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mony, variety, fitness, beauty, from a or of speech, they are arts. thousand points, inaccessible to one they are called Sciences or Arts, just destitute of this sovereign art. as we approach them and use them.
He that looks at the universe with We must, however, keep to our defia generalizing eye, looks at it with a nitions ; and having agreed that discriminating perspicacity more indi- literature is the knowledge of letters, viduating than his who rarely ascends and that a literary man is only a man from an individual to a species, or of letters, we must hasten to our from a species to a genius ; for, how- second definition. ever paradoxical it may appear, the
What is science ?
You answer, habit of generalizing is the habit of “ The knowledge of things." You individuating ; and he who classifies mean the constitution, attributes, most expertly, individuates most operations, and states of all the indireadily ; and therefore, he who best vidual objects on which we think, understands the species, most clearly reason,
True, very discerns the individual ; and he most true, gentlemen ;
hence we may clearly perceives the species, who have sciences based on things thembest comprehends the genus under selves, or on their attributes—their which it stands, just as he whose operations and relations. Of these vision commands the largest horizon, we presume not to fix the limits. most distinctly discriminates the ob- You can convert any part of speech jects which it contains.
into a noun by making it the subject To illustrate and enforce the im- of a verb : so you can convert literaportant point is, gentlemen, a primary ture, art, or any thing on which you object of this address ; and to make think, contemplate, reason, discourse, it useful as possible, I shall select into a science. Still, however, science, three generic words a proper properly so called, denotes that knowtheme for such a development. These ledge of things, their properties, opeare, LITERATURE, SCIENCE, ART. A rations, laws, relations, founded upon definition of these terms, their com- demonstration or certain and induprehension, mutual dependence, and bitable evidence. the connexion of all true science with In former and less enlightened ages, religion, shall constitute the outlines we had but “ seven sciences,” • four of my practical remarks at present. elements," and "ten categories." Those
And how shall we define the generic ages have, however, been added to term literature ? You anticipate me, the years beyond the flood ; and elegentlemen, and with one accord reply, ments, and categories, and sciences - The knowledge of letters." It is, have multiplied exceedingly, and gentlemen, neither more nor less than replenished the earth with many the knowledge of letters, but it is valuable and splendid improvements. generic, and comprehends all sorts In this age of simplification and of letters—words, signs, languages. true science, a science means the Contra-distinguished from science and accurate and certain knowledge of art, it simply means language and its some particular subject. Thus, Astrolaws. These principles or laws may, nomy is the knowledge of the heavenly however, be classified and arranged bodies and their laws. But as we into the form of a science—such as cannot be said to have the knowledge grammar, logic, rhetoric ; and accord- of any thing without knowing its laws ing to our mode of considering or or the changes to which it is subject, using them, they become to us either we may simplify still farther, and say sciences or arts. As subjects of study that Astronomy is the knowledge of or contemplation, they are sciences; stars ; Geology, the knowledge of the but as precepts and rules of thought earth ; Mineralogy, the knowledge of
minerals ; Botany, the knowledge of world, living and dead, ancient and trees and plants; Zoology, the know- modern, from the hieroglyphics of ledge of animated beings, &c. Egypt to the apocalyptic symbols of
And what is art ? Art is the unaccomplished prophecy, you would application of science ; or it is the be only literary men, skilled in the rules of some particular practice or names of things, the symbols of the calling, or it is the practice itself. thought, the signs of ideas. It is Every science has its own peculiar freely admitted that in so much inand corresponding art ; and, indeed, tercourse with books, so much attention the use and end of all the sciences to the signs of thought, much useful are the useful and liberal arts to knowledge of men and things may be which they give rise, and for the sake acquired, and that a literary man of of which they are acquired and culti- high attainments will necessarily vated. Thus we naturally associate possess much valuable information science and art, theory and practice, in the study of ancient and modern faith and obedience, as correlate terms dialects of thought ; still we must
-as mutually implying each other ; plead that such a person is greatly especially the latter as presupposing inferior to the man of science in point the former : for art without science, of really useful and practical knowpractice without theory, and obedience ledge, as he who can only name a without faith, would be as anomalous horse in ten languages is greatly and unnatural as an effect without a inferior in the knowledge of that cause, fruit without blossoms, or a useful and noble animal to the keeper child without a parent.
