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certain and mechanical process entirely different from the ordinary Induction. His confidence was based on his belief-the old belief expressed in the Valerius Terminus-that the letters of the alphabet of Nature, those Simple Natures which make up all material things, are few in number. If there are only, for example, twenty Simple Natures that can possibly cause anything whatever; and if you can prove that nineteen of them are not the causes of a given nature, say Heat; it follows that the twentieth is the Cause or Form of Heat: and under such circumstances it is an easy matter to "proceed from negatives to an affirmative." It has been urged that the Plurality of Causes is fatal to the correctness of Bacon's system of Exclusions. If, for example, the Simple Natures be represented by the letters of the alphabet, a given nature-say Heat-may be caused by a, or by b, or by a combination of c and d. When therefore we find a number of instances of heat where b, c, and d are not present (because in these instances the heat is caused by a) and when we must (according to Bacon's system) reject b, c, and d, shall we not be in error? This objection Bacon appears to endeavour to meet in the following Aphorism (17). Though he does not frankly and expressly admit that his Exclusion, under such circumstances, must be inaccurate, he declares that his object is practical; and that for the purpose of "superinducing" the given nature, it is sufficient to ascertain one Form. For the purpose of producing Heat it will be practically sufficient to ascertain that it is Motion of a particular kind, even though we may have committed a theoretical inaccuracy in excluding other causes or Forms which could produce Heat. Perhaps also he tacitly assumed that if a given. nature can be produced by more than one Form, e.g. by a or b or c or d, it will follow that these Forms are not really Simple Natures, but themselves capable of being resolved into Simple Natures of which they are combinations; just as he thought, at one time, that Motion, which is the Form of Heat, could itself be resolved into some nature simpler than itself: for he says in the following Aphorism that, although hanging, stabbing, apoplexy, and atrophy are different causes of death, yet they must all "agree in the Form or Law which governs death." In other words he assumes that the ultimate Cause or Form of such

natures as he is investigating will be always single and not plural. The cautious language of the Aphorism (17) should be noted: for he distinguishes between Compound Forms (which are combinations of Simple Natures, as of the lion, eagle, rose, and the like) and the Forms of Simple Natures; and he protests that his remarks apply only to the latter.

"(17) When I speak of Forms, I mean nothing more than those laws and determinations of absolute actuality, which govern and constitute any Simple Nature, as Heat, Light, Weight, in every kind of matter and subject that is susceptible of them. Thus the Form of Heat, or the Form of Light, is the same thing as the Law of Heat, or the Law of Light. Nor indeed do I ever allow myself to be drawn away from things themselves and the operative part. And therefore when I say, for instance, in the investigation of the Form of Heat, 'Reject rarity,' or, Rarity does not belong to the Form of Heat,' it is the same as if I said, 'It is possible to superinduce Heat on a dense body,' 2 or, 'It is possible to take away or keep out Heat from a rare body.'

"But if any one conceives that my Forms are of a somewhat abstract nature because they mix and combine things heterogeneous (for the heat of heavenly bodies and the heat of fire seem to be very heterogeneous; so do the fixed red of the rose or the like, and the apparent red of the rainbow, the opal, or the diamond; so again do the different kinds of death, death by drowning, by hanging, by stabbing, by apoplexy, by atrophy; and yet they agree severally in the nature of heat, redness, and death). . . . he may be assured that these things, however heterogeneous and alien from each other, agree in the Form or Law which governs heat, redness, and death; and that the power of man cannot possibly be emancipated and freed from the common course of nature, and expanded and exalted to new efficients and new modes of operation, except by the revelation and discovery of Forms of this kind."

Thus, at the very moment when he introduces the fundamental part of his method, Bacon parenthetically, as it were,

1 "Nihil aliud intelligimus quam leges illas et determinationes actus puri quae naturam aliquam simplicem ordinant et constituunt (ut calorem, lumen, pondus) in omnimoda materia et subjecto susceptibili." These words are hardly susceptible of any other interpretation than this, that Bacon limits himself to those Causes, Forms, or Laws which produce the given nature whenever and wherever the given nature exists. It is a large assumption-that a Simple Nature, Heat for example, must always have but one ultimate Cause or Form-but, if we once grant it, the objection derived from Plurality of Causes against Bacon's Method of Exclusions at once ceases to be applicable.

* The meaning seems to be this: "I do not say that it is not possible that rarity should be connected with Heat. My object is not negative and theoretical, but positive and practical and therefore I content myself with passing from the negative and theoretical exclusion to this practical affirmative: It is possible to superinduce Heat on bodies that are not rare.'


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slips in a distinction which is of vital importance. His Method of Exclusions applied only to those Laws or Forms which govern and constitute Simple Natures whenever and wherever those Simple Natures exist. But who is to tell beforehand about a given Nature whether it is Simple or Complex? And even supposing that we are led by intuition to some Simple Nature, how do we know that he is correct in his apparent assumption that it cannot be produced by two or more quite different and independent Laws or Forms? However, without any immediate apology, Bacon now proceeds (18) to set forth fourteen instances of Exclusion applied to Heat; among which are some interesting errors, with at least one instance of remarkable insight: "On account of common fire. . . . reject the nature of the heavenly bodies. On account of the rays of the moon and other heavenly bodies (with the exception of the sun) also reject light and brightness. On account of ignited iron, which does not swell in bulk, but keeps within the same visible dimensions, reject local or expansive motion of the body as a whole. On account of the dilation of air in calendar glasses and the like, wherein the air evidently moves locally and expansively, and yet acquires no manifest increase of heat, also reject local or expansive motion of the body as a whole." On the other hand he shows a true intuition in rejecting the notion of an inherent "caloric" or "principial nature" (naturalem principialem) because he finds Heat generated by friction. He concludes the Aphorism with a negative: "All and each of the abovementioned natures do not belong to the Form of Heat," qualified by a more justifiable affirmative: "And from all of them man is freed in his operations on Heat."

