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it would no longer be true, that means of the buttresses which pow. * " time, while it confirms the dic- er has erected to support it, than tates of nature, destroys the fic- it could have done without them. tions of opinion."
Many opinions are now existing, But nothing has a more powerful and even flourishing, through their tendency to produce those errone alliance with interest, which, left ous judgments, which occasion di- to the natural process of the hu. versity of opinion, than the predo- man intellect, would probably, by minancy of passion over reason. this time have been extinct. While the mind is kept perfectly The moral causes of diversity of cool, and free from agitation, it opinion, already enumerated, may can contemplate objects according be sufficient to account for innu. to their real nature, without ex- merable cases of erroneous judg. aggeration or distortion: and to ment, in which men wander, in vaview every thing as it is in itself, rious directions, from the truth, and as it stands related to other merely because they are not honestthings, is the proper office of the ly and resolutely engaged in the understanding, and the only way to pursuit of i: nowledge. Other causes, discover truth. In mathematical less under our controul, remain to and philosophical reasonings, pro- be mentioned. vided the feelings of vanity and Great confusion of ideas, and emulation be excluded, the under consequent diversity of opinion, standing is commonly free from the arise from the want of precision bias of passions, and pursues truth in the use of terms. The only in the right line of fair investiga- science in which the leading term tion. But on other subjects, in is accurately defined, and strictly which personal interest is concern- used in one given sense, is matheed, and concerning which, hope, matics; and to this cause is, in fear, or any other powerful pas- a great measure, owing the susion renders the decison, on either periority of this science to all side, an object of desire or aver. others, in perspicuity and certainsion, we are in perpetual danger of ty. As far as the science of phy. forming false judgments. It is not, sics partakes of mathematical acindeed, certain, that in determin- curacy, in its use of terms, it being any doubtful question, in the comes capable of demonstration; manner which best accords with and just in the degree in which, our private advantage, we are from the want of a complete idea adopting an error; for it may hap- of the things or properties which pen, that speculative truth and per- the terms express, they are impersonal interest may coincide: “ Peo- fectly defined, uncertainty arises. ple,” says Mr. Locke,“ may stum. In other sciences, particularly me. ble upon truth in the way to prefer- taphysics, theology, and morals, ment.” But in cases in which the innumerable terms are adopted, inquirer is deeply concerned in the which in different connections, and result of his speculations; when, used by different persons, reprefor example, wealth, popularity, or sent different combinations of ideas. advancement, is connected with Hence when they are employed in one decision, and poverty, obscu- argument, a confusion of conceprity, or suffering with the reverse, tion, and diversity of opinion, are it requires no small portion of in- necessarily produced. The whole tegrity and fairness, to make an metaphysical doctrine of Aristotle, impartial judgment. It cannot ad. cor.cerning being abstractedly conmit of a doubt, that the edifice of sidered, is a mere science of words; superstition has lasted longer, by and the innumerable disputes which
it created among the scholastics * Opinionum commenta delet dies, in the middle age, were nothing Vaturæ judicia confirmat.
better than logomachies. The sects
of the nominalists and realists, logical or political controversy furwhich through the eleventh and nishes examples. This is often to twelfth centuries, disturbed the be imputed to crafty design, but is worlds with angry contentions on the sometimes merely the effect of litequestion, whether the universals rary vanity. Writers who excel have a real essence, or are mere more in fancy than judgment, and names, would have been at once an- whose taste in style inclines rather nihilated by settling the meaning of to ornament than simplicity, are the terms genus and species. Confu- too apt to load even scientific dission in the use of the terms sub- quisitions with rhetorical figures stance, nature, being, person, gene. and thus lose in perspicuity of rearation, &c. gave rise to the nume- soning, more than they gain in elerous sects in which the christian gance of writing. It may deserve church was early divided, concern- the attention of those who are fond ing the divine nature and person of eloquent argumentation, that one of Christ. The ancient schools of of the most perfect books of reathe philosophers, maintained end- soning in the world, the Elements less disputes concerning the su- of Euclid, has not a single rhetoripreme good, the value of pleasure, cal figure from the beginning to the and other moral topics, which ori. end. As far as language is conginated entirely, in the different cerned in argument, a better rule collections of ideas which they re cannot be laid down, than that of spectively connected with the same Cicero: “ Care should be taken to words. Let us,” says Cicero, make use of the most common to the Stoic, “ settle the meaning words, and such as are best adaptof terms, and no controversyed to express the meaning*." will remain*." Among disputants The neglect of method in study, of modern times, greater preci. is another fruitful cause of diversi. sion of language has been studied; ty of opinion. Even in the conyet, perhaps, it will be found, that struction of general plans of eduthe controversies concerning liber- cation for public schools, much rety and necessity, concerning the mains to be done, before a regular foundation of morals, and some edifice of instruction will be erect. others, are rather disputes about ed. There is a natural connection words than things.
