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instance, used (as some writers have done) the word imagination as synonymous with invention, I should not have thought it worth while (at least as far as the geometer is concerned) to dispute his proposition. But that this was not the meaning annexed to it by the author, appears from a subsequent clause, where he tells us, that the most refined operations of reason, consisting in the creation of generals which do not fall under the cognizance of our senses, naturally lead to the exercise of imagination. His doctrine, therefore, goes to the identification of Imagination with Abstraction; two faculties so very different in the direction which they give to our thoughts, that (according to his own acknowledgment) the man who is habitually occupied in exerting the one, seldom fails to impair both his capacity and his relish for the exercise of the other.
This identification of two faculties, so strongly contrasted in their characteristical features, was least of all to be expected from a logician, who had previously limited the province of Imagination to the imitation of material objects; a limitation, it may be remarked in passing, which is neither sanctioned by common use, nor by just views of the philosophy of the Mind. Upon what ground can it be alleged, that Milton's portrait of Satan's intellectual and moral character was not the offspring of the same creative faculty which gave birth to his Garden of Eden? After such a definition, however, it is difficult to conceive, how so very acute a writer should have referred to imagination the abstractions of the geometer and of the metpbysician; and still more, that he should have attempted to justify this reference, by observing, that these abstractions do not fall under the cognizance of the senses. My own opinion is, that, in the composition of the whole passage, he had a view to the unexpected parallel between Homer and Archimedes, with which he meant, at the close, to surprise his readers.
If the foregoing strictures be well founded, it seems to follow, not only that the attempt of Bacon and of D'Alembert, to classify the sciences and arts according to a logical division of our faculties, is altogether unsatisfactory; but that every future attempt of the same kind may be expected to be liable to similar objections. In studying, indeed, the Theory of the Mind, it is necessary to push our analysis as far as the nature of the subject admits of; and, wherever the thing is possible, to examine its constituent principles separately and apart from each other: but this consideration itself, when combined with what was before stated on the endless variety of forms in which they may be blended together in our various intellectual pursuits, is sufficient to show how ill adapted such an analysis must for ever remain to serve as the basis of an Encyclopedical distribution.*
The circumstance to which this part of Bacon's philosophy is chiefly indebted for its popularity, is the specious simplicity and comprehensiveness of the distribution itself; -not the soundness of the logical views by which it was suggested. That all our intellectual pursuits may be referred to one or other of these three heads, history, philosophy, and poetry, may undoubtedly be said with considerable plausibility; the word history being understood to comprehend all our knowledge of particular facts and particular events; the word philosophy, all the general conclusions or laws inferred from these particulars by induction; and the word poetry, all the arts addressed to the Imagination. Not that the enumeration, even with the help of this comment, can be considered as complete, for (to pass over entirely the other objections already stated) under which of these three heads shall we arrange
the various branches of pure mathematics?
Are we therefore to conclude, that the magnificent design, conceived by Bacon, of enumerating, defining, and classifying the multifarious objects of human knowledge, (a design on the successful accomplishment of which he himself believed that the advancement of the sciences essentially depended)—are we to conclude, that this design was nothing more than the abortive offspring of a warm imagination, unsusceptible of any useful application to enlighten the mind, or to accelerate its progress? My own idea is widely different. The design was, in every respect, worthy of the sublime genius by which it was formed.
* In justice to the authors of the Encyclopedical Tree prefixed to the French Dictionary, it ought to be observed, that it is spoken of by D'Alembert, in his Preliminary Discourse, with the utmost inodesty and diffidence ; and that he has expressed, not only his own conviction, but that of his colleague, of the impossibility of executing such a task in a manner likely to satisfy the public. “ Nous sommes trop convaincus de l'arbitraire qui régnera toujours dans une pareille division, pour croire que notre systême soit l'unique ou le meillure; il nous suffira que notre travail ne soit pas en. tièrement desapprouvé par les bons esprits.” And, some pages afterwards, " Si le public éclairé donne son approbation à ces changemens, elle sera la récompense de notre docilité ; et s'il ne les approuve pas, nous n'en serons que plus convaincus de l'impos. sibilité de former m. Arbre Encyclopédique qui soit au gré de tout le monde.”
Nor does it follow, because the execution was imperfect, • that the attempt has been attended with no advantage.
