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these two, it should seem, were the principal ways which the author proposed for rectifying his induction,
! (ga 179: 3T () (3.). The next head is the Method of varying Enquiries, by which we are to understand not
, only the suiting of the manner of enquiry to the nature of the subject occasionally, but also the ways of transposing, enlarging, and improving the parts of an enquiry, both with regard to the matter and method, according as new information and farther light is obtained.
Thus, when the view is to discover axioms or forms, the enquiry must proceed from particulars to generals, or from a variety of apposite, instances, disposed in suitable tables, to the axioms they afford, or the form they point out; but when the design is to lay out a work, wł itself is a particular thing, we must begin with generals, or the axioms already obtained, and descend, by degrees, to the work required. And, in both these cases, most of the steps that are first taken will remain improvable, as the mind becomes better acquainted with the subject, and the things that relate thereto, till at length the enquiry turns to a perfect scientifical history, where no farther alteration of the method can be made to advantage, nor any thing farther obe added, for discovering the form, or directing the
work, which was the original subject of the en. quiry*, tot allein
(4.) The next general head of the second part of the Novum Organum, is the Prerogative Natures for Enquiry, whereby we are to understand the art of chusing those subjects, a few of which may serve instead of many, as in the doctrine of prerogative instances, where the author has shewn how all infinity of search may be cut off, or how, instead of an infinite number of particulars, a few may be selected, that shall more advantageously answer the same end : for the like is to be done in 'enquiries. So that the design here seems to have been to indicate a few capital, or leading enquiries, which being duly prosecuted, should unfold nature as effectually as if all possible enquiries were prosecuted, thus proportioning the business of perfecting philosophy to the shortness and casualties of life. What these enquiries are, may be learnt from those which the author directly went upon, and those he intended to have proceeded with t, and in what order these enquiries should be prosecuted, or which should come first, which second, &c. must be determined
90. See Mr. Boyle's Methud of Prosecuting Enquiries, Abridg. Vol. I. in init. p. 24, 25. ont See
De Hook's Method of Improving Philosophy, p. 18–70.
either according to their tatility in life, or the tendency they have to prepare the way, and lead to, or facilitate the rest, and perfect the ientire body of philosophy. Duis seb900!
(5.) The Limit of Enquiry, on an inventory of all the natures in the universe, is the head that comes next in order ; under which, in all probability, the author intended to shew, that the whole scheme of his work was no impossible or infinite thing, but limited and circumscribed within moderate bounds, so as to be executed by men in their present state, without a miracle, by the due exercise of their faculties for a competent time : since nature herself is limit ed, and since the universe consists but of a cer.' tain number of simple natures combined into numerous things, as the letters of the alphabet are into numerous words : whence if these simple, natures were understood, the whole system of things might be easily unravelled.
The principal difficulty seems to lie in the col. lecting a just and sufficient history of nature and art; for if this was once procured, the rest would follow almost spontaneously. And yet this his
agai The direction of the Medicina Mentis is here different as it would have no regard paid to excellence or utility, and nothing to be primarily intended but the simple discovery of truths See that Work, p. 209-212,
tory, iwhen soberly and prudently considered, will be found no monstrous or impracticable un dertaking, provided the proper expence be allowed, a suitable number of hands be employed, and the true method of doing it be observed *. The author has endeavoured to give an epitome of the whole thing, in the compass of a few lines.
(6.) The next general head is the Reducing of Enquiries to Practice, or making them subservient to human uses. This seems chiefly to regard, the conducting of enquiries, where not forms, axioms, or canons, are the things in view, nor even the discovery of experiments; but where works and new arts are to be invented, laid out, and brought into use, for a common benefit and advantage. And the general method of effecting this was above observed to be by proceeding downwards, from general axioms, to the particular work proposed.
* See Dr. Hook's Method of improving Natural Philosophy, p. 27, 29, 36; but particularly p. 21, where the Doctor has these words: “I have very good reason to be
'lieve that the whole mass of Natural History may be o contained in much fewer words than the writings of divers e single authors; and the method of using them will be “ much more easy, and the labour of interpreting or under« standing them, if done aright, will be almost as easy, as " “ to unravel a bottom when you begin at the right end." }u * See Dr. Hook’s Method of improving Philosophy, p. 12, 18, 42, 64.
x' But besides this, the author intended to shew the method of making general practical tables, for laying out works with the greater ease, and bringing them more speedily to perfection. And in this view it seems to be, that in every enquiry he constantly reserved a particular head, or table, for receiving the things that more immediately regarded practice, and human uses. b Again, besides the method of deriving new arts, or works, from axioms, there is another more mechanical and facile method of deriving them from former experiments, or works themselves, which method, though by no means so safe, and certain as the former, may however prove of considerable service, especially if it were duly cultivated and improved, --(7.) The next head is Preliminaries to Ena quiry; by which it may be conjectured the author meant not only the getting rid of prejudices and false notions; the consulting one's own genius, disposition, and abilities; but likewise the prob curing all necessary assistances for the purpose; and particularly using the artificial armour/ or machinery of the mind, so that the mind may act in the highest degree of its powers and facup ties. And under this preparation may be ini