1 It is now known that the moon's rays give out some heat. 2 An erroneous supposition.

3 And yet Bacon himself, in Aph. xiii. 38, details a long experiment showing that air expands with heat, and expressly speaks of it as dilatatus per calefactionem." See also Aphorism 20 in Book ii. : "This kind of motion is best seen in air, which continuously and manifestly dilates with a slight heat": yet in the sume Aphorism he adds: "When the air is extended in a calendar glass without impediment or repulsion-that is to say uniformly and equably-there is no (?) perceptible heat (non percipiatur calor)." He seems to be distinguishing between two kinds of expansion, (1) as a whole (secundum totum), and (2) in the parts (per particulas minores), of which the latter alone constitutes Heat according to his theory.

See Mr. Ellis's note (Spedding, Works, i. 260): "The proof that caloric does not exist in other words that heat is not the manifestation of a peculiar substance diffused through nature-rests mainly on experiments of friction."

Now that the Method of Exclusions has been tried and found wanting, it becomes necessary to explain the failure; and accordingly the next Aphorism (19) admits that our ignorance of Simple Natures stops the way. But the author adds that he sees a way to remedy this defect, and promises to do it.

The process of Exclusion cannot (19) in our present state of knowledge be complete; for we proceed by excluding Simple Natures; (e.g. the nature of the heavenly bodies above); but as our notions of Simple Natures are often vague and ill-defined, the Understanding needs aids for the foundation of better notions; and we must regard our Exclusions as being, for the present, tentative. "I therefore, well knowing and nowise forgetting how great a work I am about (that of rendering the Human Understanding a match for things and nature) do not rest satisfied with the precepts I have laid down; but proceed further to devise and supply more powerful aids for the use of the Understanding; which I shall now subjoin."

If the Novum Organum is to do its work, it ought now to carry out the promise of the last Aphorism and indicate to the reader some means for arriving at the knowledge of Simple Natures. For until we have this knowledge we cannot use the Method of Exclusions. But how can we attain the knowledge of Simple Natures? Let the fourteenth Aphorism of the First Book answer:

"The Syllogism consists of Propositions; Propositions consist of words; words are symbols of notions. Therefore, if the notions themselves-and here we have the root of the matter-are confused and over-hastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true Induction."

Is not this something like reasoning in a circle? We cannot perform the perfect and true Induction without clear notions of Simple Natures; and, if we would gain those clear notions, our only hope lies in true Induction.

An ordinary philosopher would have here confessed that he had failed in his attempt to obtain a mechanical process for discovering the Laws of Nature. But such confessions are not in Bacon's manner. If he cannot effect the first best, his plan is always to effect a second best, and to make the best of that, and never to allow himself to be brought to a stand by dis

appointments. It therefore occurred to him that, if his Method failed him, he might fall back upon his Natural History-the three positive Tables called the Presentation of Instanceswhich might help him to some discovery, even without the negative Table and without the Exclusions from which he had once hoped so much. It is true that in the First Book (Aph. 20) he has cautioned us against "the Understanding left to itself (Intellectus sibi permissus)" which "wearies of experiment" and prematurely "springs up to positions of higher generality;" but at the conclusion of the same book (Aph. 130), in a passage above quoted, he declared that if men had a regular (justam) History of Nature and Experience, and could lay aside received opinions and notions, and "refrain the mind for a time from the highest generalizations and from those next to the highest," they would be able by the native force of mind to fall into the true form of Interpretation. Accordingly Bacon now casts aside his Method of Exclusions, and with the aid of the three positive Tables he allows himself to make a tentative approach towards the Law or Form of Heat. The Aphorism (20) in which he states this intention is noteworthy, because it contains a kind of avowal that a "working hypothesis "-though no part at all of the New Induction-may accelerate scientific discovery, by tending to some kind of order in the classification of phenomena, although the classification may be erroneous.

"And yet, since truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion, I think it expedient that the Understanding should have permission (ut fiat permissio intellectui) after the three Tables of First Presentation (such as I have exhibited) have been made and weighed, to make an essay of the Interpretation of Nature in the affirmative way: on the strength, both of the instances given in the Tables, and of any others it may meet with elsewhere. Which kind of tentative process I call the Indulgence of the Understanding (permissionem Intellectus), or the Incomplete Interpretation (Interpretationem inchoatam), or the First Vintage."1

The conclusion of the Aphorism (20) presents us (1) with a tentative "Form, or True Definition," of Heat where the identification of the two words "Form" and "Definition" is to be noted as an indication of the great importance attached by

1 For a previous use of this metaphor, see the Cogitata et Visa, above, p. 362.

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