheite, at the time of the discovery of that group of islands, dogs and hogs being, unless rats were an exception, the only quadrupeds with which the human part of its inhabitants were acquainted, they had, we may be well assured, no denomination answering in point of extent to our word quadruped, still less to our word animal. When to their astonished eyes a horse first presented itself, it was classed by them with dogs,—it was designated among them by the same common and aggregating name. The hog species was as familiar to them as the dog; but from its being the name of dog, and not that of hog, that by them was bestowed upon the first seen horse, it appears that, in their eyes, it was to the dog, and not to the hog species, that the horse bore the closest resemblance.
Of the Porphyrian Tree.
The process, or course, by which setting out from individuals, and these indeterminate, men arrived at that level in the scale at which are seated the most extensive aggregates, has received the name of generalization; it has division, logical or psychical division, for its converse.
At this stage of the inquiry, the justly celebrated logical instrument, called the Porphyrian tree, presents its claim for notice.* It took this name from its inventor, Porphyrius, a Greek, who, four centuries after the days of Aristotle, enlisted himself under his banners as one of his disciples.
In the track of generalization such had, among that ingenious people, no one knows how long before the days of Aristotle, been the progress of generalization, that he found rising, one above another, in that scale, words in the Greek language, employed as the names of the following aggregates: 1, man;—2, animal;—3, living thing;—4, body;—5, substance.
In addition to those objects, the existence of which is made known to sense, for designating other objects, the idea of which is presented to us only by abstraction, the work of imagination, while their existence is pointed out to us by inference, he found, already in use, a word corresponding to our word substance.
For exhibiting to the senses the relation between the objects standing on different levels of the scale thus composed, he employed as an emblem the figure of a tree.
At the bottom, in the place of, and as serving to constitute the trunk, with its continuation, the root, he stationed the most capacious of all these aggregates,—the half-corporeal, half-ideal name, substance. Within the compass of this most capacious aggregate, he beheld two lesser aggregates, constituting the nearest and lowest branches of the tree; one the aggregate composed of such substances as are of a corporeal, the other of such as are of an incorporeal nature;—those of a corporeal, i. e. bodily nature, were, in one word, bodies;—those of an incorporeal nature were, in one word, spirits.
Taking in hand the aggregate composed of bodies, he observed that some had life in them, others not,—by which word life, he designated as well the sort of life ascribed to plants, viz. vegetable life, as the sort of life ascribed to animals, viz. animal life. In these he found two ulterior branches for the corporeal branch of his ideal trunk and root; one branch served for containing such bodies as had life in them,—the other such as had no life in them.
Leaving the vegetable world, as before he had left the incorporeal world, undivided, he performed the operation of division in the same way with the animal world, as he had proceeded with the corporeal;—included in this aggregate, he observed two ulterior aggregates, one in which were included all animals endowed with reason, viz. human creatures,—in the other, all animals not endowed with that transcendant gift, which last, without further division or distinction, he drove together in one flock under the name of brutes;—and with these rational beings he peopled the one, as with the irrational ones the other of the two extreme branches of this emblematical and instructive tree.
The branch to which he saw the brutes adhering, he left as he had left the incorporeal, and, within it, the vegetable world, unnoticed as well as undivided. Brutes being but brutes, were not worth distinguishing from each other, in a word, on no account had they any further claim to notice.
As to rational creatures, they were human beings, and, in the largest sense of the word, man, they were men;—these were worth distinguishing. Accordingly, from this extreme branch, arose a twig representing the aggregate composed of individuals, and upon this distinguished by their several denominations, which, they being individuals, were the sort of names called proper names, sat perched as the representatives of their fellow beings, some of the most distinguished of his contemporaries, and their predecessors.
One defect, one but too discernible, had, unfortunately, this emblematic vegetable.
To the parts of which it is composed, the order of succession which it assigns in respect of priority and posteriority, is not the real order in which they came into existence, but the reverse of it.
For those parts of the system which possess, in the largest measure, the nature of substance, viz. body, in the only shape in which it comes within the cognizance of our senses, the station should be on terra firmâ; but in the tree of Porphyrius, its place is aloft in the high and aerial region.
There it is that the illustrious persons taken for examples of individuals, there it is that the Socrates’, the Plato’s, and the Aristotle’s, are seen quivering upon the extremest twigs. The parts from which, by abstraction, the properties of matter have, one after another, been drawn off till nothing but a bubble remains, to these is appropriated the name of substance; these, in the altitude of the system, occupy that place which, in a real tree, is in, or in immediate contiguity with, the earth.
Take a small tree as it grows in a garden-pot, continue it in its natural position, it represents not the tree of Porphyrius, but the reverse of it,—turn it topsy-turvy, the stem, the bottom of the trunk, this occupies the highest place, the remotest and slenderest branches the lowest,—and then it is, if at all, that it becomes the correct emblem and faithful portraiture of the tree of Porphyrius.
Of Scales of, or in, Logical Subalternation.
In the whole field of human thought and action, so many aggregates as we have occasion to form and to distinguish in the character of genera generalissima, so many are the different scales of logical subalternation.
In the aggregate which has entity for its name, all other imaginable aggregates are comprehended.
Entities are either physical or psychical.
Physical are either real or fictitious.
Psychical, again, are either real or fictitious; real psychical are either present to sense, perceptive, i. e. impressions; or present to memory, i. e. ideas. Ideas are either single, or say concrete, simple, or particular—formed without abstraction; or general, i. e. aggregate, formed by abstraction.
Psychical fictitious entities may be distinguished (i. e. the aggregate composed of the entities termed psychical fictitious entities may be divided) according to the faculties to which they respectively bear relation.*
Aggregates.—Any two aggregates, which are completely included either of them within the other, stand with reference to each other in the relation of logical subalternation, and with reference to each other may be said to be commensurable. Divide the larger of the two, you may sooner or later divide it into parts, one of which will be the smaller aggregate.
Aggregates, no one of which is in any part included within the other, may, in like manner, be said to be incommensurable.
Any number of aggregates which are thus commensurable may be considered as belonging to, constituting, and may be said to constitute one scale, and to belong to one and the same scale. And thus we have scales of aggregates, and scales of logical subalternation.
Instead of scales of aggregates, we may also, in so far as the convenience of discourse may be found to require it, say nests† of aggregates; and speak of two or more aggregates as belonging to the same nest, or belonging to different nests.
Aggregates belonging to the same scale of logical subalternation are, moreover, said to be arranged, with reference to one another, in systematic order.
Of two aggregates belonging to the same scale, the larger may, with reference to the smaller, be termed superordinate, the smaller, with reference to the larger subordinate.
In this way, the two only modes or principles of methodization are employed together: the one which proceeds on the principle of succession, or priority and posteriority, being in the character of a type or emblem employed to represent that which proceeds on the principle of aggregation.
In all scales of logical subalternation, there are two fixed points or levels; viz. that at or on which individuals stand, i. e. the level of individuality or lowest level, and that at or on which the genus generalissimum, or most extensive and all-comprehensive aggregate stands, i. e. the highest level.
Between these two fixed points or degrees, other degrees, in any number, are wont to be interposed, according to the exigency of the case, as determined by the nature of the scale, and the use made of the aggregates or aggregate terms of which it is composed, according to the nature of the art and science to the cognizance of which it has regard.
For the purpose of scientific arrangement, physical entities are commonly considered as composed of three aggregates, which, or their respective fields, are commonly spoken of by the appellation of kingdoms: viz. the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral; the individuals belonging to the mineral kingdom, being neither sensitive nor so much as vital; those belonging to the vegetable kingdom, vital but not sensitive; those belonging to the animal kingdom, vivacious and sensitive.
In each of these kingdoms, between the two points or levels, viz. the highest and the lowest, degrees are placed in any number according to the demand constituted by the state and condition of the science in respect of cultivation and advancement.
For the formation and designation of these degrees, (the name of the kingdom constituting the name of the highest aggregate,) the course taken has usually been to begin with the highest, i. e. the most capacious receptacle.
From this, in order to obtain lesser and inferior aggregates, stationed in so many lower levels, it became necessary to have recourse to division: division, say psychical or logical division, was the operation necessarily employed.
In every branch of art and science, the use of definition is universally felt and acknowledged. But to definition, at any rate in the usual sense of the word, division, psychical or logical division, is a necessary preliminary or accompaniment. In that sense, by definition is meant the indication of a larger aggregate, in which the aggregate in question (the aggregate for the name of which definition is required) is comprised; together with the indication of some property or properties by which the aggregate in question stands distinguished from whatsoever other aggregates are likewise comprised under that same larger aggregate, distinguished, to wit, in this manner: viz. that the property so indicated does appertain to the lesser aggregate in question, but does not appertain to those other lesser aggregates from which it is required to be distinguished.
Take, for example, this definition of the species man: man is a rational animal. By the word animal, indication is given of the larger aggregate, within which the aggregate in question, the aggregate indicated by the word man, is comprehended. By the word rational is indicated a quality or property which is considered as appertaining at birth at least, and abstraction, made of particular accidents, to all individuals comprehended within the denomination of that lesser aggregate in question, viz. man, and not appertaining to any other individuals comprised within the name of the aggregate animal.
But for this purpose, and on this occasion, and if not antecedently, by this means, here is a larger aggregate psychically or logically divided, divided into two lesser and component aggregates: to the one of these two aggregates a name, viz., the name man, is given; to the remaining aggregate, no name is in and by this same operation given—it is left without a name.*
Thus intimately connected are the three logical operations subservient to instructive intercourse, viz. aggregative arrangement, division, and definition. Without previous aggregate arrangement there would be nothing to divide; without division there would be no definition, at least no definition in which the genus or aggregate referred to, and employed for the purpose of explanation or instruction, were of any less dimensions than the genus generalissimum, the box in which all the other boxes belonging to that nest are included.
Of Subalternation and Psychical Division and Definition as Applied or Applicable to the three Physical Kingdoms: viz. 1. Animal; 2. Vegetable; 3. Mineral.
Since the revival of letters, i. e. of intellectual culture, the greater the length of time that has elapsed, the greater the quantity of time, and thence the greater the number of the persons that have been employed in the observation and examination of the subjects of these three portions of the intellectual world.
In each part, the number of these objects, of these sorts of objects, all different and distinguishable from each other, has received prodigious increase: to reduce them to masses of a comprehensible manageable bulk, means have necessarily been looked out for of breaking down each of these all-comprehensive aggregates into aggregates of less extent, these again into others, and so on downwards, until under the name of species a range of aggregates were established, all situate upon the same level; no one of them containing any other aggregates, every one of them having for its contents individuals, and nothing but individuals; for its contents individuals, and those not in any number greater than what might, without confusion, and with sufficient observation of their several points of agreement and difference, be contemplated by a scrutinizing eye and an attentive mind.
The labour, whatsoever it be, that was, or is, capable of being bestowed in this direction, viz. in the way of methodization upon the field of physical science, had, and has, for its sole immediate object, the solution of this one problem, viz.—in the instance of every individual object, belonging to every one of the three kingdoms—of every such object, in the state in which it is presented to man’s view by the hand of Nature, to set upon it, by verbal description only, and without seeing it, a mark of distinction, such whereby it may be effectually distinguished from every other such individual object, except such as are possessed of exactly the same properties, or at least, of properties so nearly the same, as to be capable of being employed instead of it, without practical inconvenience.
Long before the stock of physical knowledge had received any such considerable accessions, the accomplishment of the solution of this problem, with no other help than had been furnished by the language of Aristotle’s logic, would have been rendered impracticable.
The accomplishment of this problem was far indeed from being a work of mere barren speculation; practice in every line of art, and above all, in the medical, the most useful of all arts, has ever been, in no small degree, dependent upon it. On such or such an occasion, an individual object,—say, an individual plant,—has been found possessed of certain serviceable properties,—has afforded to a man relief under disease. The plant employed, the disease appears to be cured. But ere long, the disease returns; the health-restoring plant is all consumed; another plant, presenting the same outward appearance, might be expected to operate with the same inward efficacy,—to be productive of the same happy effect. Discovery is accordingly made of another, presenting to a first view the same appearance,—employed in the same manner as the first, instead of banishing the disease, it exasperates it. Upon a sufficiently close observation, the two plants might have been seen to present, even in their outward configuration, very material discernible differences,—differences from which, correspondent differences in respect of their effects on the human body, would have been inferred, or, at least, the supposition of their absolute identity disproved and banished. But supposing even these outward differences discerned, and the salutary inference deduced, how minute and momentary would be the benefit. The one individual person is, for the moment at least, put sufficiently upon his guard against the mischief; but even himself, perhaps, on another occasion, all others upon all occasions, remain exposed to it.
In a degree more or less serious, the like danger may be seen extending itself over the whole field of the three kingdoms. For the obviating this danger, the nature of the case affords no other means, than the giving to the solution of the above-mentioned problem, an equal and coincident extent.
In these latter days, so far as concerns the physical world, comparatively speaking, the grand problem wants not much of being accomplished. But to the accomplishment of it, the stock of methodical terms, possessed by the Aristotelians, wanted much of being sufficient. Species and genus, with the addition of a term floating in the clouds at an infinite and indeterminable distance above these other two, composed the whole of it.
1. System of nature, the name of the all-comprehensive physical aggregate; that divided into the three kingdoms. 2. Each kingdom divided into classes. 3. These into orders. 4. Orders divided into divisions; and, 5, perhaps these into sub-divisions; by this list of terms is shown the addition made by Linnæus.
Division of Aggregates—Linnæan Nomenclature of the Sub-divisions.
In relation to the names employed for the designation of the aggregates of different dimensions, which are regularly the result of the successive divisions performed in a system of logical subalternation, what is to be wished is, that in the instance of each, intimation should be given, in the first place, of the number of nests, or ranks of aggregates, contained in the system. Secondly; of the rank occupied by the aggregate of which the word in question is the name.
In such a system, the most capacious of all the aggregates, viz. that in which all the others are contained, will occupy the first rank; those which constitute the result of the first act of division to which it is subjected, the second rank; those which are the result of the division, to which the results of the first division are subjected, the third rank.
The number of nests, or ranks, will be one more than the number of the acts of division, to which the aggregate, which occupies the most capacious, highest, and first rank, has been subjected.
In the system of Linnæus, if the contents of the whole earth be taken for the first, highest, and all-comprehensive aggregate, the number of nests or ranks of subordinate aggregates, constituting the result of the successive divisions to which it has been subjected, will, when added to that first aggregate, the original dividend be found to be seven, the number of these successive acts of division being six, viz. 1. kingdom; 2. classes; 3. orders; 4. genera; 5. species; 6. varieties.
For further explanation, taking the class for the prime dividend, to this prime dividend he applies, as synonymous to it, and explanatory of it, the compound term, genus summum, (highest genus;) to ordo, order, the compound term genus intermedium; to genus, (kind,) the compound term genus proximum; to species, (species,) nothing but that same appellative; to varietas, (variety,) the term individuum.
1. Unfortunately, in this illustration, the prime dividend, or the all-comprehensive aggregate is omitted; so, also, the result of the first act of division, the three physical kingdoms; what is done for the purpose of illustration, consists, therefore, in taking the term genus, and with two different epithets or adjuncts, necessarily Latin, employed for distinction’s sake, applying it as synonymous in the first place to class, and then again to ordo.
2. What is still more unfortunate, in this additional tree, designed for the illustration of the others, he places individuum on the same level with varietas, as if the two appellatives were with relation to one another synonymous and interconvertibly employable; whereas, varietas, variety, is the name of an aggregate, and in that character employed even by himself.