At the period when Bacon wrote, it was of much more consequence to exhibit to the learned a comprehensive sketch, than an accurate survey of the intellectual world; -such a sketch as, by pointing out to those whose views had been hitherto confined within the limits of particular regions, the relative positions and bearings of their respective districts, as parts of one great whole, might invite them all, for the common benefit, to a reciprocal exchange of their local riches. The societies or academies which, soon after sprung up in different countries of Europe, for the avowed purpose of coutributing to the general mass of information, by the collection of insulated facts, conjectures, and queries, afford sufficient proof, that the anticipations of Bacon were not, in this instance, altogether chimerical.
In examining the details of Bacon's survey, it is impossible not to be struck (more especially when we reflect on the state of learning two hundred years ago) with the minuteness of his information, as well as with the extent of his views; or to forbear admiring his sagacity in pointing out to future adventurers, the unknown tracks still left to be explored by human curiosity. If his classifications be sometimes artificial and arbitrary, they have at least the merit of including, under one head or another, every particular of importance; and of exhibiting these particulars with a degree of method and of apparent connexion, which, if it does not always satisfy the judgment, never fails to interest the fancy and to lay hold of the memory. Nor must it be forgotten, to the glory of his genius, that what he failed to accomplish remains to this day a desideratum
in science,—that the intellectual chart delineated by him is, with all its imperfections, the only one of which modern philosophy has yet to boast ;-—and that the united talents of D'Alembert and of Diderot, aided by all the lights of the eighteenth century, have been able to add but little to what Bacon performed.
After the foregoing observations, it will not be expected that an attempt is to be made, in the following Essay, to solve a problem which has so recently baffled the powers of these eminent writers ; and which will probably long continue to exercise the ingenuity of our successors. How much remains to be previously done for the improvement of that part of Logic, whose province it is to fix the limits by which contiguous departments of study are defined and separated! And how many unsuspected affinities may be reasonably presumed to exist among sciences, which, to our circumscribed views, appear at present the most alien from each other ! The abstract geometry of Apollonius and Archimedes, was found, after an interval of two thousand years, to furnish a torch to the physical inquiries of Newton; while, in the further progress of knowledge, the Etymology of Languages has been happily employed to fill up the chasms of Ancient History; and the conclusions of Comparative Anatomy to illustrate the theory of the Earth. For my own part, even if the task were executed with the most complete success, I should be strongly inclined to think, that its appropriate place in an Encyclopædia would be as a branch of the article on Logic ;-certainly not as an exordium to the Preliminary Discourse; the enlarged and refined views, which it necessarily presupposes, being peculiarly unsuitable to that part of the work which may be expected, in the first instance, to attract the curiosity of every reader. As, upon this point, however, there may be some diversity of opinion, I have prevailed on the Editor to add to these introductory Essays a translation of D'Alembert's Discourse, and of Diderot's Prospectus. No English version of either has, as far as I know, been hitherto published ; and the result of their joint ingenuity, exerted on Bacon's groundwork, must for ever fix no inconsiderable era in the history of learning
Before concluding this preface, I shall subjoin a few slight strictures on a very concise and comprehensive division of the objects of Human Knowledge, proposed by Mr. Locke, as the basis of a new classification of the sciences. Although I do not know that any attempt has ever been made to follow out in detail the general idea, yet the repeated approbation which has been lately bestowed on a division essentially the same, by several writers of the highest rank, renders it in some measure necessary, on the present occasion, to consider how far it is founded on just principles; more especially as it is completely at variance, not only with the language and arrangement adopted in these preliminary essays, but with the whole of that plan on which the original projectors, as well as the continuators, of the Encyclopædia Britannica, appear to have proceeded. These strictures, will, at the same time, afford an additional proof of the difficulty, or rather of the impossibility, in the actual state of logical science, of solving this great problem, in a manner calculated to unite the general suffrages of philosophers.
“All that can fall,” says Mr. Locke, “ within the compass of Human Understanding being either, first, The nature of things as they are in themselves, their relations, and their manner of operation ; or, secondly, That which man himself ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of any end, especially happiness; or, thirdly, The ways and means whereby the knowledge of both the one and the other of these is attained and communicated : I think science may be divided properly into these three sorts :
“1. Puolxn, or Natural Philosophy. The end of this is bare speculative truth; and whatsoever can afford the mind of man any such, falls under this branch, whether it be God himself, angels, spirits, bodies, or any of their affections, as number and figure, &c.
“ 2. Ilgaxtıxn, The skill of right applying our own powers and actions for the attainment of things good and useful. The most considerable under this head is Ethics, which is the seeking out those rules and measures of human actions which lead to happiness, and the means to practise