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or non liquets, are of two sorts, particular, and total. For the first, we see a good example thereof in Aristotle's Problems, which deserved to have had a better continuance; but so nevertheless, as there is one point whereof warning is to be given and taken. The registring of doubts hath two excellent uses : The one, that it saveth philosophy from errors and falsehoods, when that which is not fully appearing is not collected into assertion, whereby error might draw error, but reserved in doubt. The other, that the entry of doubts are as so many suckers or spunges to draw use of knowledge; insomuch, as that which, if doubts had not preceded, a man should never have advised, but passed it over without note, by the suggestion and solicitation of doubts is made to be attended and applied. But both these commodities do scarcely countervail an inconvenience which will intrude itself, if it be not debarred; which is, that, when a doubt is once received, men labour rather how to keep it a doubt still, than how to solve it, and accordingly bend their wits. Of this we see the familiar example in lawyers and scholars, both which, if they have once admitted a doubt, it goeth ever after authorised for a doubt. But that use of wit and knowledge is to be allowed, which laboureth to make
doubtful things certain, and not those which labour to Continua- make certain things doubtful. Therefore these katio proble-lendars of doubts I commend as excellent things, so matum in
that there be this caution used, that when they be throughly sifted and brought to resolution, they be from thenceforth omitted, discarded, and not continued to cherish and encourage men in doubting. To which kalendar of doubts or problems, I advise to be an
nexed another kalendar, as much or more material, Catalogus which is a kalendar of popular errors, I mean chiefly falsitatum in natural history, such as pass in speech and conceit
, grassantium in and are nevertheless apparently detected and conhistoria
victed of untruth, that man's knowledge be not weakened nor embased by such dross and vanity.
As for the doubts or non liquets general or in total, I understand those differences of opinions touching
the principles of nature, and the fundamental points of the same, which have caused the diversity of sects, schools, and philosophies, as that of Empedocles, Pythagoras, Democritus, Parmenides, and the rest. For although Aristotle, as though he had been of the race of the Ottomans, thought he could not reign, except the first thing he did he killed all his brethren; yet to those that seek truth and not magistrality, it cannot but seem a matter of great profit, to see before them the several opinions touching the foundations of nature: not for any exact truth that can be expected in those theories : for as the same phænomena in astronomy are satisfied by the received astronomy of the diurnal motion, and the proper motions of the planets, with their eccentrics, and epicycles; and likewise by the theory of Copernicus, who supposed the earth to move, and the calculations are indifferently agreeable to both: so the ordinary face and view of experience is many times satisfied by several theories and philosophies; whereas to find the real truth requireth another manner of severity and attention. For, as Aristotle saith, that children at the first will call every woman mother, but afterward they come to distinguish according to truth : so experience, if it be in childhood, will call every philosophy mother, but when it cometh to ripeness, it will discern the true mother; so as in the mean time it is good to see the several glosses and opinions upon nature, whereof it may be every one in some one point hath seen clearer than his fellows; therefore I wish some collection to be made painfully and understandingly de antiquis philosophiis, out of all the possible light De antiwhich remaineth to us of them : which kind of work quis philoI find deficient. But here I must give warning, that
sophiis. it be done distinctly and severally, the philosophies of every one throughout by themselves, and not by titles packed and fagotted up together, as hath been done by Plutarch. For it is the harmony of a philosophy in itself, which giveth it light and credence; whereas if it be singled and broken, it will seem more foreign and dissonant. For as when I read in Tacitus the
actions of Nero or Claudius, with circumstances of times, inducements and occasions, I find them not so strange; but when I read them in Suetonius Tranquillus, gathered into titles and bundles, and not in order of time, they seem more monstrous and incredible; so is it of any philosophy reported intire, and dismembered by articles. Neither do I exclude opinions of latter times to be likewise represented in this kalendar of sects of philosophy, as that of Theophrastus Paracelsus, eloquently reduced into an harmony by the pen of Severinus the Dane, and that of Tilesius, and his scholar Donius, being as a pastoral philosophy, full of sense, but of no great depth : and that of Fracastorius, who though he pretended not to make any new philosophy, yet did use the absoluteness of his own sense upon the old: and that of Gilbertus, our countryman, who revived, with some alterations and demonstrations, the opinions of Xenophanes; and any other worthy to be admitted.