3. For further illustration, he gives two other nests of aggregates,—the one constituted by the divisions to which the territory of a political state has been found subjected; the other, by the divisions to which the military establishment has been found subjected.
Unfortunately, in both these instances, the number of these successive acts of division and subdivision being altogether arbitrary, has, in different political states, and in the same political state at different times, been different; and, moreover, as to the denominations which, for the designation of them, are employed by him, the language in which this work of his is written, being the Latin language, it is from that language that they were all of them, unfortunately deduced. But in neither of those instances does the Latin language afford an adequate number of names of aggregates, the relation of which to each other, in respect of amplitude and capacity, were, or are, found by him determinate.
The geographical or topographical aggregates which he employs, and which are constituted by portions of the earth’s surface, with their divisions and subdivisions, are, 1. Provinciæ, put as correspondent to classis and genus summum. 2. Territoria, put as correspondent to ordo and genus intermedium. 3. Parœciæ, put as correspondent to genus and genus proximum. 4. Pagi, put as correspondent to species. 5. Domicilium, put as correspondent to varietas, and to individuum.
The political, or political official, names of aggregates which he employs are, 1. Legiones, employed as correspondent to classis, and to genus summum, and to provinciæ; 2. Cohortes, employed as correspondent to ordo, and to genus intermedium, and to territoria; 3. Manipuli, as correspondent to genus, and genus proximum, and to parœciæ; 4. Contubernia, to species, and to pagi; 5. Miles, to varietas, to individuum, and to domicilium.
4. Another imperfection: varietas, may, without impropriety, be employed as the name of an aggregate, and in that character is accordingly, in this work of his, employed by himself;* so, possibly with the help of explanation, might domicilium, for example, if considered as an aggregate, having individual chambers for its constituent parts; but by no explanation can individuum be rendered a fit denomination for an aggregate; by no explanation can it be rendered a fit denomination for anything but an individual; and so in the case of miles.
Rules of Methodization as applied to Objects; viz. for the performance of Methodization by successive exhibition.
Rule I.Independentia priora.—When two words present themselves together for exposition, examine and observe whether there be not between them such a relation, that one of them, and that one alone, is capable of being explained, while the other remains unexplained and not understood; if so, be careful that the explanation given of that one shall precede the explanation given of the other.
Reason 1.—Brought to view before the explanation, the as yet unexplained article is brought to view without explanation; but if, without explanation, it can be understood, the explanation is of no use.
Reason 2. Where of that article, in the explanation of which the mention of the other is requisite, the explanation given is put first; here will be an object more or less unknown and obscure, perpetually floating about in the mind, and intercepting whatsoever light in the course of the explanation might, from any other quarter, have been thrown upon the object to be explained; and between the two, the attention will be distracted, and no clear view will be taken of either of them.
Rule II.—Qualis ab incepto procedat lucidus ordo. Unless for special reason, in whatsoever order a list of articles announced as about to be treated of, has, in the first instance, been brought to view, preserve that same order in the treating of them. Otherwise, thus:
When in the character of so many articles about to be treated of, a list of articles has been brought to view, be careful that, unless for special reason to the contrary, the order in which they are treated of be all along the same as that in which, as above, they were for the first time brought to view. To borrow a phrase from the Geometricians, the articles, once laid down, they should throughout be alike situated.
Reason 1.—When the same order is thus uniformly observed, the relations by which it was suggested are repeatedly and continually held up to view, and thereby imprinted more and more strongly and firmly on the memory.
2. While you thus preserve the same order, the view which at the outset you took of the subject and the place suggested by that view, appears to have been continually approved of and persevered in. On the other hand, if in the order any change takes place, the change will be apt to be regarded as a sign that the view first taken of the subject has been regarded as incongruous; that a plan, more or less different, has taken place of that which at first was meant to be pursued; and that, accordingly, your conceptions of the subject were indistinct and fluctuating.
3. Another supposition may be,—that instead of bearing in mind the order you had assigned, and purposely changing them, so it is that in the subsequent stage this order has escaped your memory.
By whatsoever advantage it was that the order of precedence first employed was suggested, this advantage will, in proportion to the degree in which that first appointed order is departed from, be lost.
Rule III.—Include, in the same receptacle, those objects alone which are designed to receive the same destination. Shillings and half-pence should not be put up into a rouleau of guineas.*
Of Methodization, as applied to the Materials or Parts of a Discourse or Literary Composition.
In any literary composition or protracted mass of discourse, such as is the whole, such must of course be the parts.
That which all discourses have in common is the different species of words called the parts of speech, and the sentences in different forms composed of those parts of speech, and the paragraphs composed of those sentences.
If, besides these parts, there were any others that belonged to all discourses in common with one another, methodization would be an operation susceptible of application to the parts of a discourse, as well as to the entities which are the parts or elements of an aggregate considered as such. But, to discourses taken in the lump there belong no such common parts.
But a set of incidents to which discourse of all kinds stands exposed, are certain vices or imperfections which, in every shape, it is liable to labour under.
1. Superfluity by irrelevancy; 2. Superfluity by repetition in terminis; 3. Superfluity by virtual repetition; 4. Verbosity; 5. Scantiness; 6. Inconsistency, including self-contradiction; 7. Ambiguity; 8. Obscurity; 9. Confusedness; 10. Desultoriness. By these appellations are designated so many imperfections by which every modification and mass of discourse is liable to be stained.
Many are the cases in which a suggestion, which, in the character of a precept of instruction or information would be generally nugatory, may yet, in the character of a memento, not only have, but be generally acknowledged to have a real usefulness.
In one single sentence might be contained a memento adequate to the purpose of putting the reader upon his guard, in so far as by mementos inserted in a book men can be put sufficiently upon their guard against the falling into any of these vices.
If, for separate paragraphs, in number equal to that of the vices, there can be any adequate demand, the purpose will be the subjoining, in each instance, something by way of explanation or example.
Repetition in terms as well as import, or say literal, repetition, and repetition in import alone, and not in terms, or say virtual, repetition. The distinction thus expressed may, it is believed, be found to have its use.
Repetition in terms is a vice, into the practice of which a writer, especially at this time of day, is not, it may naturally be imagined, in any great danger of falling.
The most extraordinary example, it is believed, that ever was in print or even in manuscript, is that which is exhibited in the Koran. In the compass of a moderate-sized octavo volume the same proposition, and that a nonsensical one, is repeated several hundred times.
Repetition in import is a vice that may be practised by a man to any extent, and without his being aware of it; and great, accordingly, is the extent to which the practice of it may be seen to be carried.
Scantiness is an imputation which, even in a case that affords just ground for it, does not very easily find a determinate seat.
It is only in so far as a writer fails in the performance of what he has actually undertaken to perform, that any deficiency in the quantity of matter delivered by him can be charged upon his discourse in any such character as that of an imperfection or a vice.
But, if having expressedly or impliedly undertaken to cover by his discourse the whole of the field which he has taken in hand, he leaves untouched any part of it that is known to have been already touched upon by any other writer, he must not expect to be holden altogether guiltless by any person by whom the deficiency has been perceived.†
In any list of articles—that list being expressly or impliedly given as a complete one—if any proposition, article or articles, that have a title to be considered as belonging to it, be omitted, the reproach of scantiness will naturally be more readily and clearly seen to have been incurred, than where the spots omitted are such as correspond to so many longer and larger members or portions of the discourse.*
Of Methodization—its Application to the Assistance of the Faculties of the Mind.
Of the Perceptive and Conceptive Faculties.
Example: Numbers in general, as disposed in the numeration table, in which numbers as many as ever can be wanted for any purpose, follow one another in an endless succession, having all along, at every step, a unit or number one for their common difference. The order in which they follow one another is an example of the Regula Antecessionis et consequentionis.
To form an idea of the use of the order thus given to them, suppose any series of numbers, though it were no more than a hundred, instead of following one another in the order exhibited in the Numeration Table, following one another in an order determined by lot, how incomprehensible a labyrinth would be the mass composed of those numbers!—how impracticable a task the obtaining any tolerable acquaintance with an art now so simple as that of common arithmetic!
Every case of systematical arrangement performed by division and subdivision of aggregates or fictitious masses formed by abstraction, is an exemplification of methodization performed in the aggregative or co-acervative mode.
Of the Memory or Psychically Retentive and Recollective Faculty.
The applying of this operation in the special view and design of affording assistance to the memory by expedients directed expressly to that object, has been taken for the end in view of an appropriate branch of art, termed, from the Greek mnemonics, or the mnemonic art.
But language itself, language the indispensable instrument of all the arts and all the sciences, is itself an exemplification of the application of the power of method to the assistance of the memory; it is by means of the several signs of which language is composed, i. e. of words taken singly or in conjunction or composition, that the ideas respectively signified by them are lodged in, and, upon occasion, called up from that fictitious receptacle the memory.
Of the Inventive Faculty.
Invention is an operation which has for its results every branch of art, and every science which, at the point of time in question, is in existence.
But, in some instances, the accession thus made to the existing fund of art and science has been the result of design steadily directed to the acquisition of it. In others, it has been the fruit of accident; design, attention, and labour not having had any part at all in the production of it, or having taken no other part than what consisted in the endeavour to turn to account, and, as it were, to give ripeness to, the fruit which accident had been the first to bring to view.
For facilitating the assistance capable of being rendered by methodization to the art of invention, viz. of invention by design, of purposed invention, such rules as have presented themselves will be found in the chapter on invention.†
Of the Imaginative Faculty.
That, without impropriety, every instance of abstraction, and every instance of invention, are capable of being referred to the imaginative faculty, has been seen already.
But, where the subject of discourse is a work styled a work of imagination, what is usually meant is a fictitious state of things or assemblage of events, purely and commonly avowedly fictitious, put together, and commonly sent abroad for the purpose of affording what is called amusement; amusement—viz. an assemblage of pleasures of a particular sort, commonly termed pleasures of the imagination.
The art, in the practice of which the powers of the imaginative faculty are employed and directed to that end, is termed the art of Poetry.
That, in the production of the choicest fruits of this art, accident has been thought to have borne no inconsiderable part, is testified by the common adage, Poeta nascitur non fit. But that the part borne by design is not an inconsiderable one, and that from the art of method in particular, it is in use to receive very considerable assistance, is an opinion that seems not much exposed to dispute.
To attempt the rendering any assistance to the cultivators of this art is a task that will scarcely be deemed to come under the province of Logic.
But, for illustration’s sake, in the chapter allotted to the topic of invention, an example will be brought to view of an operation whereby assistance might, in measure at least, have been lent to the labours of the poet, viz. by the collection and exhibition of groups of fictions, from which, by the help of analogy, other fictions might be deduced.
5.Of Methodization as applied to the Assistance of the Judgment or Judicial Faculty.*
6.Of Methodization as applied to the purpose of Operating on the Affections and Passions.
Of the Aristotelian Laws of Method.
In the work of Sanderson, of any such distinction as that between method, considered as applicable to unconnected aggregates of entities, and method considered as applicable to the parts or members of a literary discourse, no intimation is to be found.
But taking together in hand without distinction two topics thus disparate, he exhibits under the appellation of the laws of method a string of rules.
In so many different chapters, two sets of propositions are, by him, thus delivered under the name of laws. In the 30th, (Book III.) containing five, one set under the name of Laws of Method, considered in genere: in chapter 31, two sets under the name of Laws of Method, considered in specie,—in each set two of these laws; one pair being exhibited as extensively applicable to works of science, the other pair as extensively applicable to works of art.
I. Of his laws of method considered in genere, the first is styled Lex Brevitatis. Though, by this its title, it professes not to bring to view any other virtue than this of brevity—to put men, consequently, upon their guard against any other vice than the vice or vices opposite to that virtue, viz. redundancy or superfluity; yet, by the explanation immediately after subjoined, the design of it appears to have included the virtue which has for its opposite the vice of scantiness; and, it is with this unannounced virtue and vice that the explanation commences. Nihil in discipline desit aut redundet.
Of any such distinction as that between repetition in terms and repetition in import, and not in terms only, no intimation is given: under the one name of Tautology, both are confounded.
Instead of irrelevancy and repetition, to both of which ideas belong that are altogether determinate, the word redundance is employed, by which nothing more determinate is expressed than a sentiment of disapprobation, attached by the person in question to the discourse in question, in consideration of its quantity, no determinate ground for that disapprobation being brought to view.
To these two vices thus denominated, viz. redundance and tautology, a note of reprobation is applied. The effect of them, he says, is to produce nausea. After this, would any one have expected to find a case in which he is seen recommending the practice of the vices thus denominated. Yet, two such cases there are. One is that which has place, in so far as it is of examples; the other that which has place, in so far as it is of commentaries that the discourse in question is composed. In both these cases such is the awkwardness of his expression, though, assuredly, such was not his meaning,—what he gives you to understand is, that the more redundancy and tautology there is the better.
II. Next comes a proposition styled the Law of Harmony, Lex Harmoniæ, by which, when explained, it appears that what is meant to be conveyed is neither more nor less than a warning against the vice of inconsistency, a vice, at the thought of which an expression of ill-humour is let fly—Doctrinæ singulæ partes inter se consentiant. Pessimè docet qui quod hic ponit, alibi per incogitantiam evertit. p. 164,—bitter had it been apposite. For its justice, the reproach of inconsistency depends not upon success—not upon the comparative propriety of the two mutually contradictory propositions.
III. In the third place comes his Lex Unitatis sire Homogeneæ, in its import and effect another warning, though a little more particular than before, against irrelevancy.
Thereupon comes the explanation, and in it a premature distinction between the two impliedly supposed incompatible cases, viz. that in which the discourse has a subject, and that in which it has an end,—for that to any discourse there should be at the same time a subject and an end is a case, the impossibility of which is virtually assumed; but more of this a little further on.
Nihil in doctrina præcipiatur quod non sit subjecto aut fini homogeneum. Dico subjecto propter scientias;—Fini propter artes et prudentias. Damnat Aristoteles merito transitum à genere ad genus.
IV. In the fourth place, comes his Lex Generalitatis, sive antecessionis et consequentionis,—Law of Generality, or of precedence and subsequence.
Follows an explanation of which, after this double title, there surely is no small need. In teaching, let that one, of two things, stand first, without which the other cannot be understood, while without the last-mentioned, the first-mentioned may be understood, Præcedat in docendo id, sine quo alterum intelligi nequit, sed ipsum sine altero.
Thereupon, in guise of a reason, comes an observation which, under that guise, is in fact nothing better than a petitio principii,—a begging of the question. For it is necessary (continues he) that those things which follow should receive light and strength from these things which go before;—not these from those.
In substance and import, of the law here in question, the meaning, it must already have been observed, is neither more nor less than the rule herein above brought to view, having the short title of Independentia priora. By the antecessiones et consequentiones, intimation of this import is plainly enough given. But over this apposite enough, and expressive title, precedence is given to the title Lex Generalitatis,—Law of Generality, than which, a more inapposite one could scarcely have been found.
V. Fifth and last of the rules, or laws, as they are styled, delivered in this chapter, comes that which is called Lex connexionis, under which head are meant to be given, as the explanation shows, not one rule only, but two, or rather three, which, though in no case inconsistent, are altogether different.
Singulæ partes doctrinæ (says the rule) aptis transitionibus connectantur. Let all the several parts of the instruction be connected with one another by apt transitions.
