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enumerated by our great legislator of science (idola tribus, specus, fori, theatri); that is, freed from the limits, the passions, the prejudices, the peculiar habits of the human understanding, natural or acquired ; but above all, pure from the arrogance, which leads man to take the forms and mechanism of his own mere reflective faculty, as, the measure of nature and of Deity. In this indeed we find the great object both of Plato's and of Lord Bacon's labors. They both saw that there could be no hope of any fruitful and secure method, while forms, merely subjective, were presumed as the true and proper moulds of objective truth. This is the sense in which Lord Bacon uses the phrases, intellectus humanus, mens hominis, so profoundly and justly characterized in the preliminary essay to the Novum Organum.* And with all right and propriety did he so apply them: for this was, in fact, the sense in which the phrases were applied by the teachers, whom he is controverting ; by the doctors of the schools, and the visionaries of the laboratory. To adopt the bold but happy phrase of a late ingenious French writer, it is the homme particulier, as contrasted with l'homme général, against which, Heraclitus and Plato, among the ancients, and
the moderns, Bacon and Stewart (rightly understood), warn and preadmonish the sincere inquirer. Most truly, and in strict consonance with his two great predecessors, does our immortal Verulam teach, that the human understanding, even independently of the causes that always, previously to its purification by philosophy, render it more or less turbid or uneven, sicut speculum inæquale rerum radios ex figura et sectione propria immutat :t that our understanding not only reflects the objects subjectively, that is, substitutes for the inherent laws and properties of the objects the relations which the objects bear to its own particular constitution ; but that in all its conscious presentations and reflexes, it is itself only a phenomenon of the inner sense, and requires the same corrections as the appearances transmitted by the outward senses. But that there is potentially, i not actually, in every rational being, a somewhat, call it what you will, the pure reason, the spirit, lumen siccum, voūs, Pãs voepov, intellectual intuition, or the like,—and that in this are to be found the indispensable conditions of all science, and scientific research, whether meditative, contemplative, or experimental,—is often expressed,
* Distributia Operis.--Ed, + Nov. Org. Distrib. Operis. -Ed.
and everywhere supposed, by Lord Bacon. And that this is not only the right but the possible nature of the human mind, to which it is capable of being restored, is implied in the various remedies prescribed by him for its diseases, and in the various means of neutralizing or converting into useful instrumentality the imperfections which can not be removed. There is a sublime truth contained in his favorite phrae, idola intellectus. He thus tells us, that the mind of man is an edifice not built with human hands, which needs only be purged of its idols and idolatrous services to become the temple of the true and living Light. Nay, he has hown and established the true criterion between the ideas and the idola of the mind; namely, that the former are manifested by their adequacy to those ideas in nature, which in and through them are contemplated. Non leve quiddam interest inter humanæ mentis idola et divinæ mentis ideas, hoc est, inter placita quædam inania et veras signaturas atque impres. siones factas in creaturis, prout inveniuntur.* Thus the difference, or rather distinction, between Plato and Lord Bacon is simply this : that philosophy being necessarily bipolar, Plato treats principally of the truth, as it Nianifests itself at the ideal pole, as the science of intellect (de mundo intelligibili); while Bacon confines himself, for the most part, to the same truth, as it is manifested at the other or material pole, as the science of nature (de mundo sensibili). It is as necessary, therefore, that Plato should direct his inquiries chiefly to those objective truths that exist in and for the intellect alone, the images and representatives of which we construct for ourselves by figure, number, and word ; as that Lord Bacon should attach his main concern to the truths which have their signatures in nature, and which (as he himself plainly and often asserts) may indeed be revealed to us through and with, but never by the senses, or the faculty of sense. Otherwise, indeed, instead of being more objective than the former (which they are not in any sense, both being in this respect the same), they would be less so, and, in fact, incapable of being insulated from the idola tribus (qua) sunt fundata in ipsa natura humana, atque in ipsa tribu seu gente hominum. Falso enim asseritur sensum humanum esse mensuram rerum ; quin contra, omnes perceptiones tam sensus quam mentis, sunt ex analogia hominis, non ex analogia universi.* Hence too, it will not surprise us, that Plato so often calls ideas living laws, in which the mind has its whole true being and permanence; or that Bacon, vice versa, names the laws of nature ideas; and represents what I have in a former part of this disquisition called facts of science and central phenomena, as signatures, impressions, and symbols of ideas. A distinguishable power self-affirmed, and seen in its 'unity with the Eternal Essence, is, according to Plato, an idea : and the discipline, by which the human mind is purified from its idols (sidWh), and raised to the contemplation of ideas, and thence to the secure and ever-progressive, though never-ending, investigation of truth and reality by scientific method, comprehends what the same philosopher so highly extols under the title of dialectic. According to Lord Bacon, as describing the same truth seen from the opposite point, and applied to natural philosophy, an idea would be defined asintuitio sive inventio, quæ in perceptione sensus non est (ut qua puræ et sicci luminis intellectioni est propria) idearum divina mentis, prout in creaturis per signaturas suas sese patefaciant. “ That (saith the judicious Hooker) which doth assign unto each thing the kind, that which doth moderate the orce and power, that which doth appoint the form and measure, of working, the same we term à law.”'t
* Nov. Org. P. II. Summ. 23.-Ed.
