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of induction, a special manner of directing the mental faculties in seeking truth, in testing truth, and in using truth. Whether his method is valuable or worthless, Bacon has a right to make this claim. A man does not pretend to be the author of sensations, conceptions, and ideas, because he publishes a system of psychology; he merely proposes to explain them. But Bacon did not mean merely to explain certain mental powers and their relations to existence; he meant also to direct and apply their activities in reference to certain issues and results. Simple induction is as likely to be wrong as right; but Bacon proposed to teach inquirers in what manner they must proceed so as to escape the wrong and attain to the right. Bacon may therefore be said to be the first that gave strict and philosophical expression to the inductive method, thus making it an instrument of mind at once detective and efficient, detective for noting error, efficient not only in the discovery of truth, but in the use of truth. Bacon, then, in his method, is thoroughly original; the method belongs to him, and to him alone; the invention and arrangement of the logical categories do not as surely belong to Aristotle as a certain special method of induction belongs to Bacon. But to what purpose, it has been asked, is this method? Bacon himself made but little application of it, and that little was without success. Nor have any scientific men followed it in their inquiries, or even thought of it. The method in detail has, indeed, never been, perhaps never could be, reduced to practice; but the spirit of it has nevertheless penetrated all the scientific meditation of the world.
It is also true that modern science had received its impulse before the time of Bacon. Ever since the times of the Crusades, the civilized mind of the West had been uneasy and excited. It seemed to long for larger space. That space was given it in the discoveries of Columbus and his followers. The larger space led to wider life and bolder action; this wider life and bolder action gathered in experience, stimulated curiosity, and deepened the desire for knowledge. The mind and its faculties had been so often analyzed, had been put into such an infinity of combinations, that men at length grew tired of playing an everlasting game of metaphysical
chess. They began to think that the body also deserved examination, and thus, long before Bacon was born, the science of anatomy had been made eminent by the genius of Vesalius. When land and sea had been widened for movement' and enterprise, men began to dream of more expansive heavens, and to send forth thoughts that wandered through eternity and through the boundless universe. This small globe could not be the centre of the stars, the source of all motion, and thereby of all time. Thence wise and wondering men questioned the planets and the sun; after a while the light within them explained the light outside them, and gradually they divined these solemn mysteries of our Kosmos, in whose revelation creation was amplified and the Divine glory made more manifest. Such discoveries had begun before Bacon, and were continued without the aid of Bacon. Thirty years before Bacon was born, Copernicus had been at work amidst the heavens. Tycho Brahe carried on the work while Bacon was yet a boy; and it is not likely that any influence from Bacon ever reached Kepler or Galileo. It is then indeed true, that interest in the natural sciences, and the study of them, did not wait for the appearance of Bacon; it is true, also, that the course of discovery had been opened and had proceeded independently of his influence or his system. Many brilliant results, it must be confessed, were attained; but the modes of attaining them were disconnected and empirical. Bacon did not originate natural science; he did not himself, personally, advance natural science; but he did organize a philosophy of natural science, of that organic philosophy he, and he alone, was the true and primal author.
But since Bacon did not begin modern science, did not contribute to it, or in any way enlarge it, how then did he act on it? First, by urgency, by insistence, and by intensity of direction. Men were still looking too much within them for that which should be sought outside them. They were still ready to take abstractions and words for existences and facts. Bacon, with all the force of his intellect, impelled the minds of inquirers toward reality and nature. He pointed out the sources of error in the constitution of humanity, in the character of the individual, in the forms of language and of society,
in the teachings and traditions of the schools. He taught men how to discriminate substance from illusion. He taught them where truth was to be found, and how it was to be sought. Of course we mean especially the truth which distinctly belongs to the natural sciences. This, as Bacon showed, could not be reached by any amount of misdirected diligence, learning, and labor, but only by inquiry, patiently conducted, carefully scrutinized, and rightly ordered. And therefore a second powerful influence which Bacon exercised on modern science was by enforcing the necessity of method. His own particular method might, in the structure which he gave it, be of no avail, but in spirit it was indubitable. Yet even if it had been as erroneous as it was veracious, the reasoning of Bacon as to the need of method would still have been sound. If his consisted of false elements, it would remain for some one else to construct a method of true elements. If such a method were not discovered, natural inquiries must always have been merely capricious and casual attempts, with accidental and empirical results. Each result, instead of being one in a series of sequences, would in itself be an end; it could only be again mechanically reproduced, and the process, if of any utility, must be traditionally repeated and preserved. Paradoxical as it may seem, the rigor of method is the liberty of science. We might, perhaps, say that method is science: it is at least its essential condition. For no number of facts, no amount of experiment, no acuteness or extent of observation, no accumulation of knowledge, will enable any man to create a science, to think scientifically, or, indeed, to think or speak or write with structural cohesion or any living sequence. There must be the uniting, informing, plastic soul of method, or all is shapeless and disparate.