Thereupon comes the explanation in and by which, though in a manner somewhat indirect and inexplicit, no fewer, as just observed, than three distinguishable rules are indicated. The first is to avoid desultoriness,—the second, to employ the requisite means for pointing out such connexions as have place among the parts of the discourse,—the third is to give synoptic tables.
By frequent interruptions (says he, and very truly) the conceptive and retentive faculties are disturbed;—in this is implied the memento to avoid desultoriness—but by apt colligation, (continues he,) i. e. by apt ligaments, both (i. e. both conception and memory) will be assisted, and the reason of the method made manifest.
In what follows in the last place, there seems to have been either some misprint or some defect in grammar,—Operæ facturus prœcium (it should have been pretium) qui docet methodi connexionem et rationem universam tabulâ aliquâ; sive diagraphe compendiariâ discipulis repræsentabit.
To give to this proposition what seems to have been its intended import, indeed to give it any import at all, two words, viz. est and si, appear to be necessary. With these two words inserted in what seem to be the requisite places, the sentence will stand thus:—Operæ facturus pretium (est) qui docet, (si) methodi connexionem et rationem universam, tabulâ aliquâ sive diagraphe compendiariâ, discipulis representabit. “The teacher will find his labour well repaid if, in some table, or compendious draught, he will exhibit to his pupils the connexion and universal reason of his method.”*
Though, by reason of the necessarily extreme generality of the ideas belonging to the subject, and the rather more than necessary vagueness and indeterminateness of the words here employed for the giving expression to them, the information thus given is not altogether so instructive and satisfactory as could be wished, it may be, however, if attended to, not altogether without its use.
Here ends his thirtieth chapter, entitled, Concerning order and method in general,—De Ordine et Methodo in genere;—follows the thirty-first, entitled,—Concerning method in specie. Of the proficiency made by the instructor in the art which he is thus employed in teaching, the specimen here exhibited must be confessed to be rather an unhappy one.
Four propositions, delivered all of them, lest the name of rules should not be assuming enough, under the name of laws: and of these laws one is a repetition of the other, and both of them denominated by the name, Lex Generalitatis, which in the last preceding chapter we have seen prefixed to another rule or law, which has not so much as a word in common with them.
Wherefore this repetition?—what was the cause of it? It was this: Of method, he says, there are two species extensively applicable,—the one to science, the other to art.
Thereupon, in the same terms, the Lex Generalitatis of this chapter, (so different from the lex generalitatis of the former chapter, which was there given as applicable to every kind of method,) is applied, in the first place, to method considered as applied to contemplative disciplines, i. e. to science; in the next place, to method considered as applied to operative disciplines, i. e. to prudences, prudentiæ, and arts.
Let things more universal precede, says he, those which are less universal. Magis universalia præcedant minus universalia.
Remain the two quasi definitions so improperly self-styled laws. 1. The unity of a science (says he) depends on the unity of its subject,—unitas scientiæ pendet a subjecti unitate. 2. The unity of an operative discipline depends on the unity of the end,—unitas disciplinæ operatricis pendet ab unitate finis.
Another imperfection, no less than an absolute self-contradiction figures in this unhappy chapter. To the species of method which he says, applies to science, and not to practical disciplines, he gives the two synonymous appellatives,—the one Greek, the other Latin, Synthetic and Compositive. To the other species of method, which (he says) applies to practical disciplines, and not to sciences, he gives two other synonymous appellatives, Greek and Latin, Analytic and Resolutive.
Now, to that word Compositive, on the one hand, to the word Resolutive on the other, what were the ideas annexed in his mind?—Answer: None at all; signs they were, but what was wanting to them was, the thing designated. For, of this compositive species of method, what is the second of its two rules? It is this:—Let such things as are most universal come before such things as are less universal. Resolution not Composition, if either of the two, is surely what is recommended by this rule.
Had he but had condescension and patience enough to subjoin to each of his rules an example, though it had been no more than one, he in whose declared opinion, examples cannot be too numerous, would probably have escaped falling into this scrape. But here may be seen a failing into which logicians, the gravest of all writers, as well as the most flowery, are but too apt to fall into,—their species have no individuals contained in them, their nuts have no kernels.
Unfortunate, indeed, have been, from the earliest times known to us, these two magnificent species of method, the Analytic and the Synthetic: a decompounding method which decompounds, and a compounding method which, instead of compounding, decompounds likewise.
Frequent, indeed, is it to see these two terms, especially the word analytic, and its conjugates analysis and analyse, brought to view; never, it is believed, from the supposed distinction, from the supposed contrast, has any light been diffused. To the word analysis, when standing by itself, its proper meaning seems not unfrequently to be annexed; but where, as significative of the opposite meaning, the word Synthesis is introduced, such is the effect,—between the one and the other, the meaning of the one and of the other are both wrapped in clouds.
In Algebra, quantity is considered without regard to figure; in Geometry, not but with regard to figure. The Algebraical is termed the analytic method; the Geometrical the synthetic. But, in either of them, what is there either of analysis or synthesis, of decomposition, or of composition, more than in the other.
In both instances, the ideas belonging to them are abstract, general, extensive in the extreme; in the instance of Algebra still more so than in Geometry, the idea of figure being laid out of the case, and nothing left but that of quantity. But still, in either, what is there of analysis more than of synthesis? The parts of a geometrical proposition are put together, and so are those of an algebraical investigation, and here we have synthesis; the parts of which they are respectively composed may be considered, one after another, in the one case, and so may they in the other—and here we have analysis.
OF THE ART OF INVENTION.
Of Invention in General.
To teach, to learn, and to invent,—these are so many processes or operations, applicable alike to every branch of art or science.
To practice is a sort of operation exclusively applicable to arts; not applicable to any branch of discipline, otherwise than in so far as some portion of art is contained in it; between teaching and invention a sort of reciprocality is, moreover, observable; among the subjects of the art of teaching, may be the art of invention; among the subjects of the art of invention may be the art of teaching.
As between these two,—first, in the order of existence, must have come the art of invention; since whatsoever comes to be taught, must first have been invented before it could have been taught.
Of this chapter, the object is to afford such helps as, by the powers of an individual mind,—of the individual mind in question, are capable of being given to invention,—understand, of course, to invention in so far as it is useful,—to invention, in every quarter of the field of thought and action to which it can be applied.
A chapter which takes this for its subject, may be compared to the work of the handicraft, who, having to make a utensil or instrument of new construction, finds occasion, in the first place, to contrive and fabricate one or more of the tools, or other instruments, which he has to employ in making it.
Invention supposes art. The inventor of any branch of an art is the first individual by whom it is practised; or, if between conception and actual practice, there be a difference, insomuch as that of the art which a man was the first to practise, not he himself, but some other individual had been the first to conceive, the first individual by whom it had been conceived.
A new art, or a new mode of practising an art already invented; either of these may the invention have had for its subjects. Of this distinction, the indication may, for clearness’ sake, be in this or that instance not altogether without its use; although, in many instances, to draw the line between the two cases may be found a matter of such difficulty that, in those instances, the distinction may be seen to be rather a nominal, or verbal, than a real one; the words not finding an individual case to which they can be applied with truth.
Among the helps capable of being given to invention, some will be seen alike applicable to all arts; others to no other than this or that particular species of art.
Inventions applicable to all arts are thereby applicable to all sciences. Of this proposition, the truth depends upon, and follows from that of a proposition already brought to view, viz. that, between art and science, there exists throughout the whole field of thought and action, a constant conjunction: for every science a correspondent art, and for every art a correspondent science.
Helps applicable to Arts in General without Exception or Distinction.
In this view, a few rules present themselves as capable of being found, to some minds in the way of original instruction, to all minds in the way of memento or reminiscence, not altogether without their use; in some instances, by affording positive helps, in others by the indication of certain obstacles, the force of which will be to be encountered, which, in any tract of the field of invention, the labourer will find standing in his way, and opposing his progress; obstacles, of the existence, and force, and operation of which it concerns him to be well apprized, lest, when the time comes, they find him unprepared.
Memento 1. Whatever be the art which, or in which, you think to invent, keep steadily in view the particular end at which it aims, the effect the production of which it has for its object. Keep your eyes fixed upon the end. In two Latin words, Respice finem.
Memento 2. Beware of intellectual servility. In other words, take reason not custom for your guide: the reason of the thing, including the nature of the effect meant to be produced, not confining yourself to the pursuing of the practice, to the performance of those operations, and those only, by which alone the effect is as yet wont to be produced. Sit non mos sed Ratio dux.
Memento 3. Be on your guard against the confederated enemies of all good, and thereby of all new good: viz. 1. Indigenous Intellectual weakness. 2. Sinister interest. 3. Interest-begotten prejudice. 4. Adoptive prejudice. When they cannot oppose by force these will oppose by discouragement, discouraging by opinion and advice.
Memento 4. In relation to every part of your subject, and every object connected with it, render your ideas as clear as possible. Lux undique fiat.
Memento 5. For means and instruments, employ analogy. Analogias undique indagato.
Memento 6. In your look-out for analogies, for surveying that quarter of the field of thought and action to which the art in question belongs, employ the logical ladders, the ladders made of nest of aggregates placed in logical subalternation. In analogiarum indagatione scalis logicis utere.
Memento 7. Inquire and learn whatsoever, for the production of the effect in question, has been already in use or in prospect. Jam acta et tentata discite.
Memento 8. In such your survey of existing inventions, look out in preference for the latest of all, not looking backwards but for some special reason. Postrema exquirito.
Memento 9. Quodlibet cum quolibet. To everything forget not to apply anything. Suppose that of an indefinite multitude of objects, which in consideration of certain properties or qualities, in respect of which they are found or supposed to agree, and certain others, in respect of which they have been found or supposed to disagree, having all of them been placed in one or other of two classes, some article belonging to the one class has, with success, (i.e. with some new effect, which either has been found to be, or affords a prospect of being found to be, advantageous,) been apapplied, no matter in what manner, nor to what purpose in particular, to some article belonging to the other class; in like manner, frame a general resolution not to be departed from in any instance, but for some special cause, (applying to that instance,) to apply to each article belonging to the one class every article belonging to the other.
The sort of special cause here in question will be one of these two, viz. 1. Apparently preponderant probability of not producing any new result at all. 2. Apparently preponderant probability that the new result, if any, will, instead of proving preponderantly advantageous, prove preponderantly disadvantageous.
N. B.—Among physical arts and sciences, the branch of art and science to which this rule or memento is in a particular degree applicable, is the Chemical, including, in so far as they belong to it, the several subordinate and practical branches of art and science which come under its department, e. g. cookery, pharmacy, agriculture, architecture, in so far as concerns materials.
Memento 10. In taking a survey of practice, distinguish in it as many distinguishable points as the nature of the case appears to afford, and on each of these points, try its utility and propriety, by its relation to the end.
Examples.—The field of medical practice is a field in which many examples, indicative of the utility of this rule, might be collected. In the comparatively ancient system of pharmacy may be found medicines, in the composition of which there were drugs, to the amount of twenty or thirty different sorts, of which, by comparatively recent observation, experience, and experiment, all but two or three have been found either wholly inoperative, or unconducive to the end.
In every part of the field of practice in which the practice has not yet been thus directed, and its several distinguishable parts or points confronted with the proper end, uninfluencing circumstances, and even obstructive circumstances, i. e. obstacles, may be seen confounded with promotive causes, and the result, be it what it may, ascribed without distinction to their conjunct agency; and, in this way, the character of promotive causes ascribed to un-influencing and even to obstructive causes.
Of this mode of confusion, examples will naturally be to be found in abundance in the system of government established in every country, and in particular in that branch which regards constitutional law. Of whatsoever degree of prosperity the state may be supposed to be in the enjoyment of, as many abuses and imperfections as in the theory or practice of it have place, will by all those who profit by them, be of course placed more or less confidently and explicitly upon the list of promotive causes.*
On the subject of each of these mementos, a few observations present themselves as capable of having their use. In the course of them it will, it is believed, be seen that of all of them, howsoever at first view the contrary might in some instances be supposed, there is not one that is not in a manner, more or less pointed, applicable to every track which, in the field of thought and action, it is in the power of art and invention, not excepting science, to take.
The two first mementos demand a joint consideration.
The end? It may be asked, exists there any man, who, be the art what it may, in the practice of it, ever omits so much as for a moment either to keep his eyes fixed upon the end, or to keep a look-out for the fittest and most promising means?
Oh, yes; with the exception of the inventive few, who are few indeed, every man. The end, yes, of the end, he is not altogether unregardful: but as to means, the means which he sees pursued by others, by all those from whose discourse and practice his notions on the subject have been derived, these are the means which, from first to last, he has been in the habit of regarding as not only conducive to the end, but, if not the only ones that are so in any degree, at any rate those which are so in a higher degree than any others which the nature of the case admits of.
Let reason be fruitful, custom barren: such indeed is the advice which on this subject has been delivered. Delivered? but by whom?—by Bacon; by the man whose mind was of almost all minds the most unlike to others. In regard to fruitfulness, how stands the matter as between Reason and Custom in the world at large? Reason breeds like a pole-cat; Custom like a doe-rabbit.
Third Memento.† The more stupid a man is, especially if in his mind, stupidity be, as it is not unapt to be, accompanied by self-conceit, the more improbable it will appear to him, that to the invention in question, be it what it may, any such characters as those of useful and meritorious, would be found to belong to it. So difficult as the art is in its present state, so great the expense which, in the articles of genius and industry, which it must have cost to the men of former times to bring the art up to its present mark in the scale of perfection, so great the multitudes that for so many ages must have been occupied in the endeavour to give to it every degree of perfection of which it is susceptible,—is it in any degree—is it preponderently probable that, by the man in question, (who in his exterior has probably nothing to distinguish him to his advantage, and whose weaknesses, whatever they may be, being indicated by Envy and Jealousy, are laid open to general observation,) so important an addition to the art should really have been made. Such are the observations by which the consideration is diverted from modern invention.
Fourth Memento. Clarification of ideas—If the subject be of the physical class, render the images, which you form of it in your mind, as correct and complete as possible.
If the subject be of the psychical class, in so far as the words employed in discoursing of it are names of fictitious entities, take the only course by which it is possible for a man to give perfect clearness to the ideas of which they serve to constitute the signs, viz., by searching out the real entities in which these names of fictitious entities have their source.
On some subjects, in some instances, without the use of words, a man may exercise invention, drawing his materials and instruments from the stock of ideas already laid up in his own mind.
But unless, by the actual survey of sensible works, the results and fruits of inventions already executed, it is only through the medium of words, that for his assistance in the exercise of invention, he can make any use of the inventions, or practices, or works of others. Here, then, are so many collections of signs of ideas, from which, according to the degree of attention bestowed on the consideration of them, and the degree of discernment with which that attention is accompanied, the ideas which he obtains from those words will be more or less clear, ambiguous, or obscure.
In so far as the words are such as to be themselves direct representatives of clear ideas, so much the better: but even where this is in but a small degree, or not in any degree, the case, still it will frequently happen, that by the reflections and comparisons of which in his mind they are productive, they may render to him more or less assistance towards the formation of other ideas, such as shall, in a greater or less degree, be clearer than those by which they were themselves suggested.*
Fifth and Sixth Mementos. The mode and use of applying these subalternation scales are as follows, viz.:
I. Application in the descending line.
With the exception of such words as are names of individual objects, take any one of the material words that present themselves as belonging to the subject, not being the name of an individual alone, this word will be the name of a sort of objects, the name, (say,) of an aggregate. If the aggregate be the denomination of a genus, think of the several species which, by their respective names, present themselves as being contained under it. Whatsoever is predicated of the genus, will, in so far as it is truly predicated, be, with equal truth, predicable of all these several species.
