« AnteriorContinuar »
These tables ought to be drawn from the hiss tory of nature and art, mentioned above; or borrowed from the natural historian; and laid before the philosopher, or interpreter of nature; whose office it is to practise the art of induction upon them; so as by comparing them together, both in general, and in particular, to find such a nature, law of motion, or action, as being present, exerted, or performed, in any body, or portion of matter whatsoever, the nature of heat, or heat itself, shall of necessity be produced therein; and such as when that law, motion, or action is absent, heat shall be absent; and so come and go with that law, motion or action perpetually; or attend it in any inter mediate degree, according to the exact propor tion wherein that law, or action is exerted : which is what the author means by the form of heat.
But here, if the mind should of itself directly endeavour, without farther assistance, to discover the forms of things; it would fall upon ill defined notions, imaginations, guesses, probabilities, and imperfect axioms, instead of true and genuine forms: and thus be far from obtaining the end proposed by this new method. The next step, therefore, is to practise the business of exclusion or rejection; viz. to throw away, or separate in the mind, all those things
from the nature of heat, which do not immediately, and of absolute necessity, belong to it: so that a compleat and perfect notion, axiom, or form, that is the pure conception of the true cause, essence, or nature of heat, may remain as a solid and perfect portion of truth behind. And this exclusion also is to be performed in the
way of a table, wrote downı as the former. Hence, as the sun's rays are found to be hot, the superficial notion that heat is peculiar to terrestrial bodies, must be rejected, &c.
And thus the business of induction is begun; but by no means rectified and finished: for as this exclusion, or rejection, is the throwing out of simple natures, or properties, from the nature of heat; a perfect knowledge of simple natures is previously required, before the induction can be completed. But men have not hitherto acquired perfect notions of simple natures, or the simplest properties of things ; such as tenuity, fuidity, texture, &c. In the mean time, because truth will easier arise from error, than from confusion; the understanding may be permitted, by considering the several tables, to make some attempt towards interpreting nature, in the affirmative; or to find out the positive, actual form; though without pretending that it is truly and perfectly discovered, till all the preçeding tables shall have been perfected: which,
as was before observed, depends upon a perfect history of nature; and again, upon using a perfect induction; which is an art that has not hitherto been duly prosecuted, and brought to the necessary degree of perfection.
However, to give an idea of the whole manner of procedure in this business of interpreting nature, when all things shall be properly fitted for the purpose; the author here adds a fifth table, to represent what he calls the first vin. tage, or dawn of doctrine, from the form of heat. And this table sets to view the process of the mind, solely employed, without distraction, or interruption, upon the several preceding tables, in order to investigate, or discover the form of heat. The result of the whole process amounts to this, that heat is an expansive, bridled motion, struggling in the small particles of bodies : which is a summary expression, or axiom, describing the form of heat, so far as could be derived from the imperfect tables, and the imper fect art of induction here employed. And with this idea of the whole, the author concludes the first section of the second part of the No. vum Organuin.
In the second section, the author proceeds to perfect the art of discovering forms, or to shew the manner of framing an induction that shalt conclude as justly in philosophy, as syllogism
does in logic, or demonstration in mathematics.. Accordingly, he here directly treats of prerogative instances, or the way of procuring proper collections of such facts, observations, and experiments, as are best fitted to 'enter the three tables of view, corresponding to the three first, above-mentioned; so that a few of these instances may answer the purpose of many, shorten: the business of search and enquiry, and afford a prepared and proper matter for induction, in all kinds of subjects.
And of these instances, he makes twenty-seven different kinds; viz. 1. such as exhibit the naor ture enquired after, in things that agree with, or differ from others, in respect to that nature only. 2. Instances wherein the nature sought appears in a state of generation, or destruction. 3. Those wherein the nature enquired after stands alone, in a high degree of perfection or predominancy, 4. Such as shew the thing enquired after, in its lowest state, weakest virtue, or first rudiments. 5. Such as exbibit the nature enquired after, in the way of a lesser form. 6. Such as shew a likeness and relation in the concrete, so as to help in uniting nature, :7. Such as shew bodies in the concrete, as it were out of their course, or broken in nature. 8. Errors of nature, things monstrous, extraordinary, or out of the course of nature. 9. Bodies consisting
of two different natures, or double species. 10. The most perfect works of men in 'every kind: 11. Instances wherein the nature sought is either constantly present, or constantly absent. 12. Instances that shew the limits of nature, or the bounds betwixt existence and non-existence, in all subjects. 13. Such as mix and join natures supposed to be incompatible, or heterogeneous. 14, Such as shew an inviolable conjunction of one nature to another, and the separable alliance of others. 15. Such as shew the separation of natures that frequently meet. 16. Such as assist the actions of the senses; particularly the sight. 17. Such as bring those things to the senses that did not appear before. 18. Such as discover the motions of nature connected, or gradually continued. 19. Such as afford information, where the senses fail. 20. Such as excite the attention, and hint the subtilty of nature. 21. Such as measure the powers, and virtues of things, by space. 22. Such as measure the
powers of nature by time. 23. Such as shew in what proportion, quantity of body contributes to quantity of virtue. 24. Such as shew the prevalency or subjection of virtues to one another ; under which come all the species of motion, or active powers. 25. Such as point out advantages and conveniences for mankind. 26 Such-as regard things of common occurrence,