« FöregåendeFortsätt »
requisite, for the various concerns and purposes of life, that men should be led by Truth of the most redundant brightness. 211CD
On the contrary, it is in every view more useful and expedient for us, fituated and circumstanced as we are, that Providence has left us in the confines of much darkness, to ađ and move under the shades of weaker, but sufficient, evidence. Both reason and experience accordingly inform us, that the use and value of Truth in general, as it is appointed in all its different divisions to at. tend us with its light through our transitory way, do not bear any proportion to its clearness and conviction.
Much of the most useful part of our knowledge is derived from a source different from that which has been just investigated : not from a few general ideas of two kinds of Quantity abstracted and separated from all matter, but from the innumerable Qualities of individual and particular things as they are inberent and exist in matter — of all those BODIES with which we are by nature every
way surrounded, which are perpetually folliciting the external senses, and with whole uses we are immediately and necessarily concerned. To know their inherent Powers and Properties, their Qualities and Attributes, their Motions and Operations, their Causes and Effects, is to cultivate the various and extensive field of PHYSICS or NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.
This part of learning, however it may differ from pure Mathematics, is referred by the Peripatetic Philosopher to the same province of the Mind, the speculative or theoretic INTELLECT; because it derives its Principles from those external subjects which it contemplates, and not from the internal refources of the mind contemplating and creating, as we shall find to be the case with MORALITY and Poetry.'
• Επει δε και η φυσική επιστήμη τυγχάνει τα σερί γένος si tã outOS, (wapigap mo'y totaútny ésiv xcíar év v nasxni της κινήσεως και σάσεως εν αυτη, δηλον ότι έτε πρακτική έσιν έτε ποιητική. Τών μεν γαρ ποιητικών εν τω σοιεντι η agxen, ñ vês ésir, on téxun, súva juís Togo Two capax
T HE Evidence of the External Senses
1 is obviously the PRIMARY PRINciple from which all Physical knowledge is derived.
But, whereas Nature begins with Causes, which, after a variety of changes, produce Effects, the Senses open upon the Effects, and from them, through the flow and painful road of Experiment and Observation, ascend to Causes.
Man appears upon the stage of this material fystem as upon a visionary theatre, in which he looks only upon the exterior of things, as the eye upon a flower that is fullblown, or upon an insect in all the pride
τικών, εν τω πράττοντι ή προαίρεσις. Το αυτο γαρ το τρακτών και προαιρετόν. Ωςε εί η άπασα διάνοια ή πρακτική, η ποιητική, τι θεωρητική, η ΦΥΣΙΚΗ ΘΕΩΡΗTIKH TIS är ein. Ariftot. Metaph. lib. vi, cap. 1.
and beauty of its colours; without observing immediately the different stages through which they have passed, the different forms they have assumed, the different changes they have undergone, and without descending to the seeds and principles from which they spring, and which, upon examination, will be found totally different both in form and colour. In like manner are the Senses, the ultimate criteria of all physical knowledge, liable to be imposed upon and deceived in regard to the Qualities and Causes, the Powers and Operations, of PHYSICAL Body.
The Senses are, therefore, to be assisted by various Observations taken with diligence and circumspection, and to be undeceived by different Analyses, which divest Nature of her external and compounded form, and lay open
• Ædificium autem hujus universi, structura sua, intellectui humano contemplanti, instar labyrinthi est; ubi tot ambigua viarum, tam fallaces rerum et fignorum fimilitudines, tam obliquæ et implexæ naturarum fpiræ et nodi, undequaque se ostendunt: Iter autem, sub incerto sensus lumine, interdum affulgente interdum se condente, per experientiæ et rerum particularium sylvas, perpetuo faciendum est. Baconus De Augm. Sc. Præf.
her internal mechanism and construction. Their errors and misconceptions are to be corrected by the use of Experiments of different kinds, which penetrate her inmost recesses, and descend to her remotest causes. By the application of such assistance they are enabled, not without difficulty, to leave behind the fallacious exterior, to pass from one appearance to another,' and, as far as human search can go, to judge of the realities of things.
• The information which the Senses give "us,' as the great friend and father of philosophers has observed,' is to be examined ' and corrected by various methods ; for though they deceive us on all occasions,
. Quin etiam duces itineris (ut dictum est) qui fe offerunt, et ipfi implicantur ; atque errorum et errantium numerum augent. In rebus tam duris de judicio hominum ex vi propria, aut etiam de felicitate fortuita, despe. randum eft : Neque enim ingeniorum quantacunque excellentia, neque experiendi alea fæpius repetita, ista vincere queat. Vestigia filo regenda funt : omnisque via ufque a primis ipsis sensuum perceptionibus, certa ratione munienda. Ibid. in eodem loco.
See Lord Bacon on the Advancement of Learning, Distrib. Op. p. 15.