II. Application in the ascending line.
In like manner look out for the name of the next superior genus; with reference to which, the genus in question is but a species, and observe, try, or conjecture, whether that which beyond doubt, has been found predicable with truth of the whole of this species, be, or promise to be, with like truth predicable of the whole, or any other part of the aggregate, designated by the name of that genus.
It is in the instance of the physical department of the field of thought and action, and more particularly to the chemical district of that department, that the applicability of this memento is most conspicuous. Upon every subject, try, or at least, think of trying, every operation; to every subject in the character of a menstruum, apply every subject in the character of a solvent, and so on.
It is to the extent in which application has been made of this memento, that chemical science is indebted for the prodigious progress which, within the compass of the present generation, has been made in it.
It is by the ideal decomposition, performed by the separate consideration of the several distinguishable operations, which respectively constitute the component parts of various mechanical arts, and thence, by the division of labour, that the great improvements, made within the last half century in manufactures, have been effected.
Seventh and Eighth Mementos. Inventions of the physical stamp, are those, in regard to which, the importance of these mementos is, generally speaking, at its highest pitch.
Discovery, practice, publication,—by these words are designated so many periods, which, in the career of invention, may, to the purpose here in question, be distinguished with practical advantage.
To the purpose of the discovery, that, generally speaking, it cannot but be of advantage to a person of an inventive turn, to be apprized of, and acquainted with whatsoever has been already invented, or thought of, in the same line, is obvious enough.
But so far as mere discovery is concerned, any inconvenience, which it can happen to a man to incur, from a want of acquaintance with anything that has already been discovered by others, is, in this case, but inconsiderable, in comparison with what is liable to have place. In the first place, so far, indeed, as for want of being pre-acquainted, with this or that discovery which has already been made by this or that other person, he fails of making this or that discovery, which, had it happened to him to have been acquainted with the existing discovery in question, he would have made: so far, here is so much lost to the individual in question, and to the world at large.
In the next place, in so far as after the discovery has been made by himself, it happens to him to learn that this same discovery has already been made by some one else; in this case, what is but natural enough is, that in proportion to what appears to be the degree of importance of the discovery, uneasiness in the shape of a pain of disappointment, should be experienced by him.
But in such a track as that of invention, no step that has ever been taken, no step, be the ulterior result of it what it may, is ever lost. Of every step, present pleasure is the accompaniment, from every step the mind derives increase of vigour; of that which is an instrument of future security and future pleasure.
Ninth Memento. Quodlibet cum quolibet.—A mechanical help will be found in the facility of confrontation. For this purpose, in so far as writing, i. e. manuscript is employed, let it be on one side only of the paper.
Reason.—Propositions, which are on different sides of the same plane, cannot invariably be confronted with each other. While that which is on page 2 is hunting for the terms of that which is on page 1, and what is intended to be compared with it, are either forgotten or become dubious.
If such is liable to be the case with the smallest members of a discourse, how much more is it with those that are larger and longer, with complex sentences and whole paragraphs.
So in printing, nothing could be more incongruous than at the back of a table intended for a synoptic one, to print anything that may require to be confronted with any part of the matter of it.
PHENOMENA OF THE HUMAN MIND.
Analytical View of the Phenomena of the Human Mind.
The whole structure of the mind may be considered as included in two faculties, viz. the perceptive and the appetitive.
To the perceptive belong all mental experiences,—simple experiences;—to the appetitive all mental operations and their results.
In the perceptive faculty the judicial may, in a certain point of view, be considered as included.
To the head of experiences may be referred the following phenomena.
1.Apathematic perceptions;—perceptions as they have place in the case in which they do not consist of, nor are attended with, any distinguishable pain or pleasure.
2.Pathematic perceptions;—perceptions as they have place in the case where they consist of, or are attended with, sensations or feelings either of pain or pleasure, i. e. are attended with pains or painful perceptions, or pleasures or pleasurable perceptions.
Pathematic, or apathematic perceptions, may be distinguished into judgment-not-involving, and judgment-involving.
A judgment-involving perception is the perception of a relation, i. e. of the existence of a relation between some two objects.
One of the relations most frequently exemplified in this way, is the relation of cause and effect.
Between a judgment-involving, and a judgment-not-involving, perception, the differential character is this:—In so far as an experience or act of the judicial faculty is not involved in the perception in question, it is not susceptible of error,—in so far as any such experience or act is involved, it is susceptible of error.
The case of a judgment-involving perception is exemplified in, and by, every one of the five senses.
1. I open my eyes,—I see something before me,—it seems to me that it is a distant hill; but in fact it is a cloud. Here is a misjudgment, here is error. But that I see something, i. e. that on the retina of my eyes an image is depicted, in this is no error.
2. I hear a sound,—to me it seems the voice of a man at a distance, but in fact it is the cry of an owl.
3. I am sitting in the dark,—a piece of drapery is presented to me;—I am asked what it is, I pronounce it silk-velvet; but in fact it is cotton-velvet.
4. Left in the dark, a plate of boiled vegetables is placed before me,—I am asked what it is—it tastes like spinach, but in fact it is beet leaves.
5. Still in the dark, a flower is presented to me,—I am asked what it is—it smells to me like a pink, but in fact it is a carnation.
In the production of that state of mind in which a perception whether judgment-involving, or judgment-not-involving, has place, objects exterior to the body have, or have not, borne a part. In the first case, the perception may be termed a perception ab extra, or say derivative;—in the other case, a perception purely ab intra, or say indigenous.
Of derivative perceptions, the above five are each of them so many exemplifications.
Of indigenous perceptions, a sense of dilatation in the stomach, a sense of increased or diminished heat, are exemplifications,—in all or in each of which cases, the perception may be apathematic or pathematic,—and, if pathematic, accompanied either with pain or pleasure.
Operations—Results of the Exercise of the Appetitive Faculty.
Every operation of the mind, and thence every operation of the body, is the result of an exercise of the will, or volitional faculty. The volitional is a branch of the appetitive faculty, i. e. that faculty in which desire, in all its several modifications, has place.
Desire has for its object either pleasure or pain, or, what is commonly the case, a mixture of both, in ever varying and unascertainable proportions.
The desire which has pleasure for its object, is the desire of the presence of such pleasure. Desire which has pain for its object, is the desire of the absence of such pain.
I see an apple, I conceive a desire to eat, and thence to possess that apple;—if not being either hungry or thirsty, my desire is, notwithstanding, excited by the supposed agreeable flavour of the apple, pleasure, and pleasure alone, viz. the presence of that pleasure, such as it is, is the object of my desire. If being either hungry or thirsty, or both, and that to a degree of uneasiness, pain, viz. the absence of that same uneasiness is moreover the object.
A desire then has, in every case, an internal object, viz. the corresponding pleasure, and in so far as that object has for its expected source an object exterior to the body, an external object.
A desire having pleasure alone, i. e. presence of pleasure for its internal object, has place, in so far as, from the presence or productiveness of the supposed source, pleasure is regarded as about to be eventually experienced.
A desire having pain alone, i. e. absence of pain for its internal object, has place in so far as, from the presence or productiveness of the supposed source, pain is regarded as being eventually about to be experienced.
A desire having pleasure and pain taken together for its internal object, has place, in so far as, while from the presence or productiveness of the supposed source, pleasure is regarded as being eventually about to be experienced, pain is, at the same time, experienced from the reflection of the actual absence of that same source;—or in so far as, while from the presence of the supposed source, pain is regarded as being eventually about to be experienced, pleasure is at the same time experienced from the reflection of the actual absence of that same source.
If the desire, being a desire having pleasure for its object, be, to a certain degree intense, in this case, so long as it remains unsatisfied, it has a certain degree of pain for its inseparable accompaniment, viz. the pain of non-possession, or say privation, produced by the absence of the source, and the consequent non-satisfaction of the desire.
If the desire be a desire having pain for its object, i. e. the absence of pain from this or that particular source, in this case, if the desire be to a certain degree intense, it has for its inseparable accompaniment, a persuasion more or less intense of the probability of a state of things, in which pain will be experienced.
Considered as having produced, or as being with more or less probability of success, operating towards the production of the result, (viz. presence of pleasure, or absence of pain,) which is the object of it, a desire is termed a motive.
In so far as the production of the state of things which is the immediate object of the desire, is considered as following immediately and certainly upon the existence of the desire an act of the will is said to take place,—the faculty by which this effect is considered as produced, is termed the volitional, or volitive faculty, or, in one word, the will.
The volitional faculty is, therefore, a branch of the appetitive.
But no act of the will can take place but in consequence of a correspondent desire; in consequence of the action of a desire in the character of a motive.
Also, no desire can have place, unless when the idea of pleasure or pain, in some shape or degree, has place. Minute, it is true, minute in the extreme is the quantity of pleasure or pain requisite and sufficient to the formation of a desire; but still it is not the less true,—take away all pleasure and all pain, and you have no desire.*
Pleasure and pain, considered in themselves, belong to the perceptive faculty, i. e. to the pathematic branch of it.
But pleasure and pain considered as operating, as above, in the production of desires, operating, as above, in the character of motives, and thus producing volition, action, internal or external, corporeal, or purely mental, belong to the appetitive faculty.
Pleasure and pain compose, therefore, as it were, the bond of union and channel of communication between the two faculties.
Attention is the result of an act of the will; of an exercise of the volitional branch of the appetitive faculty.
In so far as attention has place; in so far as attention is applied, either to the direction, or to the observation of an experience, the experience is converted into an operation; or, at any rate, in the field of thought, that place which would otherwise have been the field of an experience and nothing more, becomes now the field of an experience, and of a correspondent operation at the same time,—an operation having for its subject the object which was the source or seat of the experience.
In some instances, language affords not as yet any word, or words, by which the difference between the presence or absence of attention, in relation to the effect in question, is denoted.
Here the word judgment,—act of the judgment,—is the locution employed, as well in the case of those instantaneous and involuntary judgments, which, as above are commonly confounded with simple perception, and those attentive and elaborate judgments which are pronounced in the senate, on the bench, or in the laboratory of the chemist, or at the library-table of the logician.
Without attention, the memory is but the seat of a mere passive experience, which is termed remembrance. In consequence of an exertion or exercise of the will, importing attention applied to the purpose of searching out and bringing from the storehouse of the mind the impression in question, it becomes the seat and subject of an operation termed recollection.
Enumeration of the Mental Faculties.
Of a set of fictitious entities, to give a list, neither the correctness nor the completeness of which shall be exempt from dispute or doubt, cannot be a very easy task. Of the following articles, neither the perceptibility, (meaning that sort of perceptibility of which these sorts of fictitious entities are susceptible,) neither the perceptibility nor the mutual distinctness, say rather, distinguishability, seems much exposed to dispute.*
* 1.Perception; or say, perceptive faculty, alias simple apprehension.
* 2.Judgment; or say, judicial faculty.
* 3.Memory; or say, retentive faculty: this is either, 1. Passive; or 2. Active, i. e. recollective.
* 4.Deduction; or say, ratiocinative or deductive faculty that by which a number of judgments, i. e. acts of the Judicial faculty are deduced, one from another.
5.Abstraction; or say, abstractive faculty.
* 6.Imagination; or say, imaginative faculty, whereby a number of abstracted ideas, results or products of the exercise of the abstractive faculty, are compounded and put together.
7.Invention; or say, inventive faculty: whereby, out of a number of the products of the abstractive faculty, such compounds are formed as are new, i. e. were never produced before. Invention is imagination directed in its exercise to the attainment of some particular end.
8.Methodization; or say, arrangement, or the exercise of what may be termed the tactic faculty. It may be employed in the service of any one or more of the several faculties above-mentioned.
9.Attention; or say, the attentive faculty. The exercise of this faculty seems to be the result of an exercise of the will, of a special application made of the power of that faculty, to the purpose of attaching to their work, with different degrees of force, and for different lengths of time, any one or more of the several distinguishable faculties above-mentioned.
10.Observation. In this are included perception, memory, judgment, and commonly ratiocination, set, and kept at work, by attention, and directed commonly in their exercise, to the accomplishment of some particular end.
* 11.Communication; or say, the communicative faculty: a faculty which may have for its subject the results or products of the exercise of any one or more of the several faculties above-mentioned. Speaking, writing, and pantomime, i. e. discourse by gestures, or otherwise by deportment, are so many modes in and by which it is exercised.
Communication, on the one part supposes receipt, or say reception, on the other. In so far as to the exercise of the art of reception, attention on the part of the receiver is considered as necessary, the receiver is styled a learner.
Reflection is attention, considered as carried backwards, and applied to objects considered as presented and kept in view by the memory.
12.Comparison is attention, considered as applied alternately, and as nearly as possible simultaneously, to the two, or greater number of objects which are the subjects of it. For the purpose of giving direction to an exercise of the judicial faculty, the operation by which this faculty is exercised can scarcely, it is believed, be performed for a continuance, and with advantage, on more than two objects at a time; at any rate, to the purpose of noting points of resemblance and difference for the purpose of distributing an aggregate into parcels which are to be compared with one another, it is necessary to proceed, in the first instance, by dividing it, as it were, at one stroke. If, for any such purpose, objects in any number greater than two are compared with one another, the attention finds it necessary to divide the three, for this purpose, into two parcels, some one of the three objects forming one parcel, and the two remaining ones together another. Thus, in the case of physical motion, between any two objects, alternate motion is a sort of operation in itself extremely simple, produced with little difficulty, of which the exemplifications are numerous and frequently occurring, and which has, accordingly, received a name, viz. vibration; but, between any greater number, though it were so small as three, in nature no such alternate motion is to be found anywhere exemplified, nor could it, without a highly complicated system of machines, be produced: of this difference, a sort of exemplification seems even to be afforded by the very word between. Between, i. e. by twain, means by parcels consisting each of no more than two articles, as in the phrase, where it is said, let comparison be made between these two articles. Here, in this case, the comparison is understood to be perfectly made, or, at any rate, to be capable of being perfectly made.
But if the number of articles to be compared be greater than two, in this case the word between cannot, with propriety, he employed. Instead of it the language affords no word less improper than the word among. But a comparison made among three or more articles does not present itself in the character of a perfect one. It seems as if the comparison ought to be made either between any two leaving out the others, or between any one of them taken singly on the one part, and the other two formed into one parcel on the other part; in a word, where the word among, is used in this case, besides that the number of the objects in question is left indeterminate, the operation itself is not the same sort of operation as where the word between is employed.
Change the expression ever so often, still the difficulty, not to say the impossibility, of keeping under equal consideration for any considerable length of time any greater number of objects than two, presses itself into view. You may, indeed, say, compare together the objects A, B, and C; but, then, as in the case where the preposition, among, is employed, the comparison has the air of a confused, partial, and indeterminate one. But then, in each of these cases, so it is that, for the purpose of the comparison, the three articles are, in the first place, made up into one aggregate, and, in the next place, that aggregate is divided into two, and no more than two, parcels.
13. Synthesis or combination.
16. Analysis, i. e. division, viz. logical or anological analysis.
APPENDIX B. DIVISION OF ART AND SCIENCE.†
Generals or Particulars, Abstractions or Concretions,—which first?
In the field of Eudæmonics and Pantognosy, the field of abstractions or the field of concretions,—to which of these two compartments shall the surveying eye apply itself?
In the whole human race, considered at all periods of its history, the knowledge of particulars has preceded that of generals. Abstraction, a branch of Logic, is an art that has been learned by slow degrees.