Coleridge brings out this idea very finely. In illustrating his philosophy of method from the works of Shakespeare, he remarks: "We may define the excellence of their method as consisting in that just proportion, that union and interpenetration of the universal and particular, which must ever pervade all works of decided genius and true science. For method implies progressive transition, and it is the meaning of the word in the original language. The Greek pélodos is
literally a way or path of transit. Thus we extol the elements of Euclid, or Socrates's discourse with the slave Menon in Plato, as methodical, a term which no one who holds himself bound to think or speak correctly would apply to alphabetical order or arrangement of a common dictionary. But as without a continuous transition there can be no method, so without a preconception there can be no transition with continuity. The term method cannot, therefore, otherwise than by abuse, be applied to a mere dead arrangement, containing in itself no principle of progression." This is deeply and truly said; and some of the introspective tendency of Coleridge would have given more completeness even to Bacon. In that case, Bacon would have done more justice to the metaphysical and logical elements of philosophy. For there is metaphysic in method, and there is logic, syllogistic logic, in induction. The doctrine of method was an important part of ancient logic, but it was applied only to the workings of intellect. Bacon applied it mainly to the laws of observation and experiment; but he seemed to overlook the fact, that these laws have by the mind itself their order and validity. Assuredly it is by the mind, by its own inherent spiritual activity and organism, that we have the idea of law, to whatever kind of relations we apply the term. It is by a mental organism that we can even have experience; for experience is the coinage of fact into thought.
It is therefore only through mental organism that observation and experiment are even possible. This is no transcendental idealism, but a simple statement of the truth. We only impose on ourselves if we think that any relations are merely outward, and altogether .independent of the inward faculty, which has cognition of them. The very conception of relation is necessarily a fact of consciousness, and in all conditions and arrangements this fact must be presupposed. Method is therefore essentially a creature of the mind. There is no physical inquiry that is not conducted by a metaphysical process; but the process goes on unconsciously, and is lost in the object of inquiry; whereas in pure metaphysics the process goes on consciously, and turns in reflectively on thought. In any method of natural science there must be necessarily
two elements, the one mental, the other material;-or, differently expressed, the subjective element and objective element; the mental or subjective element, the ideal form or plan, and the inward procedure; the material or objective element, the operations or phenomena to which the attention is directed, the conditions or changes that are to be observed, and the ends that are to be attained.
It was on the objective and material element that Bacon laid the greatest stress, and almost to the entire exclusion of the other. Yet Bacon's own mind and method were profoundly metaphysical. In like manner, he did not give their due to logic and the syllogism. Mr. Lewes says that he did admit the syllogism as a form of ratiocination, but not as a means of investigation. Well, that is nearly all that the most zealous Aristotelian could ask for it, and all that truth can fairly allow it. The syllogism is not an instrument of search or of discovery; but it does represent a process of mental analysis, comparison, and judgment, and it is often an effective epitome of statement and exposition. Many of Bacon's most enthusiastic admirers now admit that he did not attach sufficient value to deductive reasoning. Yet it is hard to see how any reasoning can be carried far without deduction. Deduction of the utmost boldness and grandeur enters into all the higher generalizations of our later science. Without deduction, induction would be limited and imperfect, and deduction itself, except possibly in pure mathematics, implies or involves induction.
But when we have said all, we have at last only to declare that it was in no technical way Bacon acted most effectively on modern science. His most impressive influence on science was by the vitalizing power of his genius, the force of his eloquence, and the weight of his authority; for even great minds, though preaching innovation, become themselves rulers and lawgivers to those whom they turn from olden and traditional prescription. It is by the wholeness of their momentum and of their might that such minds as Bacon's influence thought, action, and character. It is not by special instruction or definitive invention that they increase the wealth of mind or enlarge the boundaries of knowledge; it is by the deep and