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the Infinite, and, transferring it outwards, was thenceforth quite content to pronounce it to be the true origin of all things; whilst Pythagoras, going perhaps still further into the unmeaning, proclaimed numbers, which are mere arbitrary symbols, to be actual existences and the essences of things. Thus it was that man, forgetful of his early humility, rose by degrees to the creation of the laws of an external world after the pattern of his own thoughts: such motives as he felt to influence his own actions were held also to be the principles governing the relations of external objects: and natural phenomena were explained by sympathies, loves, discords, hates. As the child attributes life to the dead objects around it, speaking to them and thinking to receive answers from them, so mankind, in the childhood of thought, assigns its subjective feelings to objective nature, entirely subordinating the physical to the metaphysical: it is but another forin of that anthropomorphism by which the Dryad was placed in the tree, the Naiad in the fountain, Atropos with her scissors near the running life-thread, and a Sun-yod enthroned in the place of a law of gravitation. As was natural, man, who thus imposed his laws upon nature, soon lost all his forner humility, and from one erroneous extreme passed to the opposite: as he once fell abjectly down in an agony of fear, so now he rose proudly up in an ecstasy of conceit.
The assertion that man is the measure of the universe was the definite expiression of this metaphysical stage of human develope ment. But it was a state that must plainly le fruitless of real knowledge; there could be no general agreement among men when each one looked into his own mind, and, arbitrarily making what be thought he found there the laws and principles of external nature, constructed the laws of the world out of the depths of his own consciousness. Disputes must continually arise about words when words have not definite meanings and the unavoillable issue must be Sophistry and Pyrrhonism. This has been so; the history f the human mind shows that sy tenis of scepticism have regularly alternated with systems of philosophy. Fruitfud of empty id -228 and wild fancies, philosophy has not been unlike those barren women who would fain have th.. rumbling of wind to be the motion of offspring. Convinced of the vanity of its an.bitious itempts, Socrates endeavoured to bring pliilosojily
down from the clouds, introduced it into the cities, and applied it to the conduct of human life; while Plato and Aristotle, opposite as were their professed methods, were both alive to the vagueness of the common disputations, and both laboured hard to fix definitely the meanings of words. But words cannot attain to definiteness save as living outgrowths of realities, as the exact expressions of the phenomena of life in the increasing speciality of human adaptation to external nature. As it is with life objectively, and as it is with cognition or subjective life, so is it with the language in which the phenomena are embodied : in the organic growth of a language there is a continuous differentiation, first of nouns into substantives and adjectives, then of the latter into adjectives proper and nouns abstract; synonymes again disappear, each getting its special appropriation, and superfluous words are taken up by new developments and combinations of thought. How, then, was it possible that a one-sided method, which entirely ignored the examination of nature, should do more than repeat the same things over and over again in words which, though they might be different, were yet not less indefinite? The results have answered to the absurdity of the metliod; for, after being in fashion for more than two thousand years, nothing has been established by it; “not only what was asserted once is asserted still, but what was a question once is a question still, and instead of being resolved by discussion is only fixed and fed." ()
Perhaps if inen had always lived in the sunny climes of the south, where the luxuriance of nature allowed of hunan indolence, they might have continued vainly to speculate ; but when they were brought face to face with Nature in the rugged north, And were driveu to force by persevering labour the means of subsistence from her sterile bosom, then there arose the necessity to observe her processes and investigate her secret ways. There was an unavoidalılı intending of the mind to the realities of nature; and this practice, which the exigencies of living first enforced, became in the fulness of time with those who had leisure and opportunity the disposition consciously to interrogate and interpret Natur. In Roger Bacon, we see the human mind striving unconsciou-ly, as it were, after the true method of
Si. Notes at the end of the Chapters.
development; while in the Chancellor Bacon, who systematized the principles and laid down the rules of the inductive philosophy, we observe it doing with design and method that which it had hitherto been blindly aiming at. But as it is with the infant, so was it with humanity; action preceded consciousness, and Bacon himself was the efflux of a spirit which prevailed and not the creator of it. By thus humbling himself to obey, man has conquered nature; and those plenteous "fruits and invented works" which Bacon confidently anticipated as “sponsors and sureties" for the truth of his method, have been reaped in the richest abundance.