But, when general conceptions have once been attained, the communication of them is performed with much more despatch, even to the most unfurnished and uninformed minds, than that of particulars; i. e. in a given time, much more knowledge may be communicated by the use of more general terms in company with less general terms, than by the use of less general terms alone.
True it is, without the use of particular terms, and even according to the nature of the subject, i. e. as it belongs to somatics or psychology, no clear knowledge can be conveyed by general ones, but by a single individual or species, exhibited in the character of a specimen or sample, for the explanation and illustration of a generic term, the exhibition of all the other individuals or particulars contained in the genus of which it is the name, may be saved.
With these explanations, from particulars to generals, may be stated as the actual order of learning or acquisition; but from generals to particulars, the most convenient and extensively efficient order of teaching or communicating instruction.
Condillac was a French Abbé. In his youth he had served an apprenticeship to the Greek statuary, so well known to the Dilettanti by the name of Pygmalion. In his workshop, he had learned that secret, which, to statuaries, is what the philosopher’s stone is to chemists,—the art of giving life to clay or marble. Pygmalion’s practical object in the animating of his statue, was, as everybody knows, the pleasure of teaching it to speak,—more appositely, the teaching her the art of love. Condillac being an abbé, and moreover a man of an independent mind, and an original cast of character—a philosopher by trade—determined, instead of making himself the servile copyist of his master, to teach logic to his statue instead of love.‡
In this view, instead of cramming her all at once with the five senses—not to speak of the sixth sense, which, how necessary soever to the purpose of the Greek, would have been quite foreign to the new purpose of this Frenchman—he found it necessary to proceed upon a more economical plan, and to begin, at least, with furnishing them to her one by one.
For matter for one of her first exercises, he took Aristotle’s logic in hand, and proposed to himself to teach her the ten predicaments, and by means of the ten predicaments, proposed to himself to teach her the nature of those fictitious entities called abstractions.
When it came to the point, he found that Aristotle’s list was not quite so well made up as it might have been, and doubtless would have been, had the ingenious Greek had the advantage of consulting with Locke and a few others.
In teaching her these predicaments, his plan was to begin with those, if any such there were, the nature of which could be taught without taking into consideration any other.
In all new courses of experiment, there is commonly a good deal of fumbling. Of the crude conception that occurred to him, and the unsuccessful trials that took place in consequence, mention need not be made; of a few of those by which it appeared that more or less light was thrown upon the subject, a short and plain account will suffice for the present purpose.
1. He gave her the sense of smelling;—he presented her with a rose. In the way of logic, nothing was taught her by the experiment. She learned the smell of the rose, and liked it very well; but she knew not what it came from,—whether from a rose-tree, from otto of roses, or from the esprit de rose.
2. Equally limited was the science she made herself mistress of when endued with the sense of taste. A slice of pine-apple was no less agreeable to her than the rose had been; but all she learnt from it was the taste of pine-apples.
3. He gave her the sense of sight, and now for the first time he gave her schooling. Smelling and tasting were no better than child’s play.
The first thing he presented to her view was a round spot. Nothing was to be learned from the round spot.
With a little alteration, the round spot was converted into a triangle, and by this triangle was furnished the first lesson she learned in the art of logic. The triangle happened to be an equilateral one, not but that any other might have done nearly as well. Being a triangle, it had three points or corners. Look there, says he, at those points; in that place on the left, one,—in that on the right a second,—above them both, a third. Here you have numbers one, two, three.
But when the predicament of number was thus made sensible to her, the predicament of figure was made sensible to her at the same time; for by these three points the triangle had its bounds, and by these bounds its figure was determined.
To make the matter the clearer, he presented to her, by the side of this triangular spot, the round one. From this round one, viewed by itself, nothing had been to be learned. A figure it had; but being so perfectly uniform, and presenting to view but one number, it had not presented her with any such idea as that of figure, no more than the smell of the rose, or the taste of the pine-apple had done. But now being placed by the side of the triangle, and her eye passing continually from the one to the other, the difference between the one and the other was so often presented to her, and, by the contrast, her ideas of figure became every moment more and more distinct, as well as from the first moment more extensive.
By knowing what number was, she already had some notion of what arithmetic is; and by knowing what figure is, she had, moreover, some notion of what geometry is. He would have been glad to have given her a correspondent notion of what algebra is; but this he found impossible till she had become more or less acquainted with the use of language.
Arithmetic has for its subject number, directly and independently expressed, viz. the several modifications of it, all of them expressed by so many determinate absolute and appropriate names.
Algebra has for its subject number and numbers, but these expressed in every instance, not by any determinate and absolute names, but by names indicative, in each instance, of some relation borne by the object in question to some determinate number or numbers, which sooner or later may be presented to view by their respective names, but which as yet are not presented to view.
Field occupied by Art and Science.
Entering upon the field of mesology, we shall find science occupying a compartment, over a portion only of which, and that comparatively a small one, it is in the power of art to follow it; always excepted that space and quantity of art, which being employed, and that of necessity, in the acquisition of the science, is therefore inseparably attached to it.
Contributory to well-being, human well-being, and its opposite, are, or may be, for they have been supposed to be, all beings of which we have any notion, as well as all with which we have any acquaintance. If so it be, then so it is that with that portion of the field of eudæmonics which is occupied by mesology; the whole field of ontology,—a word more in use in former days than at present, and employed to signify the science of being in general, is coincident.*
For the designation of the general term science, considered as applying to this or that particular portion of the field of science by some persons, and on some occasions, the termination logy, and by others the termination gnosy, is preferred. On other occasions, or by some persons, to give compactness to the appellation, both are discarded, and the termination cs,† as designative of an adjective, of which the substantive is subintellected, is preferred.‡ These terminations are all taken from the Greek, the language without which scarcely any new names could, by our barbarism-sprung language, be framed: and consequently scarcely any new views of things taken or expressed, nor, in so far as former ones are either incorrect or incomplete, any true and adequate ones be so much as formed.
Somatology, somatognosy, or somatics;*psychology, psychognosy, or psychics,† —to one or other of these denominations will every branch of science, which has for its subject the field of, to us, perceptible existence, the class, to us, of perceptible beings, be found referable.
Physioplastic, anthropoplastic, by one or other of these appellatives will the condition of all beings by which any part of the field of Somatics is seen to be occupied, be found referable; physioplastic, the state in which, being found in the bosom, they are supposed to have been formed by the hands, of nature; anthropoplastic, the state into which, after having been torn from the bosom of nature, they have been brought by human labour.
The labour or course of the operations by which, under the hands of man, forms are given to bodies different in any respect from those into which they are cast by nature, may be considered at two different stages or points of time: viz. 1. The stage during which, with a view to the advancement whether of art or science, or of both in one, trials are made of the different forms into which they may be cast, of the different properties immediately or eventually conducive to man’s well-being, they may be discovered or made to possess, and of the different points of view in which, for that purpose, they may be contemplated and subjected to examination. 2. The stage at which, by the light of a more or less considerable mass of knowledge, derived from such trials, means having been found of casting them into such and such useful forms, and thereby enduing them with such and such useful properties, the casting them into these forms, and enduing them with these properties, has become the regular and extensive result of an established course of practice.
In their physioplastic state, in the state in which, fashioned by the hand of nature, they are found in the bosom of nature, bodies form the contents and subject of that portion of the field of Somatics which is so commonly but so improperly designated by the appellation of Natural History, and which the term Physiology having, by a narrower application, been unfitted for this use, may more aptly and expressively, it should seem, be designated by the term Physiognosy.
In so far as they are considered as forming the subject of these preliminary trials and examinations which, as above, serve as the foundations for those ulterior operations by which they are rendered subservient to general use, they form the contents of that portion of the field of Somatics which also, very generally, but not the less inappropriately, has been termed sometimes Natural Philosophy, sometimes Experimental Philosophy, but which neither unaptly nor unexpressively, may, it is supposed, be termed Empiric Somatology.‡
The further we advance, the more clearly do the convenience of an apposite nomenclature and systematic arrangement, and the inconvenience of inapposite nomenclature and unsystematic arrangement become perceptible.
Somatics being the name given to the stem, by the two adjuncts physioplastic and anthropoplastic, a designation which is correct, and to every one to whom the import attached to those adjuncts in the original language is familiar, an intelligible one is presented. By a person whose ignorance of all particulars contained in the respective fields of human science, should be as great as that of any person can be, the import of the two names, and accordingly the nature of the two branches of science would nevertheless be conceived and understood, so he were but apprized of the import of the Greek words correspondent to the word nature and the word man.
So much for the apposite and systematic nomenclature and arrangement, now as to the inapposite and unsystematic. Of the two composing the inapposite appellative employed to designate physioplastic somatics, the word natural, in so far as it went, was apposite and expressive. But when applied to designate the anthropoplastic branch of somatics, instead of being apposite and leading to truth, it leads of itself to error. What it gives you to understand is, that under the branch of science to which it thus gives name, in the observation made on the bodies which are the subjects of it, the state to which the consideration is confined is that into which they have been brought by the hands of nature, whereas the truth is, that the state in which alone they constitute, in a direct way, the subject of anthropoplastic somatology, is the state into which they have been brought, or are capable of being brought by the hand of man.
True it is, that in anthropoplastic somatics, without more or less regard paid to physioplastic somatics, that is, to the bodies which are constituted its subjects, and that too in the state in which they are its subjects, nothing could be done; for it is to physioplastic somatology that anthropoplastic somatology is indebted for all its subjects, for all the materials which it can have to work upon. But from this no such consequences follow as that, in any part, anthropoplastic and physioplastic are the same. By architecture, stone and wood are employed; but architecture is not, on this account, one and the same branch of art and science either with mineralogy or with botany.
When upon taking a further step, we come to the word philosophy, the misrepresentation, instead of receiving any correction is rendered still more flagrant. Instead of a state of, or acquisition made by the understanding, and that alone, that which the term philosophy was originally employed to designate, and which, even now, it ceases not to convey to those who are more or less acquainted with the language from which it has been borrowed, is a state of the affections, a sentiment or affection of love and good-liking. Of good-liking in relation to what?—not to this branch of somatics in contradistinction to the other, nor yet to somatics in contradistinction to any other branch of science; no, nor so much as to science in contradistinction to anything else. To what then?—Why, even to wisdom. And what is wisdom?—A term of wide and imperfectly determined import, employed not so much to designate science as to designate an habitually correct state of the judgment, or judicial faculty, to whatsoever subjects, considered as applied, but more particularly, to such as are regarded as standing distinguished, in respect of their importance, in the highest degree.
As in its original import, this term Natural Philosophy is scarcely expressive of any idea which it is employed to express; hence it is, that, from the first to the last, in relation to this or that less extensive branch of science, a question may be,—does it belong to Natural History, or does it belong to Natural Philosophy? whereas, under the terms physioplastic somatology, and anthropoplastic somatology, a clear line of demarkation between the two sciences, thus designated, is drawn at one stroke, and all such questions are nipped in the bud.
Instead of physioplastic and anthropoplastic,—had the words pushpin and trapball been to the same extent, and for the same length of time, employed for the designation of the two branches of art and science, for the designation of which the terms Natural History and Natural Philosophy still continue to be employed, the change, instead of being for the worse, would have been rather for the better. By the word trapball, no person would have been tempted to regard as belonging to physioplastics what belongs to anthropoplastics; whereas, of the term Natural Philosophy, when thus applied, the tendency to produce this sort of misconception is, as hath just been seen, not inconsiderable. A word is not the more inconvenient, but the less inconvenient the less liable it is to lead men to confound with any object those objects from which it is most material that it should be distinguished.
The attention which it applies to its subjects somatology may either apply indiscriminately to all the properties observable in them, or confine itself to any one or more of them to the exclusion of the rest; in the first case, ageledodiascopic, or, for shortness, ageledoscopic,—in the other case, choristodiascopic, or, for shortness, choristoscopic, are the names by which it may respectively be distinguished.
Vacuity, rest, time, figure, quantity,—all these form so many distinguishable subjects of choristoscopic somatics.
Of vacuity it may seem that it belongs not to the properties of body. But, be the body what it may, and be the place which, at the time in question, it occupies what it may, it may as easily be conceived to be absent from as present at, and in that place. To be either in or out of any given place is, therefore, among the properties of body; for, if there were no such being as a body, there would be no such distinction as that between place and place.
It is only by abstraction that the idea of rest can be formed any more than that of body: it has for its ground the idea of place. It is the absence of motion, and of motion itself no idea can be formed but what has for its ground the idea of place.
Take at any time into consideration any body, considering it with reference to the place which, at that same time, it occupies; but, from that same place conceive it removed, and into that same place suppose no other body or portion of matter introduced. In this way, and no other, is formed the idea of a vacuum or portion of unoccupied space.
In so far as human observation has been able to apply itself to the subject, absolute motion is at all times among the inherent inseparable properties of every distinct body, and, in so far, of every particle of matter. But of relative motion, motion as between any two bodies or particles of matter considered in relation to one another, examples, real or apparent, may, upon the surface of this our globe be found in abundance.
Of relative motion, or its negation relative rest, no idea can, it should seem, be formed, otherwise than by the help of the idea of time. Two distinct bodies, in so far as in the course of a given length of time, the distance that intervenes between them is observed to be, or appears to be, different, are observed to have been one or both in motion with reference to each other,—to have been, one or other, or both of them, in a state of relative motion;—in so far as no difference in respect of the amount of the distance between them has been observed, or is supposed to be observable, they are regarded as having been in a state of rest.
The idea of time is derived, says the common phrase, from the succession of ideas. Of this definition the misfortune is, that, in the explanation given of the object, the object undertaken to be explained, is itself introduced under a disguise.
It may, perhaps, be said to be derived from the diversity between ideas. To a mind to which an idea, and no more, was present, one smell, for example, or one taste or one sound, no such idea could, it should seem, present itself as an idea of time.
Condillac, in his Traité des Sensations, took a statue, and, having taken a leaf out of the book of Pygmalion, endowed it successively, as we have seen, with the several senses, at first one by one, afterwards in such groups as it occurred to him to collect them into for that purpose. Neither from any one smell, nor from any one taste, nor from any one sound, nor from any one feeling, supposing it diffused all over its body, could this statue of his, form, it should seem, any such idea as that of time. From a single object of sight, perhaps yes; viz. supposing the object of sight spacious enough to present different parts, subtending, though it were ever so small an angle, coloured or not coloured, the surface would present distinguishable parts; and, during one portion of time, supposing the attention of his statue applied to one part—during another portion of time to another, here, it should seem, would be ground sufficient for her building on it an idea of time.
To our statue thus borrowed from the ingenious Abbé Condillac, neither by one smell, nor by one taste, nor by one sound, nor by one feeling, whether universal or local, could the idea of number be suggested. But correspondent to any one of those senses, suppose two sensations, then it is that the idea of number presents itself, or, at least, is capable of presenting itself to her mind. What, if at all times, she had one sensation of each kind and no more,—still it should seem no idea of number; coalescing, the whole assemblage of sensations would form, altogether, no more than one.
In regard to the sense of sight, whether it presented her or not with the idea of number, would depend, it should seem, on the figure of the surface by which the angle formed by the pencil of rays, on entrance into the eye was subtended. Suppose it circular, no difference anywhere, no number; suppose it triangular,—here would be three points, by each of which a different idea might be produced, and thence the number three.
Of figure, the idea is not derivable but through that of number. It may be received, 1. From sight; 2. From feeling. Witness the blind.