among the several parts of science, Disagreement in judgment, and, which renders it exceedingly deconsequently, diversity of opinion, sirable that a broad foundation beis further increased by the injudi- ing laid in the knowledge of the cious use of metaphorical language. materials and the instruments of Figures of speech are the instru- science, things, and words, the suments of oratory, not of logic. By perstructure should be raised with distracting the mind between dif- a due regard to relation, proporferent objects, they interrupt that tion, and harmony. When this steady contemplation of the matter great work shall be accomplished, in question, which is necessary to by the united exertions of well-inthe discovery of truth. They are formed and comprehensive minds, also frequently employed to create it may be expected, that many arbitrary associations, and to pre- systems of opinions will be overpossess the mind by impressions on turned, and that the uniformity of the imagination, while the under- judgment, which statesmen and standing ought to be coolly occupied priests have so long in vain atin argumentative discussion. Of tempted to produce by coercion, this, almost every treatise in theo
Opera danda est, ut verbis uta• Conferam tecum quam cuique ver mur quam usitatissimis, & quam max:. bo rem subjicias nulla erit controver me aptis, id est, rem declarantiblis. sia. De Fix. l. iv. c. 27.
De Fix. 1. iv. c. 20.
will in some degree arise from the ing understood to express certain regular investigation of truth. For relative ideas of magnitude, canthe want of such a plan of instruc- not retain their meaning, unless tion, knowledge, even upon the the proposition be received as true. subjects most interesting to man, is If this explanation of the nature of commonly gathered up in an acci- an axiom be accurate, the reason dental and desultory manner. Par- why there is such a perfect agreetial views are taken of great ques. ment concerning geometricaltruths, tions in theology, morals, and polic and so much diversity of opinions cy; no single point is examined concerning propositions in other throughout, and in regular train. sciences, is, that, in the former A few arguments, on one side, are case, the leading terms which are contemplated in full view, and in a made use of are universally understrong light; others of equal im- stood in the same sense; but, in the portance are slightly noticed; and, latter, have different meanings. perhaps, the whole, or the greater Diversity of opinion must be ulpart of the evidence, on the side timately ascribed to the different contrary to that which the reader degrees of imperfection in human is disposed to favour, is overlooked, knowledge. Were all men peror designedly kept out of sight. fectly acquainted with the nature, The inevitable effects must be pre- properties, and relations of the bejudice, error, and diversity of opi- ings which come under their perpion.
ception or contemplation, they must If the matter be traced still high- see everything as it is, and er, it will be found that, where must, therefore, form the same neither passion nor prejudice, in- judgment concerning it. Did all terferes, men still think differently, men know alike, though imperfectfrom the want of certain data, in ly, their opinions must be the same. which they are agreed, as the ba- But, while one man knows more sis of their subsequent reasonings. than another, and while men, Excepting only in pure geometry, a from their incomplete knowledge of foundation of definition and axioms things, must necessarily view the has never yet been so firmly laid as same objects under different aspects, to produce, in the application, and be liable to misconception and irresistible demonstration. Some error, it is impossible that diversiphilosophers have conceived, that ty of opinion should not arise. Conthere are in every science certain cerning mathematical figures and first principles, the truth of which quantities, our knowledge is cer. is intuitively perceived. But it is a tain. Concerning the forms and strong presumption against the ex- obvious properties of bodies, which istence of such principles, that no come under the notice of the senses, one has ever been able to discover the judgments of different persons a criterion by which they are to be will commonly be the same. Condistinguished, on the one hand, cerning physical powers, the effects from opinions formed by prejudice, of which are subjected to experiand, on the other, from the legiti- ment, a general agreement may be mate deductions of reason. It will expected. But, with respect to perhaps be found, upon strict exa- historical facts, which must be remination, that those first princi- ported on human testimony, and ples which are called axioms in ge- cannot be judged of without weighometry, appear to the mind as cer- ing various circumstances; with tain truths, because they necessari- respect to moral and political ques. ly follow from the admitted signifi- tions, the accurate decision of cation of the terms. The whole is which requires a diligent examinaknown to be greater than its part, tion of numerous facts; and with not by intuitive reason, but, be- respect to intellectual beings, and cause the terms whole and part, le. their powers and their qualities;
CHEMICAL EXPERIMENTS AND
OBSERVATIONS ON THE EX-
known only from inference or ana. logy, opinions, however satisfactory, must be liable to great diversi. ty. On on these latter subjects, as one has well observed*, it is difficult to find out truth, because it is in such considerable proportions From the chemical analysis of scattered in a mass of opiniative vegetable substances, and the knowuncertainties, like the silver in ledge of their constituent and other Hiero's crown of gold.