It seems strange enough now to us that men should not liave siwoner bit upon the excellent and profitable method of induction. How caine it to pass that when they surveyed organic nature, as Aristotle notably did, they failed to perceive the progress in development from the general and simple to the special and cornplex, which is evident throughout it? Had they but formularized this law of increasing speciality and complexity in organic adaptation to external nature, then they had scarcely failed to apply it to conscious liuman development; and that would have been to establish deductively the necessity of the inductive methodl. Unfortunately, Aristotle stood alone; and it remains his particular merit to have foreseen in some sort the value of the inductive method. Had he also consistently followed it in practice, which he did not, there was an impassable hindrance to its general adoption, in the moral crrors engendered by the Juetaphysical or subjective method, of which Plato was so powerful a representative and so influential an exponent. Man, as the measure of the universe, esteemed himself far too highly to descend to be the servant and interpreter of nature; and this erroneous conceitot only aflected his conception of his relation to the rest of n.iure, but permeated his social nture, and ritiat d his whole ha'it of thought : the superstitious reverence of the Greek who woi'l put to death a victorious gener il because le ha I left his dead rimburied on the field of battle, must have prevented Aristotle f.: anatomical examination of the tructure of the human body. The same errors are continually ppearing in human history: what happened in the Middle Aves may illustrate for us the habit . Greek thought; for at that tiin, mistahen
religious prejudice allied itself most closely with the metaphysical method which exalted man so much over the rest of nature, opposing most virulently the birth of positive science, which scemed to threaten to degrade him; and for a time it was almost doubtful which would win. Can we wonder, then, that the erroneous method was triumphant in Greece in the fourth century before Christ, when it is only recently in England, in the nineteenth century after Christ, that the barbarian's reverence for a dead body has permitted anatomical dissection, and when the finger-bone of a saint, or a ray of his clothing, is still treasured up, in some parts of the world, as a most precious relic endued with miraculous virtues ! The evil of the metaphysical method was not intellectual deficiency only, but a corresponding baneful moral error.
The adoption of the inductive method, which makes man the servant and interpreter of Nature, is in reality the systematic pursuance of the law of progress in organic development; it is the conscious intending of the mind to external realities, the submitting of the understanding to things in other words, the increasing speciality of internal adjustment to external impressions; and the result is a victory by obedience, an in lividual increase through adaptation to outward relations, in accordance with the so-called principle of natural selection. The inental capacity of one who is deprived of any one of his senses, which are the inlets to impressions from without, or the gateways of knowledge, is less than that of one who is in the full possession of all his senses; anil the great advances in science lave uniformly corresponded with the invention of some instrument by which the power of the senses has been increased, or their range of action extended. Astronomy is that which the eve has been enabled to see by the aid of the telescope; the revelations of the inmost processes of nature have been due to the increased power of vision which the microscope has conferred; the extremely delicate balance has supplied to science a numrical exactness; the spectrunı has furnished a means of analysing the constitution of the l. avenly bodies; and the galvanometer already gives the most beful presage of important discoveries in nervous function. Through the senses has knowledge eniered; and the intellect has in turn devised means for extending the
action and increasing the discriminating exactness of the senses: there have been action and reaction and progressive specialization and complication thereof. The two aspects of this relation we designate, in their highest manifestations, as cognition and action, or science and art.
Thus much concerning the historical evolution of the inductive method. But now comes the important question, whether it is available for the study of the whole of nature. Can we apply the true inductive and objective method to the investigation of psychical as well as of physical nature? In the latter case, it has long received universal sanction; but in the study of a man's mind it is still a question what method should rightly be employed. Plainly, it is not possible by simple observation of others to form true inductions as to their mental phenomena; the defect of an observation which reaches only to the visible results of invisible operations, exposes us without protection to the hypocrisy, conscious or unconscious, of the individual; and the positive tendency, which no one can avoid, to interpret the action of another mind according to the measure of one's own, to see not what is in the object, but what is in the subject, frequently vitiates an assumed penetratiou into motives. If we call to our aid the principles of the received system of psychology, matters are not mended; for its ill-defined terms and vague traditions, injuriously affecting our perceptions, and overruling the understanding, do not fitil to confuse and falsify inferences. It must unfortunately be added that, in the present state of pliysiological science, it is quite impossible to ascertain, by observation and experiment, the nature of those organic proceuses which are the bodily conditions of mental phenomena There would appear, then, to be no help for it but to have entire recourse to the psychological method—that method of interro)gating self-cousciousness which has found so much favour at all times. Before making any sich admission, let this reflection lie Weiglied: that the instinctive nisus of mankind commonly prece les the recognition of systematic method ; that men, without knowing wly, do follow a course which there exist very good nasons for. Yay more: the practical instincts of mankind of n work beneficially in an actual contra liction to their profes-d ductrines. Wben in the Middle Ages faith was put in the