Of quantity, the idea may be derived, 1. From number without figure; 2. From figure without consideration of number; but the idea of figure cannot be derived without that of number.
Of these eight abstractions, six, viz. 1. Place; 2. Motion; (viz. relative motion;) 3. Time; 4. Number; 5. Figure; 6. Quantity;—in a word, all but vacuity or void space and rest, have furnished so many distinguishable branches of science,—branches, let us say, of Choristoscopic Somatology, each of them already furnished with a separate name, how far soever from being uniformly apposite and expressive.
Sciences having for their Subject the Predicament of Place.
Topography, a term confined in its customary application to small portions of the surface of our earth, though, with equal original propriety, applicable to any portion or portions of the whole universe.
Chorography, a term not much in use, but, when in use, applied to portions larger than Topography is commonly applied to.
Geography, a term exclusively and necessarily as its etymology shows, confined to this our earth, and subject to that limitation, applicable to any portions, so they be not so small as that the propriety of the application shall find on the part of Topography a ground or pretence for disputing it.
By Uranography, or, still better, by Uranognosy, rather than Astronomy, may that branch of Topography, taken in its largest sense, which remains after the substraction of Geography be designated. Uranognosy rather than Uranography; because, while on our earth the situations of its several parts, with relation to each other when measured upon a large scale, are never observed to undergo any considerable change, those of the bodies of which the whole universe is composed, are, as far as observation or indication may be depended upon,—are all, with relation to each other, in a state of constant relative motion; and, accordingly, their relative situations undergoing continual change.
Uranognosy, or even Uranography, in preference to Astronomy, because, by the word Astronomy, a needless separation is made of the bodies which, whilst some perceptibly, others imperceptibly, are continually moving in their boundless field.
Sciences having for their subject the Predicament of Motion.
Had it happened to this Predicament to have been customarily taken for the subject of contemplation in its whole extent, i. e. under all the applications capable of being made of it to particulars, Kineciology, or Kinematology, or some such word, might have been the name allotted to it.
Taken in its whole extent, however, it presented not any such identity or unity of interest as to give occasion to a portion of science having exactly those same dimensions.
In the case, however, in which the motion is considered as receiving its direction from the hand of man, whether its origin be or be not derived from that source, it has received principally from the pens of French philosophers a name of its own, viz. La Dynamique,—with an English termination, Dynamics. Δυναμις is the Greek word for power, and it is by direction given to motion, that is, to matter in a state of relative motion, that mechanical power is produced and employed.
Of the field of Dynamics, a great, but scarcely a determinate, portion is occupied by Mechanics, taken in the narrowest sense in which it is commonly employed.
When motion, considered in the case in which it has its origin in volition, in animal volition, is excepted, motion in every other case has for its cause or shape that to which the name of attraction has, since the time of Newton, been applied, or its opposite and antagonist, repulsion.
In other words, to one or other of these heads, or both together, will be found referable every motion which, for the purpose of Technology, has been employed or regarded as capable of being employed in addition to, and in aid of, animal force in the character of a primum mobile.
It is by the balance between the several modifications of attraction on the one hand,* and of repulsion† on the other, that the relative situation of the particles of the several bodies, one amongst another, and thence the weight and texture of those bodies respectively are determined.
Sciences, having for their Subject the Predicament of Time.
By chronology, events, in so far as a persuasion, more or less intense or decided in affirmation of their existence, has been suggested by appropriate evidence, are presented to our view; events, considered as the word itself imparts with reference to time, with which is also commonly connected a reference to place.
In so far as in addition to the events themselves, nakedly considered, intimation is given of accompanying circumstances, in so far as they have appeared material, and therein and therewith of the real or supposed causes and anti-causes, instruments, agents and counter-agents, principal and accessory, chronology takes the name of history.
According as it takes for its subject the transactions of political states, or other aggregate bodies of men, history is either aggregate, commonly termed general or individual, i. e. if taking for its subject what has been supposed to have been done and experienced by this or that individual. For the designation of individual history, the appellation commonly employed is the Greek-sprung word biography; literally, the delineation of life.
Sciences, having for their Subjects the Predicaments of Number, Figure, and Quantity.
Among the three predicaments respectively designated by these three names, the nature and intimacy of the relation that has place, has already been brought to view. Of figure, the modifications are scarcely conceivable, nor, accordingly, clearly expressible, otherwise than by means of number; whilst quantity is a predicament including both, and, therefore, still more abstract than either.
By the Greek-sprung word posology, the science of quantity, may, it is believed, and if so, now for the first time, not inappositely be distinguished.
Melomorphic, or say, morphoscopic, and amelomorphic, having regard to figure, and not having regard to figure; to the one or other of these denominations will the whole contents of the field of posology be found referable.
Of posology, the melomorphic, or morphoscopic branch has found in the word geometry, (measurement of the earth,) a denomination altogether familiar, but far from being co-extensively expressive. In the practice of measuring the earth may be found the origin of this branch of art and science, as well as one of its great uses. But besides the earth, it is, moreover, employed in the measuring of the rest of the visible universe. Not unfrequently, in the measuring of imaginary and unexemplified extension, i. e. in the measuring of nothing at all; and it is when thus employed, that those, by whom it is cultivated, seem most proud of it.
Oristic, and aoristic, or more expressively, oristicosemeiotic and aoristicosemeiotic, determinately and indeterminately expressed—to one or other of these denominations, will the whole contents of the field of amelomorphic posology be found referable.
Of amelomorphic posology, the oristicosemeiotic branch has always had an appellative, no less apposite and expressive, than familiar in the word arithmetic, i. e. the art and science which has numbers for its subject,—the art of applying numbers to use, including the science of the properties of numbers, the aoristicosemeiotic, in the Arabic-sprung word algebra, an appellative not much less familiar, but altogether inapposite and unexpressive.
For the designation of the branch of art and science, for the designation of which the word posology has been as above proposed, the word familiarly employed, is, as every one knows, the word mathematics,—a word not altogether inapposite, but, in an enormous degree, uncommensurably expressive. For in its original language, of what is it that the word is expressive? of everything that is ever learned, neither more nor less. But for this abuse, in the designation of the class of intellectual exercises, by which a lesson is got, the adjunct mathematic would, in consideration of its familiarity, have been employed. But in the constantly erroneous conception, of which, in consequence of the abusive extension thus given to it, it could not have failed of being productive, an exclusive negative was found opposed to the use of it.
Applied and unapplied.—According to another principle or source of division, may the field of posology, taken in its whole extent as above sketched, be divided.
Instead of applied, mixed, instead of unapplied, pure, are the terms in familiar use.
In so far as by pure, neither more nor less is expressed or suggested than with reference to some correspondent object unapplied to, and thence unmixed with, it is simply and coextensively synonymous with unapplied, and in so far not pregnant with error and delusion.
But here steps in imagination; and forasmuch as in their physioplastic state, most objects are found in a state of combination with others, and all objects have a tendency to combination with others, while, at the same time, for many useful purposes, it is necessary to have them in a state as free from combination as possible, (whether to the end that they may be applied to use in that state, or that for the purpose of being applied to use, they may be made to enter into new combinations;) and, whereas, the bringing them into, or keeping them in, that state, is very commonly a work of more or less considerable difficulty, as well as labour and expense; thence it is, that to this fundamental idea of the absence of combination, imagination, by means of the association of ideas, has attached the accessory sentiment of approbation, which, being indiscriminating, has given to its application an extent more or less outstretching that which, by the precept of utility, would have been marked out for it; inasmuch, that through no inconsiderable part of the extent given to the application of it, the word pure is synonymous to useless.
V. Of Space and Rest.—Of these predicaments,—of these supremely abstract and comprehensive appellatives, two have been mentioned, viz. void space or vacuity, and rest, (i. e. relative rest, absolute, there being none, of which, in any instance, the existence is either known or probable,) which are not of the number of those which have become the subjects of so many correspondent branches of art and science.
Of the exceptions thus constituted, (to the general rule,) the cause seems not unobvious: presenting no variety, no change, neither of them is a source of use, nor, on any other account, an object of curiosity.
Pathematology, by this name may be designated the science of psychology, in so far as pleasure or pain are taken for the subjects of it,—applied to pleasure, it will receive the specific name of Edonology,—applied to pain, that of Odynology.
But for pre-established associations, pathology, as equally apposite, would, in respect of brevity, have furnished a preferable name. The appellative, however, has been employed by the art and science of medicine, and after being shorn of a great part of its import, confined to a corner of the field occupied by that science.
Pleasure and pain being the only objects possessed of intrinsic and independent value, simple perceptions, perceptions, if any such there were, altogether unconnected with either pleasure or pain, would have no claim to attention, would not, in fact, engage attention, would not be comprehended within any part of the field of art and science.
In general pathematic feelings, i. e. pleasure or pain, and apathematic feelings, i. e. simple perceptions considered in so far as separable from pleasures and pains, are experienced together,—are simultaneously concomitant. But although instances are not wanting in which as on the one hand perceptions might be found unaccompanied with pleasure or pain, so also, on the other hand, if not pleasure, pain at any rate, unaccompanied with any perception distinguishable from itself.
But abundant are the instances in which a simple perception, which has neither pleasure nor pain for its contemporary adjunct, may, through the medium of attention, reflection, volition and transitive action, reckon feelings of both sorts in abundance among its consequences; and hence it is that, except for clearness of intellection, the distinction between pathematic and apathematic perception becomes void of practical use.
Simple perception, simple remembrance, enjoyment, i. e. sensation of pleasure;—sufferance, i. e. sensation of pain,—attention, reflection, examination, judgment or opinion or judicial determination, volition, volitional determination, internal action, external action,—all these, on one and the same occasion, indeed on most occasions, all these several accidents are taking place at the same time; but, in the way of abstraction, for the purpose of science, any one of them, every one of them, may be, and has been, detached from the rest, and held up to view, and subjected to examination by itself. So many of these incidents as are capable of being distinguished from each other, so many compartments or separate fields are included within the vast all-comprehensive field of psychology.
In the production of the events of which it is the scene, the state of the mind is either active or purely passive—purely passive in so far as the will bears no part in the production of them—active in so far as in the production of them, the will has had a perceptible and efficient share.
When in the production of the result the will has had a perceptible and efficient share, the field in which that result has had place has either been confined within the precincts of the mind itself, or has extended beyond those precincts;—in the first case, the act to which the will has given birth, and in the production of which its efficiency has consisted, may be, and actually has been, termed an intransitive act, in the other case a transitive one.
In so far as the will is concerned in the production of any result, the field of the corresponding branch of science which takes cognizance of such result, may be termed the field of Thelematology.
In so far as either the will has borne no part in the production of the result in question, or the field of its operation has been confined within the precincts of the mind,—the field of the corresponding branch of science may be termed the field of noology. Passive, or purely passive noology, when in the production of the result the will has had no share:—active, in so far as in the production of the impression made and correspondent change produced in the mind, the will has borne a share.
Thelematology, or thelematognosy, has pathematology for its basis. It is by the eventual expectation of pleasure or pain that in every case the will, and thereby the agency, internal only, or internal and external together, are determined. It is by the idea of pleasure or of exemption from pain, considered as about to result from the proposed act, that the volition in pursuance of which the act is performed, and consequently the act itself, is produced.
In the character of ends, and in the character of means, in that double character it is that pleasures and pains or their respective negatives are continually presenting themselves, not pain itself, but its negative, i. e. exemption from pain is the end; but in the character of a means, pain itself operates, as well as its negative—pain itself as well as pleasure.
What dynamics is to somatology, the practical branch of thelematology, or the art of giving direction to volition, and thereby to action, is to psychognosy or psychology,—it may be termed psychological dynamics.
From somatology and psychology taken together, eudæmonics, or the art of applying life to the maximization of wellbeing, derives its knowledge of the phenomena belonging to human existence considered as applicable to that its purpose. In the one word Deontology may be comprehended the knowledge, in so far as by art it is attainable, of the course by which, on each occasion, those means may, with most advantage, be rendered conducive to that common end.
In the field of Deontology, as thus explained, will be found included the several fields of Ethics, meaning private Ethics or morals, internal government and international law.
If on ground so thorny and so slippery inquiry could be warranted in expressing itself with that intensity of persuasion, that fulness of assurance which is included in the import of the word knowledge, the field of deontognosy would be the more expressive denomination for the designation of the field of this branch of art and science. In that case, Deontognosy would be the knowledge of what, on every occasion, is by the person in question proper* to be done.
Were it not for the extent thus given to Deontology, upon a great part, not to say the greatest part of what has been advanced and written on the subject of Ethics, of government and of international law taken together, an exclusion would be put.
Of Deontology, the field is either private or public, and for the division of the science itself these adjuncts may accordingly be made to serve.
Intransitive and transitive, to one or other of these denominations will the whole contents of the field of private deontology be found referable. Intransitive, in so far as that individual, and no other, whose agency is, on the occasion in question, the object of consideration, the person for whose guidance the inquiry is made, is the party whose wellbeing is taken into consideration and included in the account. Transitive, in so far as in the account in question, the wellbeing of any other individual or individuals, is considered.
National and international, to one or other of these denominations will whatsoever belongs to the subject of public deontology be found referable: national, in so far as in the consideration of the effects of the act or course of conduct which is in contemplation, in the list of the persons whose wellbeing is taken into account, all the members, rulers, and subjects, taken together, of the political state in question, all these, but no others, are taken into this account. International or universal, in so far as the wellbeing of the members of all other political states taken together, or of this or that individual member of such foreign political state, is taken into the account.
When, in so far as the person in question is considered as occupying the situation of a member of the ruling few, the art and science of deontology will coincide with the art and science of government, within the field of which art and science is included the art and science of legislation, together with what remains of the field of government after abstraction made of the field of legislation,—which remainder may be designated, as it commonly appears to be, by the appellation of the field of administration.
As, for its end to pathematology,—so it is to thelematology, and thence to psychical dynamics that deontology looks for its means.
Uses of the foregoing Divisions.
To what purpose all this ramification, all these divisions, subdivisions, and sub-subdivisions, to what purpose all this neology? The words which to everybody are so familiar, of which the application is so easy, why seek to disturb the possession they have so long held of the field of art and science?
Answer,—to enable you, whomsoever it may concern, should you ever happen to be in the humour, not only to complete an all-comprehensive view of the field of art and science, but also an observation of the mutual relation and connexion of its several compartments, and their respective contents; at the same time to show in what way those contents are respectively of a nature to be regarded as interesting, and as such, as qualifying the whole system to make an adequate return, for any such labour as any person may feel himself disposed to employ in the examination of it.
This view, this observation, the assemblage of names in use,—so long as they are employed to the exclusion of a connected and consistent system of nomenclature, such as the foregoing has endeavoured to render itself,—will not suffer to be taken.
In the first place, as to the principle or source of division. The point of view in which it places the whole field is not merely the most interesting in which it is capable of being placed, but the only one to which in itself the appellation of interesting can with propriety be applied. Unless in so far as it means conducive to wellbeing—to the maximization of the aggregate mass of pleasure—to the minimization of the aggregate mass of pain, the word interesting is devoid of meaning.
In the next place, as to the denominations, divisions, and subdivisions, and the names given to the results.
It is only by a correspondent set of apposite names, that the relations that have place between different objects can be instructively and conveniently expressed, and thereby as far as by general words can be done, the nature, the true and distinctive nature, of those several objects made known.