particles contained and mixed with Error and its inseparabie con- them, it is sufficiently evident that comitant, diversity of opinion, are the East and West-Indies are not entailed by an irreversible decree the only countries provided by naupon human nature. These defects ture with saccharine plants; but may, however, be in some measure saccharine matter is abundantly corrected. Without the aid of found in other productions of the persecution, which can at most vegetable kingdom, and it only reonly enforce an hypocritical unifor- quires an assiduous examination to mity of profession, instead of unity point out those vegetables from of belief, the liberal protection and which it may be most copiously and encouragement of free inquiry may in the least expensive way obtaincherish the love of truth, and pro- ed. mote the honest and ardent pursuit Among the plants hitherto exaof knowledge. Individual atten- mined, none deserve to be ranked tion to moral discipline may cure so near the true sugarcane as the those diseases of the mind, which whole genus of maple trees, and of multiply and perpetuate erroneous these, particularly the sugar and opinions. If the project of an uni- silver maple, Acer saccharinum, versal philosophical character, in and A. Dasycare pon Ehrh: Both which the present ambiguities of trees have been used for these tifty language should be avoided, and all years, to obtain sugar from them, the varieties of human ideas should which in the last years has proved be correctly represented, and clas- to be particularly profitable. By sically arranged, be too difficult to my own experiments, which I have be accomplished, men may, at least, repeatedly made since the winter of learn to use with greater caution 1796, I found out, that from all speand skill, the symbols with which cies of maples, sugаr may be, with they are already furnished. New more or less profit, obtained; and institutions of education adapted to that the sugar and silver maples, the present state of knowledge, growing even in Germany, though may be introduced, in the room of not in the best soil, give a very good the cumbrous systems, which time raw sugar, not inferior to the best has fairly worn out. Unprofitable West-India cane sugar, and which speculations may give way to such is got so cheap, that a pound of it literary and scientific pursuits, as will come no liigher than eighteen promise general utility. And if, or twenty pfennige, or about two after all, knowledge should never pence half-penny, and only a groshen become so perfect and universal, as or a penny, when instead of charto banish diversity of opinion, men coal common coal or turf are em, may, at least, be heartily united in ployed for boiling the juice, and prosecuting the great object of the particularly when the operation is common good, and, with respect to made upon a large scale, as one every point of doubtful speculation, labourer is able to attend five hunmay candidly agree to differ. dred trees during the pericd of tap
ping them. The precess of boiling * Glanville.
the juice is besides so very simple,
that every body may soon learn it. a stone mortar, the juice was exBut these advantages are only to be pressed, which weighed three expected from the sugar and silver pounds. This juice, whose sweetmaple, as the other species, Acer ish taste had still a disagreeable flaNegundo, A. campestre, A. plata- vour of herbs, was clariñed with the noides, and A. pseudoplatanus, con- white of eggs, after which that taste tain a less quantity of juice, which was scarcely perceptible; and being is also not so rich in saccharine thickened to the consistence of a matter. However, as plantations syrup, cight ounces of a very agreeof those maples require a space of able tasting syrup were obtained. twenty or twenty-five years before the trees are large enough to admit Examination of the Spikes of Indiatapping, it will be not improper,
Corn. but of great utility to the communi As the young spikes, when they nity, to examine, meanwhile, those are beginning to form, possess a indigenous plants, from which like. very agreeable saccharine taste, wise a useful substitute for the West- they were thought fit for being exIndia sugаr may be extracted; and amined. Ten pounds of them were it is with this view I have made the accordingly squeezed in a stone following experiments :
mortar, and the juice expressed,
after the leaves had been stripped Experiments to obtain Sugar from off. These gave four pounds of a India-Corn.
milky juice, which could not be ren
dered perfectly clear by the white India-Corn (Zea Mays) is said to of eggs. By a slow evaporation to contain, according to Von Justi, su- the consistence of a syrup, nine gar, particularly in the nodes of the ounces of a brown agreeable tasting young stalks, from which Mr. Jac- syrup were got, but which differed quin, of Vienna, has successfully pre- from the former by being more mupared it; and this is farther con- cilaginous. firmed by Mr. Marabelli, in a dissertation on the subject. It is like. Examination of Stalks of Indiawise reported, that the extraction corn, of a more advanced growth. of the sugar from the stalks of India. corn, growing particularly in a Twenty pounds of these stalks marshy soil, has been tried in Italy were cut in pieces, and with the adupon a large scale, but afterwards dition of water, squeezed in a stone left off again, as it was found not to mortar, and the juice expressed, answer the purpose, the sugar thus which possessed a disagreeable and obtained being more expensive than somewhat acrid taste. Being in the common raw sugar. To be con same manner thickened to the convinced by my own experience, on sistence of a syrup, twelve ounces this subject, I made some experi- of syrup were obtained, which had ments, of which the following are the a disagreeable saline taste, and results: A quantity of India-corn might rather be considered as a vewas cultivated in a tolerable, and getable extract, than as sugar. somewhat marshy soil, for the purpose: when the young plants were Experiments far_obtaining Dry about six inches high, the leaves, Sugar from India-Corn. when chewed, had a sweetish taste, but the stalks, particularly about To learn, whether it was possible the nodes, tasted quite like sugar. to exhibit a crystallisible sugar from These young plants being cut off as this plant, the syrups prepared from near the ground as possible, freed the young stalks and the spikes were from the leaves, and sufficiently each dissolved by itself in fresh cleaned; ten pounds of them were lime-water, and gently boiled, by cut in pieces, and, being pounded in which a great part of their impuri.