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tion, of which a clear conception can be formed or not? And here, too, I must Jissent from the doctrine laid down by Mr. Stewart ; for I cannot conceive in what manner accurate reasonings can be carried ori, or speculation successfully pursued, by means of terms to which we are incapable of annexing a distinct meaning : insomuch, that when casual association does lead us to annex some meaning to them, viz that of an individual of the class which they denote, this hai rather a tendency to disturb, than to assist us in our reasoning.'
• The meaning that, according to my apprehension, is attached to a generic term, is an inclusive notion of all the individuals which that term is intended to comprehend. Thus, the word tree includes in its meaning all those vegetables to which that name is usually applied ; the word man comprehends all the individuals of the human race ; and so forth This account of the matter is perfectly agreeable to the origin of these terms, as above detailed, where we find a name successively applied to a variety of individuals, on account of a general resemblance observed among them; and consequently, when the name comes to be again employed, the mind naturally attaches to it the notion, not of one, but of many individuals.
· Here, perhaps, it may be objected, that the mind is incapable of forming a notion of such a multiplicity of individuals as must, ac. cording to this account of the matter, be conceived to be attached to generic terms. But, in reply to this objection, I would ask, are we capable of distinctly comprehending what is meant by the term forest, for example? And I suppose it will be granted that we are ; in thus far, at least, that we understand by it, a great collection of trees; although it would be absurd to suppose
definite num ber of trees must be thought of when we use the term. Precisely of the same kind, I conceive to be the tion which we attach to the term tree, viz. an indefinite number of that kind of plants to which the name can be properly applied. Hence, I would describe the notion which the mind attaches to a generic term, to be a general indefinite notion of the various individuals to which the term ex. tends.'
• A gerieral indefinite notion of the various Individuals, to which the generic term may be applied', appears to us a very loose mode of expression ; and, to retort on the author his own words, we have a very indefinite notion of his meaning.
In section 3rd of this chapter, on the ambiguity of abstract and general terms, the author continues to dissent from Professor Stewart's opinion. This latter writer, a Nominalist, instances Algebra as affording the strongest confirmation of the system of Nominalism: Mr. Scoit quotes a passage from the Professor's Philosophy of the Human Mind, and then subjoins the following: but whether this comment was intended to explain Algebra, or to refute Mr. Stewart, we cannot determine.
• The algebraic symbols are doubtless of very general application ; but I cannot help thinking that their meaning admits of being very
precisely defined. Thus, I conceive the import of the letters a, b, b, d, &c., which it employs, to be quantity, (i. e. what is susceptible of being numbered, or measured with accuracy', considered in general, or according to some particular limits pointed out by the terms of the problem ; + denotes addition ; – subtraction ; and so on. And if we ever wholly lose sight of these significations during an analyti. cal process, the certainty of the result is nothing dissimilar to what happens in other cases of practical facility, which have usually been explained by a recourse to the principle of habit, and of which the real nature has been so philosophically explained by Mr. Stewart himself.?
Professor Scott has not sufficiently noticed the discovery and theory of David Hartley. We speak not of his Vibrations, but of a very curious mental law, the law of Association, which was pointed out and established by that philosopher, in a most masterly manner. When the present author treats of Association, (Chap. V.) he rejects the phrase Association of Ideas, and even proposes to substitute for Association, Combination. We dislike both alterations. Why exclude a convenient term, idea, because there have been absurd ideal systems ? Combination refers to a faculty and active power of calling up ideas, and of arranging them. Association ought to stand for that observed law of the mind, according to which, of two ideas before associated, one that is impressed suggests and calls up the other. According to the technical manner of Hartley, if A and B have been associated, A impressed will raise up B. If this faculty or Act be involuntary, Association may properly stand for it; and then Combination may be used to express an active faculty.
Many other subjects usually introduced into metaphysical treatises are discussed by the author in chapters vi, vii, and viii, on Conception or Imagination, on Memory, and on Reason. An Appendix also contains three Chapters on Mathematical Reasoning, on the Induction of Physical Science, and on the Induction of Metaphysics and other Sciences. If we were not tired of objecting, we could make several additional objections against the arguments and reasonings advanced on these points. That Mr. Scott has derived considerable information from the able treatises of Reid and Stewart, we can have little doubt: but he seems not to have obtained an aid that has enabled him to make conquests in the wild and dark regions of metaphysics. Indeed, the science seems to have gone back under his guidance. For several judicious distinctions we are indebted to Mr. Stewart, but these the present author wishes to controvert, and he proposes some new terms and distinctions of his own, which in iurn) we think ought to be rejected. Metaphysical treatises are principally deficient in plainness and simplicity; and this
defect is not remedied in the work before us. We now quit it, therefore, not without some degree of satisfaction on being relieved from the toil of a perusal which has seldom been invigorated by the stimulus of cogent argument and refutation, or enlivened by the light of new truths and brilliant illustrations.
APT. V. The Nature and Properties of Wool illustrated: with a
Description of the English Flecce. By John Luccock, Wool
stapler. 12mo. PP. 360. gs. 60. Boards. Harding. A
TREATISE on wool by a professed woolstapler is a sort of
ex cathedra publication; and the implied qualifications of the writer, united with the great national importance of the subject, must impart to it no inconsiderable portion of interest. We need not remark that, from the remotest periods, mankind have been acquainted with the value of wool bearing animals, and that the most antient records allude to the methods of manufacturing their fleeces. It may be curious, however, to trace the history of cultivated wool through different periods and among different nations; though no discussions of this kind are necessary to persuade us of the great utility of this article to man; nor to convince us of the advantages which may accrue from an examination of its nature and properties, from a full investigation of the circumstances of its growth, and from inviting the grazier, in conjunction with the manufacturer, to consider the best methods of augmenting the quantity and improving the quality of our native produce.