By the most and all-comprehensive term of every system, those properties are expressed which are common to all the individual objects which are understood to be designated by, and comprehended in, the import of that universal appellative. Divide that aggregate into two parts, taking care at the same time that, in one or other of those parts, every individual comprehended in the whole shall be included,—by the names respectively given to those two parts, whatsoever properties are peculiar to the contents of each in contradistinction to the contents of the other, are designated. But in so far as, in addition to all those properties which it has in common with other objects, those which are peculiar to itself are known and understood, the nature of the object, be it what it may, is understood.
In addition to that vast assemblage of common properties which is designated by the universal name, the greater the number of the divisions and subdivisions which are thus made,—while to the two lesser aggregates forming the result of each act of division, apposite denominations, expressive of a property by which the contents of each of the two compartments are distinguished from those of the other, are attached,—the greater the number of those successive acts of division, the more clearly each one of the individual objects contained under them is rendered distinguishable from every other, with which, but for the distinctions thus brought to view, it might have been in danger of being confounded.
Such is the use of apposite names, now observe the inconvenience produced by inapposite ones.
Of their inappositeness, the consequence is, that, in conjunction with the ideas which they are employed and intended to present to view, they are continually presenting to view others which are quite different, and which, in so far as on the occasion in question, they are annexed to the words in question, are productive of constant confusion and frequent error.
True it is that originally, i. e. antecedently to established associations, neither appositeness, nor, consequently, inappositeness, are among the properties of language. For giving expression to any idea, any and every combination of sounds or figures, is as apposite as any other. But in so far as between ideas on the one part, and sounds or visible signs on the other, associations have already been formed, then in so far it is that inappositeness as well as appositeness has place: with relation to the idea which for the first time it is employed or about to be employed to designate, a term is apposite when, in virtue of the family connexions with which it is already provided, it has a tendency, upon the first mention, to dispose the mind to ascribe to it properties, whatsoever they may be, by which that object is distinguished from other objects: it is inapposite, in as far as in virtue, and by means of such its connexion, its tendency is to dispose the mind to ascribe to it, instead of the properties which are thus peculiar to it, others which it is not possessed of, or at any rate which are not peculiar to it. Thus of appositeness on the part of the appellative, on the part of the mind to which it presents itself, correct at least, if not complete conception, is at first sight the natural result: of inappositeness, conception always more or less incomplete, and frequently altogether incorrect and erroneous.
In the above analytical sketch, the dichotomous, bifurcate, two-pronged plan of division is that which it may have been observed, has all along been endeavoured to be employed. The ground and reason of this choice are as follows.*
In the instance here brought forward on the occasion of the first divisional operation, the dividend taken in hand was the aggregate composed of all bodies whatsoever. By the first operation performed on it as above, it was divided into two condivident portions, to one of which all bodies in which the property of life is to be found were referred, to the other all bodies in which that property is not to be found.
Take then any individual body for example. It being referred to the aggregate, distinguished by the adjunct animated, if that adjunct be with truth and propriety applied to it, what we learn thereby is, that it is possessed of all those properties the aggregate of which is designated by the term life.
Proceed now and perform an ulterior, viz. the next ulterior divisional operation. Taking for the dividend that one of the two condivident portions for the designation of which, on the occasion of the first divisional operation, the word animated was employed. For the principle or source of division, take, on this occasion, the property designated by the word sensation; on this, as on the former occasion, dividing the aggregate into two portions or heaps, throw into the first heap all such individuals in which this ulterior property is to be found, leaving for the second heap all those in which it is not to be found.
In this way, to the information which concerning the individual or species in question is conveyed, by referring it to the several appellatives, body and animated body, may be added this further information, conveyed by the referring it to the ulterior additional appellative, sensitive animated body, or to omit the intermediate adjunct as unnecessary, (since if the divisional process have been rightly carried on, i. e. upon the exhaustive plan as here described, then if the object in question be sensitive it cannot but be animated,) to the shorter appellative sensitive body.
Thus much for theory. But the sort of information thus conveyed does it end in theory? Is it inapplicable to practice? If so it were it would be useless; if so it had been deemed, no such labour as has here been bestowed upon the endeavour to render it intelligible would have been expended upon it. But far indeed is it from being devoid of use. Correspondent to, and in every considerate mind determined by, the properties which it is found to possess, is the manner in which the object, be it what it may, requires to be, and will be dealt with.
In one of his newly visited, and at the same time conquered countries, Alexander was one day taking a walk in a wood. Aristotle was in his company. Pointing to something on the ground, which had caught his attention,—“What is that?” said the monarch. “A leaf,” answered the philosopher. “A leaf, say you? why, you sec it moves.” “Indeed, and so it does. It is not a leaf, it is an animal; it is a particular species of insect,—the leaf-caterpillar. I must deal with it accordingly, if it be the pleasure of your majesty to have it kept.” A little further on,—“There is another odd thing,” cried the conqueror; “that stick, it seems to be, that is just by you. Do so much as pick it up.” “Gladly,” replied the naturalist, “had I durst. That stick, as it seemed to you, was a serpent, and one of the most deadly sort; I have crushed it and killed it, or by this time it would have killed me.”
Take any object at pleasure, and at the same time take any property at pleasure, to that same object either that same property does belong, or it does not. This property belongs to that object,—this property does not belong to that object. The two propositions are, with reference to each other, termed contradictory ones. To whatsoever object applied, both of them cannot be true; one or other of them is sure to be so.
Hence may be seen the convenience of that plan of division, according to which, in one or other of the two compartments or condivident portions into which, at each step, the dividend is divided, every particular contained under the name of the dividend is sure to be found. If the dividend thus assumed be that one object by which the whole field of art and science is occupied and covered, proportioned to the number of operations which, under this plan of division, can be performed with truth, the nature of everything contained in that field is gradually developed; and in proportion as it is developed, clearly and thoroughly expressed and made known.
This being the case, the consequence is, that in so far as the observations, in pursuance of which the properties in question have been ascribed to the object in question, are correct, truth will be the property of every proposition by which an object is referred, to any one of the heaps and correspondent compartments thus formed. At every step, be the individual or other particular object what it may, so it does but belong to the universal, all comprehensive aggregate, which stands at the top of the system, to one or other of the heaps or compartments thus formed, it cannot but belong, and at the same time it cannot belong to both of them. Hence it is, that so long as the divisional process proceeds upon this plan,—so long it is that of the whole contents of the universal, all-comprehensive aggregate, no one item is omitted; which, in other words, is as much as to say, that the plan of division is all-comprehensive and exhaustive; that the whole stock of materials contained under the appellative by which the universal aggregate is designated, is all along exhausted to furnish the matter on which the operations are successively performed.
Instead of bifurcate, two-pronged, suppose the plan of division, for example, trifurcate, three-pronged. So long as it remains in this state, the test of all-comprehensiveness, as above, not being applied to it, so long it is, that whether it be all-comprehensive, whether the whole stock of the matters contained in the dividend be, or be not, lodged in these three condivident portions, and in that way the dividend compartment drained and exhausted of its matter, remains unindicated. If the conditions necessary, as above, to the rendering the division all along exhaustive, have been fulfilled, then so it is, that in itself, and in truth, exhaustive it will be; but in this case, though by the supposition it be exhaustive, yet this is more than it will be shown to be, and, in so far as seeing depends upon showing, seen to be.
Minerals, vegetables, animals.—Here of the all-comprehensive aggregate, designated by the word bodies, we have three condivident portions, which are the result of a division of the three-pronged kind,—minerals, vegetables, and animals, subjects of so many kingdoms, formed by some logician when in a poetic mood for the containing of them. Now, so it does happen, that by these several appellatives taken together, all individual bodies whatsoever are designated, and thereby, in the allotment thus made of subjects to and for the three kingdoms, the population of the whole empire, out of which portions were taken to people the dominions of these same three kingdoms, was and is exhausted. Of this exhaustion, the proof may be afforded, and has been afforded, by the application of the test of exhaustiveness, as above described and exemplified. But this is more than either is announced by the name thus given to them, or would be announced in and by any tabular view, in which, without any intimation given of the two dichotomous divisional operations, of which these three compartments are the results, they were exhibited in the character of so many portions of the all-comprehensive aggregate, into which, by one and the same operation, that aggregate had been divided.
So, again, with regard to indication given of properties distinctive, as well as of properties aggregative; points of difference, as well as points of similitude; that minerals, while agreeing with vegetables in being bodies, disagree with them in not being endued with life; that vegetables, while agreeing with animals in being endued with life, disagree with them in not being endued with sensation. All this, from one source or other, we know, or upon a moment’s instruction may be made to know,—such of us as are acquainted with the application made of these general names to individuals; but of this, by the names themselves, no intimation is conveyed. By the term vegetable, what is indicated is,—that vegetables possess a species of life, viz. the vegetable species of life, but that, in addition to this faculty, the other faculty of sensation is not possessed by them. Of this property, (life, viz.,) though equally belonging to them, no indication, useful and instructive as it would be, viz. by serving to distinguish them from animals, to prevent their being regarded as possessed of a property, of which they are not in truth possessed, is afforded.
This example, though, of any that could have been found, it is, by reason of its familiarity, the fittest for conveying, in relation to the plan of division and arrangement in question, a clear and adequate conception, is, by that very reason, the least fit for giving, at least to a cursory view, an adequate conception of its utility; that which, when applied to other subjects, it is so exclusively qualified for making known, being, in this instance universally known without it.
The further the operation is continued, in other words, the number of steps taken, in and by the performance of it, the longer and more complex would be the names thus given to the continually lesser and lesser aggregates, which, by this division, are obtained. In a synoptic table, an instrument designed for the eye rather than the ear, this inconvenience may, under favour of a well-adapted language, remain for some time almost imperceptible; but in a running discourse, a discourse designed for the ear, as well as the eye, it would probably become intolerable. In ordinary discourse, therefore, at the second, if not at the very first, operation, the necessity will be felt of substituting, in the instance of each aggregate, in place of the two-worded appellative exhibited by the table, a single-worded one. Thus, in English, to the two-worded appellative material substance, on the occasion of the first division made of the import of the universal appellative body: a fortiori to the three-worded appellative living material substance,—a single-worded appellative, so it were that the English language (as do the Greek* and Latin† languages) afforded one;—a fortiori, again on the occasion of a second division to the three-worded appellative, insensitive living body, or the four-worded appellative, insensitive living corporeal substance, will require to be substituted another single-worded appellative, such as plant or vegetable, and so in the case of the opposite result of this same division, viz. animal.
On this occasion the logician finds himself under the obligation of employing the same sort of expedient as, on a similar occasion, is wont to be employed by the algebraist, who to a heap of a’s, b’s, and c’s, mixed up with a heap of x’s, y’s, and z’s, forms to himself, in the shape of a single s, a concise and most commodious substitute.
At every step taken in the track of exhaustive division, the condivident aggregates, or two prongs which are the result when added to the divided aggregate which forms the stem, exhibit a definition, and that of the regular kind, a definition per genus et differentiam of the two aggregates thus brought to view.
Thus, in the Porphyrian tree, the two terms living and lifeless, present, when added to the term body, the definition of any term in the import of which the import of either of the two terms respectively employed for the designation of them shall be included.
True it is, that in relation to this instrument of instruction, thus much must be confessed, viz.
1. That it is an instrument, for the due handling of which no small quantity of mental labour, coupled with no slight portion of knowledge, and no small degree of correctness on the part of the judgment, are necessary.
2. That in respect of the stock which it requires of those qualities of which they being, when separately taken, so rare, are, when in conjunction, consequently so much more so, the number of the divisional operations employed, and consequently the number of aggregates, one within another, which are the result, must perforce receive a pretty early limitation.
3. That in so far as error creeps in, instead of the true and clear instruction which it is in its nature to convey, false instruction and confusion will be conveyed by it.
4. That such error will be liable and apt to be the result, wheresoever, previously to the fixation of the two condivident appellatives, the test of exhaustiveness, as above described, is omitted to be applied to the result of the division which has been made.
5. That though, if it were possible for every race of individuals, or even for every individual object comprehended in the aggregate in question, to be included in the view given of the contents, our acquaintance with the contents would be by so much the more perfect, and the table thereby so much the more useful, yet it is to a comparatively very small number of divisions, and thence to a correspondently very small number of articles constituting the results of these divisions, that the usefulness, and even that the practical application of this useful instrument will unavoidably be found confined.
6. That accordingly, the faculty of making use of it with advantage, will be found confined in its application to the largest aggregates which the nature of things affords, as well as to a small number of the steps which, in the course of the divisional plan, might, by possibility be made. The greater the labour, the complexity, and nicety, of the operation, the fewer the occasions on which, with an effect advantageous upon the whole, it can be employed.
But of these observations, what is the result with regard to this instrument? Much the same as with regard to gold,—not that it is of no use—not that it is of no value; but that the getting it for use is an affair of no small difficulty, and that, accordingly, of the whole number of occasions on which a man would be the better for employing it, and would accordingly be glad to employ it if he could, it is but in a small part that he is able to employ it.
7. That though to maximize the instructiveness of the partition, it is necessary to render it demonstratively and manifestly bifurcate, in which case, at each operation, the numbers of parts into which the whole aggregate is divided, will be no more than two, yet to the number of the directions in which, or sources of division from which, the whole may thus be successively divided, there is no limit. In the direction of the sections, at right angles to that direction,—at any angle other than a right angle,—in any one or more of these ways may an orange be divided, yet in each instance into two, and but two parts, and thus far even into equal ones, not to speak of the infinity of the modes into which it may be divided into two unequal ones.
Of this diversified plan of bifurcate and exhaustive division, this division from several sources,—the use is to reach such general terms as the usage of language has established, and therewith exhibit the several relations which the objects respectively designated by them, bear to each other, viz. in so far as the aggregates which they respectively serve to designate, have been so made up, that, if the course of the division were confined to one direction, the nature of the case would not admit of any such course being carried on upon the bifurcate and exhaustive plan, as would take them in.
[* ] With the exception of some notices of an introductory and critical nature, no MSS. bearing on the dialectic branch have been found.—Ed.
[† ] From signifying instruction itself or the subject of it, in English as well as in French, and probably because so it was seen to be in French, it has come to signify along with, and frequently instead of it, the means employed in the administration of instruction, viz. in so far as they consist of coercion and punishment, in the first instance, on the occasion of education at large; and thence in the military department of government.
[* ] See a criticism on the author’s method of defining logic, in Mr George Bentham’s Outline; p. 12-13.
[* ] See Appendix B, and Chrestomathia, Appendix IV., supra, p. 63, et seq.
[* ] See passim Methodization, chapter x.
[* ] See below, chap. x.
[* ] Examples,—1. Finger language. 2. Tangible diagrams. 3. Tangible marked cards. 4. Tangible musical notes.
[† ] By some of the grammarians whose works are in present use, verbs stand distinguished into transitive and intransitive; transitive are those which are most commonly termed active, intransitive those which are commonly termed neuter. An instance of the active or transitive verb is ferio, I strike; an instance of the neuter or intransitive verb is curro, I run. Not but that in the intransitive verb agency is expressed; but in this case so is passion, or say, to avoid ambiguity, patiency likewise; and so it is that in one and the same person the agent and the patient are comprised: the agent, the volitional part of his mind; the patient or patients, those parts of his bodily frame by which the action or operation called running is performed.
[‡ ] The transitive was the only original one.
[* ] Of the distinguishable classes of operations in which the human mind is wont to exercise itself, the formation and employment of this instrument, viz. discourse is one, and of the others there is not one to which it is not in a high degree subservient.