Thus have we now dealt with two of the three beams of man's knowledge, that is, Radius directus, which is referred to nature; Radius refractus, which is referred to God, and cannot report truly because of the inequality of the medium; there resteth Radius reflerus, whereby man beholdeth and contemplateth himself.
WE come therefore now to that knowledge whereunto the ancient oracle directeth us, which is the knowledge of ourselves; which deserveth the more accurate handling, by how much it toucheth us more nearly. This knowledge, as it is the end and term of natural philosophy in the intention of man, so, notwithstanding, it is but a portion of natural philosophy in the continent of nature; and generally let this be a rule, that all partitions of knowledges be accepted rather for lines and veins, than for sections and separations; and that the continuance and intireness of knowledge be preserved. For the contrary hereof hath made particular sciences to become barren, shallow, and erroneous, while they have not been
nourished and maintained from the common fountain. So we see Cicero the orator complained of Socrates and his school, that he was the first that separated philosophy and rhetoric, whereupon rhetoric became an empty and verbal art. So we may see, that the opinion of Copernicus touching the rotation of the earth, which astronomy itself cannot correct, because it is not repugnant to any of the phænomena, yet natural philosophy may correct. So we see also that the science of medicine, if it be destitute and forsaken by natural philosophy, it is not much better than an empirical practice.
With this reservation therefore we proceed to Human Philosophy, or humanity, which hath two parts : the one considereth man segregate or distributively; the other congregate or in society. So as human philosophy is either simple and particular, or conjugate and civil. Humanity particular consisteth of the same parts whereof man consisteth, that is, of knowledges which respect the body, and of knowledges that respect the mind; but before we distribute so far, it is good to constitute. For I do take the consideration in general, and at large, of human nature to be fit to be emancipated and made a knowledge by itself; not so much in regard of those delightful and elegant discourses which have been made of the dignity of man, of his miseries, of his state and life, and the like adjuncts of his common and undivided nature; but chiefly in regard of the knowledge concerning the sympathies and concordances between the mind and body, which being mixed, cannot be properly assigned to the sciences of either.
This knowledge hath two branches : for as all leagues and amities consist of mutual intelligence and mutual offices, so this league of mind and body hath these two parts, how the one discloseth the other, and how the one worketh upon the other; Discovery, and Impression.
The former of these hath begotten two arts, both of prediction or prenotion, whereof the one is honoured with the inquiry of Aristotle, and the other of Hippocrates. And although they have of later time been used to be coupled with superstitious and fantastical arts, yet being purged and restored to their
true state, they have both of them a solid ground Pars phy- in nature, and a profitable use in life. The first is siogno
physiognomy, which discovereth the disposition of the miæ, de gestu sive mind by the lineaments of the body. The second is motu cor- the exposition of natural dreams, which discovereth poris.
the state of the body by the imaginations of the mind. In the former of these I note a deficience, for Aristotle hath very ingeniously and diligently handled the factures of the body, but not the gestures of the body, which are no less comprehensible by art, and of greater use and advantage. For the lineaments of the body do disclose the disposition and inclination of the mind in general; but the motions of the countenance and parts do not only so, but do farther disclose the present humour and state of the mind and will. For, as your majesty saith most aptly and elegantly, “ As the tongue speaketh to the
ear, so the gesture speaketh to the eye.” And therefore a number of subtle
do dwell upon the faces and fashions of men, do well know the advantage of this observation, as being most part of their ability; neither can it be denied, but that it is a great discovery of dissimulations, and a great direction in business.
The latter branch, touching impression, hath not been collected into art, but hath been handled dispersedly; and it hath the same relation or antistrophe that the former hath. For the consideration is double; “ Either how, and how far the humours “ and effects of the body do alter or work upon the “mind; or again, How, and how far the passions or “ apprehensions of the mind do alter or work upon “ the body.” The former of these hath been inquired and considered, as a part and appendix of medicine, but much more as a part of religion or superstition : for the physician prescribeth cures of the mind in frenzies and melancholy passions, and pretendeth also to exhibit medicines to exhilarate the