In this light, Mr. Luccock's book is better intitled to notice than many volumes of a larger and more pompous appearance, and perhaps to a more minute review than our limited space and diversified occupation will enable us to bestow. He seems to us to have that enthusiasm for his profession, which induces him to surpass ordinary woolstaplers by studying every branch of his business with scientific assiduity. A mass of information is collected ; and various hints are suggested which merit the consideration of the agriculturist, the manufacturer, and the statesman : but we think thai he is sometimes too prolix, and that the whole volume wants arrangement and subdivision. His five sections (1. of wool in general; II. of cultivated wool; III. of the essential qualities of wool; IV. of the wool of England; and V. concluding remarks) should have been made into so many chapters, and these should have been broken into sections, including the multitude of subordinate subjects which are introduced and to the whole an index of reference
should have been subjoined. As the book is at present printed, the sections are fatiguingly long; no indication is given of the transition from one topic to another; and the grazier or stapler, who may wish to turn to any particular part of the treatise, has no guide to direct his search.
Mr. L. informs us, indeed, that his work has been written hastily, but that he has availed himself of all the assistance which be could collect; that his own knowlege has been derived from a residence in different parts of the kingdom; (where all the three kinds of wool passed immediately under bis eye ;) and that his accounts of the fleeces of those parts which he has not personally visited are derived from the best local descriptions. In an inquiry of so wide a range, in which precise data are not easily collected, he does not presume on perfect accuracy: but, if his statements be sufficiently correct for general purposes, his object is answered.
Before the author proceeds to a description of the essential qualities of wool,--of the circumstances on which its adaptation to manufactures depends, - of the peculiarities of British fleeces, and to state the number which this island products, (points which, to the best of his knowlege, he tells us, have hitherto been unattempted,) he offers some introductory matter on wool in general, including the history of wool-bearing ari. mals, and of cultivated wool. The writings of Drs. Anderson and Parry, M. Lasteyrie, &c. have furnished him with materials for this part of his work; and, if he does not particularly quote them, he gençrally acknowleges his obligations.
Since wool, as an article of manufacture, is known to assume at least the second place in the rank of importance, as it furnishes a large portion of our population with employment; as it is closely connected with our comfort, and affords many of the ornaments of social life;' and since it is an object also of an extensive commerce, the author camot help wishing that our fleeces possessed all the excellencies which the climate, and the circumstances of the country will admit; - and that we should ourselves furnish the raw material for our domestic productions, instead of secking to import it from foreign and rival nations, by which a portion of our advantages is indirectly transferred into the hauds of strangers. It is farther hinted that the existence of our commerce for Spanish wool is a proof of the indolence or inattention of our forefathers; and the tendency
of Mr. L.'s representation and reasonings is to persuarte graziers to improve the quality of the British fleece, and to augment the quantity of both long and short wool, in order that our manufactures may be fed from the backs of our own sheep, without de77.
pending pending for a supply of the raw material on the political good humour of our neighbours.
Some physiologists have supposed that the first man was black; and Mr. L. is inclined to believe that this was the colour of the first sheep, or something nearly approaching to it. He also supposes that Jacob, when he superintended the flock of his father-in-law, Laban, was a skilful breeder ; who took proper measures for producing a ring-streaked or mottled race, 'while he concealed the superiority of his knowlege and the means which he adopted. A variety in the flock being once obtained, it became an object of importance to increase it; and in a course of years, the alteration of the colour of wool taking the line of the richest soils,' white fleeces were produced. As an article to be dyed, and afterward woven in the loom, its whiteness was of such essential importance, that, if the first race of sheep were black, we cannot be surprized that the new variety obtained an universal preference over the original breed.--How far this account partakes of mere hypothesis, we shall not attempt to decide ; nor shall we endeavour minutely to trace the history of manufactural wool among the most antient Asiatic nations, and to follow its course through Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire, till we arrive at its present state in the communities of Europe. It is a curious fact that the Romans established a manufactory of woollens at Winchester, which was so extensive as to supply their army; and there is reason for believing that the trade which they introduced into Britain was not neglected by the native inhabitants, for the first nine hundred years of the Christian era. The long Spanish wool was imported into this country so early as the 12th century; and we find that, since the days of Edward III., British fleeces were admirably adapted to the kind of cloth which was in greatest request, though now they are generally unequal to the production of that which is sought after. Then it was necessary to provide a channel by which the annual surplus of our wool might be vended ; now it is as absolutely required of us to supply their deficiency.' Mr. L. investigates the causes of this change in the state of the woollen manufacture; and he calls on those who are interested, to furnish a remedy adequate to the cure of the evil. We cannot present the reader with his minute details concerning the growth of wool; nor enumerate those various particulars which constitute the sub-divisions of his subject, and which are especially interesting to graziers and clothiers : but it was some recompence to us, after having toiled through a long chapter, to be assured that improvement must shortly be made in the fleeces of our country, which will