[* ] “Ars instrumentalis dirigens mentem nostram in cognitionem omnium intelligibilium.” Sanderson, lib. i. cap. i. The author’s reasons for referring to Sanderson as his text-book of the Aristotelian system will be found above, p. 217.—Ed.
[* ] Sanderson, p. 2.—Objectum Logicæ primario est, mens humana; unde et Logicæ nomen, velut ἀπὸ τᾶ λόγου id est ratione:—secundario etiam et oratio, quæ et ipsa λόγος dicta est quâ sc. sensa mentis nostræ loquendo exprimimus.
Materia circa quam versatur, est omne illud, sive ens, sive non ens, quod vel mente complicti vel oratione eloqui possumus. Ratio autem formalis considerandi est secunda intentio. Logicus enim considerat omnia themata, non secundum proprias ipsorum naturas, sed in quantum Logica instrumenta (quæ sunt secundæ notiones) sunt eis applicabilia. Hinc Logicæ pro diversa ratione multiplex assignari potest subjectum.
[* ] The eighth category of Aristotle, corresponding with the tenth of Sanderson, (ιχυν,) is generally translated habere, or possession; [Editor: illegible word] τυ ιχυν is likewise the title of the twelfth chapter of the categories, criticised in the following page in its position among the Post-Predicaments.—Ed.
[* ] The fragmentary sections which have been brought together in this chapter, were probably intended to be incorporated with the Dialectic portion of the work, see above, p. 218.—Ed.
[† ] See Table of springs of action, vol. i. p. 195.
[* ] Viz., Erotisis.
[† ] The MSS. end here with a note by the author: “Go on explaining the mechanism.”—Ed.
[* ] See Chrestomathia, Table V., supra, p. 82 et seq.
[* ] On this subject, for the purpose of exposition, i. e. for the purpose of ensuring clearness, the Aristotelians have given us a distinction which may be seen to be itself a source of unclearness,—viz. of that sort which is termed obscurity. For the purpose of exposition, one of the instruments or operations they employ is definition, to which again they apply another instrument, viz. division. A definition (say they) is either a definition of the name, or a definition of the thing, meaning, evidently, of the thing—of the object, of which the word is employed as a name. Now, in the account thus given of the matter, a proposition is implied which is not true; viz. that where the definition is a definition of a thing, it never is the definition of the name; whereas in truth it always is.
Of the distinction which they had in view, the form they should have employed seems to be this: a definition is either a definition of the word alone, or a definition of the thing by means of the word. A definition of the thing signified,—meant to be expressed by it.
[* ]Dictionaries of languages, that is, where the words of one language are expounded by giving the corresponding words of another. Dictionaries in a single language generally comprehend almost every species of exposition.
[* ] See chap. ix. sec. viii.
[† ] An excellent illustration of definition, in contradistinction to other modes of exposition, is afforded by the characteristic phrases of writers on the physical sciences, in which those characters alone are given which are necessary to distinguish the species from all others in the same genus; or, in other words, which constitute the species. All other properties, the knowledge of which may assist the learner in the formation of the idea he is intended to receive, being referred to description of which I shall speak farther on.
A great light would be thrown on the pneumatological branches of science, were the like exactness to be given to the definition of words in use, wherever definition may be employed with advantage. In the case of all terms of very general import, it will be found much more useful to consider them as genera generalissima, and expound them by other means, but when once the import of these genera is fixed, definition should be applied to, and persevered in to the greatest extent possible. The advantage of this will appear in a clearer light when I speak of methodization, an operation with which definition is intimately connected.
[* ] See section viii.
[* ] It is, however, only in so far as a man is aware of the probability, that in the event in question the unpleasant consequence in question will befal him, that the obligation can possess any probability of proving an effective one.
[† ] See Principles of Morals and Legislation, chapter iii. vol. i. p. 14.
[* ] Multisensual, by accident and without analogy. Multisensual, by reason of analogy; under one or other of these heads, may all the cases in which it can happen to a word to stand in need of distinction be comprised.
[* ] Here, by the by, we have two sub-classes, formed by the division of any one class; of the one class in question, whatever it be. But as this class is divisible into two classes, say, sub-classes; so may each of these sub-classes be divided each into two bi-sub-classes,—each bi-sub-class into tri-sub-classes, and so on without end.
[† ] See Book of Fallacies, Introduction, section 2, vol. ii. p. 379.
[‡ ] Book i. chap. 17. De Definitione. [Sanderson says, “Definitio est Definiti (sive nominis sive rei) explicatio.—Ed.]
[* ] Consolidation is the converse of Division. Division is per descensum. Definition per ascensum; Synonymation per æquum.
[† ] See farther on this subject, Appendix B.; and supra, p. 102, et seq.
[* ] Sanderson, lib. i. cap. xviii.
[* ] On this plan of division, between the number of operations performed, and the number of included aggregates to which the original all-embracing aggregate is reduced by those operations, there exists an established ratio.
[† ] Sanderson, lib. i. cap. xviii. De Divisione.
[* ] With these words the MS. of this section ends, and the subject does not appear to have been further pursued.—Ed.
[† ] To this purpose classical is preferred to general; class having no such determinate ratio as genus bears to species.
[* ] For an exemplification of the Porphyrian Tree, see Table IV. of Chrestomathia, and the correspondent notes, supra, p. 110.
[* ] Among natural philosophers, and more particularly among botanists, the word species has a particular and narrow import, whereby it stands distinguished from that of variety; for the composition of a species, those marks or combinations of matter alone are on this occasion taken and employed, of which it is supposed that on the part of all individuals descended, in the way of botanical descent, from an individual thus described, they will for ever continue to have existence; those which are regarded as being in the contrary case, being, for distinction sake, termed varieties; in such sort that by the term variety is expressed an aggregate subordinate to, and contained within, some one species, of which it is a variety. But of these attributions of everlasting immutability, in the one case, and mutability on the other, there can never be any ground stronger than conjecture; a conjecture which, though by experience found to be so far true as that the acting in conformity to the indication afforded by it, is found to be productive of practical benefit, yet is every now and then found to be erroneous. Accordingly, it is with suitable diffidence that the existence of the sort of distinction in question is commonly announced,—that such a collection of marks is indicative of a species, and not of a variety; that such another of a mere variety, and not of a species. Thus it is that species, in the botanical, or say phytological, sense, differs from a species in the logical sense.
[* ] In algebra, quantity alone, mere quantity, without regard to figure, is throughout the subject; in geometry, the subject of figure—of that other subject, is superadded; in fluxions, the idea of motion is introduced, in addition to those of quantity and figure.
[† ] Considered as names of action, methodization and arrangement may on most occasions be considered and employed as interconvertible terms. But if there be any difference, methodization is that one of the two of which the field of applicability is most extensive. Compared with the word arrangement, the word methodization seems to have acquired more of an eulogistic sense, and accordingly, in company with the idea of arrangement, to convey the intimation that in the instance in question it has been well conducted, and that to the result of it the laudatory adjunct good may with propriety be applied; and, in so far as this is the case, the consequence is, that in any instance in which the sentiment of approbation is not intended to be annexed to the disposition, what is considered as having been, or being about to be made, the eulogistic term, methodization, would not be so suitable to the design as the more neutral term arrangement, or the word disposition, where the nature of the case admits of the employing a word, the import of which is so much more ample, and consequently so much more lax.
Considered as names expressive of the result of this action or operation, the words order, method, and taken in this additional sense, the word arrangement, seem to want but little if anything of being interconvertible. Order, however, seems, as well as the word method, to have imbibed somewhat of an eulogistic tinge,—a tinge from which in this sense, as well as the former, the word arrangement appears to be, if not altogether free, much more so than either of those two.
[‡ ] It will be observed that many of the subjects treated under the head of Methodization, are such as logical writers generally refer to the head of Division. For treating under this, which is generally considered as belonging to the synthetic department, some operations which, by logicians in general, had been viewed as purely analytic, the author gives his reasons below, p. 265.—Ed.
[* ] See chap. ii. sect. 4.
[† ] See Sanderson’s rules of method. [These will be found criticised at length in sect. xiii. For methodization, in relation to literary composition, see sect. xi.]
[* ] This section is merely a fragment. The original MS. bears date 7th, 8th, and 9th August, 1814. Within a short time afterwards, a more complete view of the subject, viz. the classification of entities as real and fictitious, with the sub-divisions, seems to have opened on the author, and, leaving this analysis unfinished, he exhausted the subject in a separate essay called Ontology, and printed in this volume, p. 195, et seq. The greater part of the MS. of Ontology bears date September and October 1814.—Ed.
[† ] Examples:—Gods of different dynasties,—kings, such as Brute and Fergus,—animals, such as dragons and chimæras,—countries, such as El Dorado,—seas, such as the Straits of Arrian,—fountains, such as the fountain of Jouvence.
[* ] Figure from fingere, to fashion, as a potter does his clay. It has for its conjugates, besides figura, figulus, perhaps the English word finger; the fingers being the parts of the human frame principally employed in fashioning, in giving form to masses of matter,—to each its intended figure.
[* ] Vide supra, p. 110.
[* ] Ethical will be those belonging to the pathetically or pathecally passive faculty. The ethical fictitious entities will be obligation, right, power, &c; distinguishable according to the sanction from which the good and evil is considered as flowing. See chap. ii. sect. v., p. 229.—Faculties to which logic gives direction and assistance.
[† ] Chemists and apothecaries have their nests of boxes.
[* ] Thus by every definition, per genus et differentiam, bifurcate division is made; the greater aggregate is divided into two forks or arms. But of that one of the arms to which a name is given, a property, and that a characteristic one, is brought to view; it is thereby placed in the light; whereas, of that which constitutes the other arm no such property is brought to view,—it is left in the dark.
In a bifurcate division, expressed in the only form in which it is at the same time shown to be exhaustive, viz. in the contradictional, both arms are placed as nearly as may be in an equally strong light; though of the two arms that which is expressed positively, and that which is expressed negatively, the light in which the former is thereby expressed, will naturally be in general the clearer, and thence the stronger.
[* ] In more points of view than one are the characters of original genius exhibited in the work of this illustrious Swede. Not less peculiar to him than his system was his style. Compressed and elliptical in the extreme, the picture which it exhibits is rather that of an immense bundle of loose hints than that of a continued discourse. Great, indeed, is the excellence which it accordingly exhibits in the articles of compressedness and impressiveness; but far, indeed, are these excellencies from being so much clear gain—being paid for, and that at no low rate, by imperfections, not only in respect of facility of intellection, but in respect of clearness, and thence, as hath been seen, even in respect of correctness. He may be styled the Tactus of physics. In so far as concerns the aggregate composed of the universality of bodies considered in their natural state, the classification and correspondent nomenclature invented and established by him, will, it is believed, be found tolerably fit for practical purposes.
[* ] Here the MS. suddenly breaks off.—Ed.
[† ] Of a deficiency to which the reproach of scantiness can scarcely be regarded as inapplicable, remarkable is the example afforded in the late Dr Campbell’s work entitled “The Philosophy of Rhetoric.”
According to him, b. ii. c. v., vol. ii. p. 4. “Besides purity, which (he says) is a quality entirely grammatical, the five, [and by the article the he thus undertakes for the completeness of his list,] the five simple and original qualities of style, [which he doubtless means, but does not say, are qualities desirable in style, for assuredly they are not found in every man’s style,] of style, considered as an object of the understanding, the imagination, the passions, and the ear, are perspicuity, vivacity, elegance, animation, and music,”—meaning by music, musicalness. To the subject of perspicuity the remainder of that book (book ii.) is allotted; to that of vivacity, the whole of his third book, and with this third book the work ends.
Elegance, animation, and musicalness,—of no one of these three qualities is so much as a syllable to be found, or so much as a hint to serve as an apology for so incongruous a silence.
Yet several times during the lifetime of the author was this work republished; always under the same all-comprehensive, and not altogether unassuming title, The Philosophy of Rhetoric.
[* ] No continuation of this section has been found among the MSS.—Ed.
[† ] See infra, chap, xi. p. 275.
[* ] Both these heads are marked out in the MSS. of Bentham, but the subjects are not discussed.—Ed.
[* ] Yet by a little allowance, for the scholastic latinity of Sanderson, the passage may admit without alteration of being thus translated,—“He will find his labour repaid who teaches the connexion and universal reason of his method, by some table; or shall exhibit it to his pupils in a compendious draught.”—Ed.
[* ] See Book of Fallacies, chap. ii. (vol. ii. p. 466.)
[† ] There is here in the MS.—“N.B. Invention is the offspring of genius;” a dictum, the influence of which it was probably intended to examine. The paragraph following is headed, “Indigenous intellectual weakness;” and, at the end of it, there is a memorandum, “go on with the three remaining natural enemies of genius.”—Ed.
[* ] Mechanics are frequently bad explainers of their inventions. Newton himself was a great inventor, not always a clear explainer.
[* ] In the production of volition, a desire operating in the character of a motive is either certainly or not certainly effective; if certainly effective, an act of the will is the consequence. The cause of my own act is always my own desire; and in this sense my will is free. But the cause of that desire, what is it? In some cases I know what it is; in others not. When I know not what it is, how is my will free? The action of it is in so far dependent upon an unknown cause external to myself.
When I make my choice amongst a multitude of antagonizing desires, what is the cause of that choice?
[* ] Of those which are here distinguished by an * mention is made in D’Alembert’s Table, these and no others.
[* ] Respecting these five last-mentioned faculties, no further notice appears to have been taken in the MSS.—Ed.
[† ] Many of the subjects of this Appendix will be found discussed more at length in Chrestomathia, appendix.—Ed.
[‡ ] Like so many other histories of modern date, the present is a history partly of what, in the way in question, the hero actually did, partly of what he might have done. What he actually did, may be seen in a little work, in one or two small 12mo volumes, entitled, Traité des Sensations. It is not known to have ever been translated into English, though on the subject of logic it contains a quantity of information not derivable from any other source.
[* ] See the tract on Ontology in this volume, with its division of entities into real and fictitious,—perceptible and inferential.
[† ] See Chrestomathia, supra, p. 82.
[‡ ] Examples: Mathematics, dynamics, therapeutics, asthetics, tactics.
[* ] From the Greek word for body, viz. σωμα.
[† ] From the Greek word for soul, viz. Ψυχη.
[‡ ] See the inaptness of the terms Natural History and Natural Philosophy discussed above, p. 68, et seq. An exposition in somewhat similar terms follows in the MS. of the text.—Ed.
[* ] Attraction of gravitation, attraction of cohesion, and chemical attraction,—electrical, and galvanical, and magnetical included.
[† ] Repulsion exhibited in the clusters of bodies, whether in a solid, liquid, or gaseous state. Ditto, produced in all these several cases by the addition of caloric.
[* ] Of this word proper, with its conjugate propriety, and its quasi-conjugate unfit, the use made has for its causes, efficient as well as rational, the desire of including whatsoever has been advanced on the subject, without as well as with regard to the effect producible in respect of wellbeing, by the course of conduct which on the several occasions has, under the notion of its propriety, been prescribed or recommended.
[* ] Here follow general reasons for preferring the dichotomous mode of division, similar to those which will be found at length, supra, p. 102, et seq. These are omitted; but the continuation, though containing some repetitions, is valuable as a more minute practical illustration than the author elsewhere gives of the application of the system. Table V., attached to Chrestomathia, exemplifies the dichotomous division; and the Porphyrian Tree, referred to in the text, is exemplified in Table IV.—Ed.
[* ][Editor: illegible word].
[† ] Vivus.