of a livery stable, who can only name Our terms are now defined. Liter- the animal in his vernacular. Believe ature is the knowledge of the signs of me, young gentlemen, a man with thought ; Science, the knowledge of one language and many sciences, or the things of thought ; and Art, the even useful arts, is much more likely application of these signs and things (for he is better prepared) to be a to the numerous and varied ends of valuable and useful member of society individual and social life. Each of than he who has many languages and these terms, as already observed, is only one or two sciences. Except it generic, and represents a class, one may be in the departments of a trangrand abstract idea, from which all slator or an interpreter, or in preparing that is common to other ideas, and others for those services, such persons not individual, is separated. Litera- are greatly overrated in society. ture, therefore, includes all that per- But as science, rather than literatains to language, or signs of ideas, ture or art, is the burthen of our ancient or modern, natural or artificial, address ; and as we have more in from the alphabet of Cadmus down view than simple definition, combining to the belles lettres productions of the as far as we can the definitions of present day. The arts of reading, important terms with the laws of writing, speaking, grammar, logic, classification, and thus illustrating rhetoric, are but the practice of the and recommending its value— we theory of literature ; for, like every shall hasten to the classification of thing else, literature has both its Science, properly so called. theory and practice. A mere literary The great end to be gained in clasperson, however, is conversant only sification is the proper distribution of with letters or signs of thought, with all knowledge under proper heads, out regard to science or the useful with a single reference to the easy and liberal arts. Could you, gentle- acquisition and communication of it. men, accurately and elegantly speak A good and rational classification, and write all the languages of the then, is that which collects all that appertains to any one subject under three genera generalissima, or grand a suitable designation, and clearly generic ideas, are-things, actions, separates it from all that belongs to signs ; that is, things as they are in another category or subject. There themselves knowable ; actions, as are two great difficulties in perfecting depending on us, in reference to our such a classification of science ; one, happiness ; and signs, as they may radical and as yet insuperable is, that be used in reference to our knowno one science is so insular in its ledge, as regards both clearness and position, so separate and distinct from accuracy. According to this eminent all others, as to be perfectly indepen- Christian philosopher, all science perdent of them—so as never to borrow tains to these three, or these three or lend a single idea. Such a science engross all the sciences in the world. would be as singular as Robinson" For,” says he, “a man can employ Crusoe, or Alexander Selkirk, in the his thoughts about nothing but either island of Juan Fernandez ; yet even the contemplation of things themhe had his man Friday. A science selves for the discovery of truth ; or perfectly isolated is not yet known ; about the things in his own power, therefore our classifications are not which are his own actions, for the bounded by insuperable barriers or attainment of his own ends ; or the mountain land-marks ; they rather signs he would make use of both in resemble the charters given by the the one and the other, and the right Kings and Queens of England to the ordering of them for his clearer principal American colonists, setting information." forth the eastern, the northern, and The modern schools of Britain have southern boundaries, but ending in sought to improve upon this view of the vague terms, “ thence west to the the matter by reducing all science Pacific Ocean," “the Lake of the into two chapters. The head of the Woods,” or some unknown termini one is, “ WHAT IS ;" the head of the in the midst of Indian tribes. Hence, other is, “WHAT OUGHT TO BE ?” as our western limits are yet unde- The what is and the what ought to be, termined, so one side of all our say they, are the sum total of all our sciences is yet unsurveyed. The knowledge. This is within one step best classifications yet made are, of the ontological abstraction, which therefore, imperfect.
makes the word BEING the genus The other difficulty is found in the generalissimum, the highest and most unfortunate fact, that we have not comprehensive terms in universal lanyet acquired a perfect scientific lan- guage. This is, however, too subliguage.
All our vocabularies and mated for practical purposes. The nomenclatures are defective, and unfit ontology and the denotology, or the for close and accurate definition or what is and the what ought to be, of reasoning. Still the best classification the most approved schools, would, I of science, in the absence of a perfect think, make five chief heads of one, is that which collects all our sciences, or five chapters of sciences ; knowledge of one subject under the for we are now seeking not for a parbest title, and distinguishes it from ticular science, but for a science of
sciences. Following both Locke and Mr. Locke, the great mental philo- the moderns, so far as they both can sopher, was duly sensible of this, and be followed by one person, or, rather sought to divide the whole world of putting them together and forming a ideas into provinces separate and dis-Tertium quid, a new compound, we tinct from each other. He so gene- would havé five sciences of sciences, ralized ideas as to place them all or five general sciences, which would under three distinct heads. These include the whole area of human
knowledge ; and if we must continue in the natural, and the specific idea the old nomenclature, we should call of the natural both in the mental and them physics, metaphysics, mechan- the moral ; and does not this division ics, ethics, and symbolics. By physics leave out the science of signs altoI mean natural truth, or truth in the gether ? If not, wherein does it concrete, as it is found in material na-excel the ontological and the deonture: by metaphysics I mean artifi- tological division already defined ? cial or abstract truth, or truths not In the classification of science, as found in nature, but inferred or gene- in the arts and business of life, we ralized from nature : by mechanics seek for some generic idea ; and we would denote truths that are having found it, we arrange all things simply useful : by ethics we intend that have that idea in them, under truths moral and good in their opera- the term or name which represents tions : and by symbolics we mean the the idea. For example, if we consigns which are employed in acquiring template sciences with regard to the and communicating these truths. We subjects on which they treat, we would thus represent truth as the prefix to them the name of that idea. matter of all science, and name the That science which treats of simple science from the nature or character being for the sake of discovering of the truth of which it treats. Thus general or abstract truth, is properly we would have truth in the concrete, called ontology, because that Greek truth in the abstract, truth as connect- compound represents the law, or ed with simple utility, truth as con- reason, or nature of being in general. nected with human happiness, and we call this science sometimes a lastly, the signs of truth ; or particu- speculative science, because it is a lar truths, general truths, useful truths, mere exercise of our intellectual happifying truths, and the signs of power-itself, too, the result of spetruth.