We can now, as men furnished with fit and respectable credentials, proceed to the historic importance and practical application of method, under the deep and solemn conviction, that without this guiding light neither can the sciences attain to their full evolution, as the organs of one vital and harmonious body, nor that most weighty and concerning of all sciences, the science of education, be understood in its first elements, much less display its powers, as the nisus formativust of social man, as the
* Nov. Org. P. II. Summ. 41.-Ed. + Eccl. Pol. B. I. 2.--Ed.
† So our medical writers commonly translate Professor Blumenbach's Bildungstrieb, the vis plastica, or vis vitæ formatrix, of the elder physiologists, and the life or living principle of John Hunter, the profoundest, I had almost said the only, physiological philosopher of the latter half of the preceding century. For in what other sense can we understand his assertion, that this principle or agent is independent of organization, which yet it animates, sustains, and repairs, or the purport of that magnificent commentary on his system, the Hunterian Museum ? The Hunterian idea
appointed protoplast of true humanity. Never can society comprehend fully, and in its whole practical extent, the permanent distinction, and the occasional contrast, between cultivation and civilization ; never can it attain to a due insight into the momentous fact, fearfully as it has been, and even now is, exemplified in a neighbor country, that a nation can never be a too cultivated, but may easily become an over-civilized race : never, I repeat, can this sanative and preventive knowledge take up its
of a life or vital principle independent of the organization, yet in each organ working instinctively towards its preservation, as the ants or termites in repairing the nests of their own fabrication, demonstrates that John Hunter did not, as Stahl and others had done, individualize, or make an hypostasis of the principles of life, as a something manifestable per se, and consequently itself a phonomenon; the latency of which was to be attributed to accidental, or at least contingent causes, as for example, the limits or imperfection of our senses, or the inaptness of the media ; but that herein he philosophized in the spirit of the purest Newtonians, who in like manner refused to hypostasize the law of gravitation into an ether, which even if its existence , were conceded, would need another gravitation for itself. The Hunterian position is a genuine philosophic idea, the negative test of which, as of all ideas is, that it is equi-distant from an ens logicum or abstraction, an ens repræsentativum or generalization, and an ens phantasticum or imaginary thing or phænomenon.*
Is not the progressive enlargement, the boldness without temerity, of chirurgical views and chirurgical practice since Hunter's time to the present day, attributable, in almost every instance, to his substitution of what may perhaps be called experimental dynamics, for the mechanical notions, or the less injurious traditional empiricism, of his predecessors ? And this, too, though the light is still struggling through a cloud, and though it is shed on many who see either dimly or not at all the idea from which it is eradiated? Willingly would I designate, what I have elsewhere called the mental initiative, by some term less obnoxious to the anti-Platonic reader, than this of idea-obnoxious, I mean, as soon as any precise and peculiar sense is attached to the sound. Willingly would I exchange the term, might it be done without sacrifice of the import: and did I not see, too, clearly, that it is the meaning, not the word, which is the object of that aversion, which, fleeing from inward alarm, tries to shelter itself in outward contempt; which is at once folly and a stumbling-block to the partisans of a crass and sensual materialism, the advocates of the nihil nisi ab extra ;
They shrink in, as moles,
Poet. Works, VII. p. 196. * Theory of Life. I. App. C.--Am. Ed.
abode among us, while we oppose ourselves voluntarily to that grand prerogative of our nature, a hungering and thirsting after truth, as the appropriate end of our intelligential, and its point of union with our moral nature ; but therefore after truth, that must be found within us before it can be intelligibly reflected back on the mind from without, and a religious regard to which is indispensable, both as guide and object to the just formation of the human being, poor and rich : while, in a word, we are blind to the master-light, which I have already presented in various points of view, and recommended by whatever is of highest authority with the venerators of the ancient, and the adherents of modern philosophy.
Πολυμαθιη νόον ου διδάσκει.-Είναι γαρ εν το σοφών, επίς ασθαι γνώμην ήτε έγκυβερνήσει πάντα διά πάντων.
The effective education of the reason is not to be supplied by multifarious acquirements : for there is but one knowledge that merits to be called wisdom, a knowledge that is one with a law which shall govern all in and through all,
HISTORICAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE. THERE is still preserved in the Royal Observatory at Richmond the model of a bridge, constructed by the late justly celebrated Mr. Atwood (at that time, however, in the decline of life), in the confidence that he had explained the wonderful properties of the arch as resulting from the compound action of simple wedges, or of the rectilinear solids of which the material arch was composed ; and of which supposed discovery, his model was to exhibit ocular proof. Accordingly, he took a sufficient number of wedges of brass highly polished. Arranging these at first on a skeleton arch of wood, he then removed this scaffolding or support; and the bridge not only stood firm, without any cement between the squares, but he could take away any given portion of them, as a third or a half, and appending a correspondent
* Diogen. Laert. ix. c. 1, s. 2.- Ed.