Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IX.: OF METHODIZATION, OTHERWISE TERMED ARRANGEMENT. † ‡ - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
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CHAPTER IX.: OF METHODIZATION, OTHERWISE TERMED ARRANGEMENT. † ‡ - 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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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.
[† ] 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.