culative reasoning and discussion But, gentlemen, I will be told that upon simple existence, rather as a this is too multiform an abstract of matter of intellectual or moral gratiscience reduced to five chapters, and fication, thax of practical utility. It that the inductive sciences are already is, therefore, purely metaphysical. well divided into natural, mental, mo- But those sciences which treat of the ral; or, to speak more learnedly, into masses of matter that compose the physical, pyscological, and ethical. universe, the structures and relations With all due deference to the men of of all those parts that compose the enlarged and liberal science, I object immense whole, we properly call the to this division as quite indistinct, con- physical sciences, contrasted with the fused, and defective. We have had former, which is properly metaphyphysical and metaphysical sciences, sical. Again, those sciences which natural and moral, speculative and treat of actions with a reference to practical, material and mental, and I utility—as to the construction of all know not how many other classifica- the necessaries and conveniences of tions, all, in my judgment, either too life are properly called mechanical indefinite, too defective, or too con- by the mechanicians of the world. fused. The best of these, perhaps, is Those, however, that contemplate the natural, mental, and moral ; but actions in reference to right, or human do not these most wantonly run into happiness, are called moral, or ethical, each other's territories ? The specific from the earliest ages of philosophy. idea, which is as essential to a science Thus, according to the division now of sciences as to a particular science, contemplated, we would have two is lost-as, for instance, do we not chapters of sciences on things, two find the specific idea of the mental chapters on actions, and one on signs ;
and this is, after all, but the perfection of the universe without some scaffoldof Locke's views.
ing ; for the ideas of quantity, extenThese five chapters of science-sion, magnitude, number, rush upon namely, physics, metaphysics, mecha- us and so completely overwhelm us, nics, ethics, and symbolics, cover the that we set about measuring our earth whole ground of English and Ameri- that we may measure the universe ; can sciences, and are the completion and hence arises, just at this point, of all the improvements from Locke the science of Geometry, a word indito the present day. The two first cating the measurement of the Earth concern being and truth, or things for we soon discover, with the particular and general ; the next two ancients, that God has made the unicontemplate actions as useful and verse geometrically, by line, scales, good ; and the last one treats of the weight, and
Geometry, signs of all our ideas in every depart- then, although an abstract science, is ment of oůr knowledge. They are, indispensable to the study of Astronoindeed, dependent on one another as my, Geology, or even the Geography much as the intellectual powers of of the Earth. After the Geology of man are dependent on his active or the Earth came its minerals, vegetaaffective powers, and his active powers bles, animals. Each of these become upon his intellectual.
separate and distinct subjects of sciWe shall now briefly notice the prin- ence. Its minerals occupy the precipal sciences that are found under cincts of Mineralogy ; its trees, shrubs, these general heads or classes :- plants, flowers, fruits, constitute the
1. In the science of sciences called science of Botany ; and all animated Physics, or physical sciences, we make beings become the subject”of its Zoseven primary sciences, viz—Astrono- ology. Finally, the elements and simmy, Geology, Geometry, Mineralogy, ple substances, which form all its creaBotany, Zoology, Chemistry. Gen- tions, and of which the terraqueous tlemen, neither approve nor disap- sphere is composed, and all its inhabiprove this division till we have ex- tants, form the substratum of Chemisamined it. Our process of thinking try. Chemistry, indeed, is a system and reasoning in making out this dis- of science in itself, and extends its jutribution is, we think, very natural. risdiction, as a sort of supreme court, It is as follows :-In physics the gene- over all the physical sciences-Georic idea is material nature. We then metry alone excepted. Whatever is proceed to the specific sciences, which not explained or understood in Geare the integral parts of it. This we ology, Mineralogy, Botany, Zoology do in the following manner :-1st. -whatever caput mortuum, whatever We look at the whole universe as residuum these sciences leave, are composed of innumerable masses of within the jurisdiction of Chemistry, matter spread out over infinite space, which has for its rich and extensive moved and moving by certain powers domains the elements, the simple subor laws, and tending to some grand stance, combinations, and use of all result. The science that treats of all the bodies in or upon this terrestrial or these masses and their laws we call terraqueous ball. Like the Germanic Astronomy. Of these systematic Empire, a cluster of principalities, of masses we select one, called the Solar little kingdoms, it is a subgeneric system ; and of that system we again which might count almost seven times select one planet, our Earth. Then seven individual sciences such as the comes, in the second place, the science Science of Light, Caloric, Oxygen, of the composition and organization of Azote, Hydrogen, Carbon, &c. &c.our Earth, called Geology. But we nay, it disputes the ground with what cannot proceed any farther in the study was formerly called “Mental Philo