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ceptual, not real) ex lege," which is the Form.1 Elsewhere he calls it, with an echo of the Arabic Aristotelians, "fons emanationis," that from which the thing flows; again, it is "res ipsissima."2 In another passage it is " vera differentia";2 again, it is the "natura naturans '—a phrase used by some of the scholiasts, by Bruno, and afterwards by Spinoza-and the "causa immanens." It is "interius and 66 existens," as opposed to "exterius " and "apparens," the hidden nature elicited from the concrete manifestation, the spring of the unseen operations of the latent process bodies in motion, or the ground of the configuration of bodies at rest. A clearer view is presented in the definition (Novum Organum,' ii. 1), "Natura alia quæ sit cum naturâ datâ convertibilis et tamen sit limitatio naturæ notioris," elsewhere called "magis communis." Bacon seems to mean that the elements of complex bodies may in their turn be further resolved. The form nature and the phenomenal nature are present always in a fixed proportion: we have to reach the one through the other, breaking down the less known species into a better known genus and difference. Thus, Heat is re
1 The interjected comments are slightly condensed from those of Mr Ellis, who makes the remark about Realism: but elsewhere the same critic observes that, in reference to another aspect of his Forms, Bacon was himself inconsistently "led astray by a sort of Realism, which held that the objects of our thoughts may be regarded as an assemblage of abstract conceptions (notiones) really residing in the objects as essential qualities, whereas we can never analyse or exhaust the forms they may assume."
2 Those two expressions are not logically reconcilable, as "the very thing" is the genus + the differentia; but Bacon dwells on the latter as the more important.
solved into Motion 1 (magis communis) + a kind of expansion; whiteness into the mixture of transparent bodies + a special arrangement of their particles. This analysis, in his belief, not only adds to our knowledge but to our power; for, although nature is herself the agent and plays her own cards, we can shuffle them so as to determine the result. Arrangement with Bacon is, as with Pythagoras, almost everything; and it is in our power, when we have availed ourselves of the key, to manipulate the internal structures of things, as in "a sort of microscopic building." When the map is drawn, we may thus reduce all the phenomena of the universe to combinations of simple natures, which we may recombine and superinduce on various substances, as the alchemists thought we could reduce all the elements to one, and so transmute them through their common basis. It may help to make this notion, which cannot from its vagueness be made clear, a little more comprehensible, if we compare Bacon's mode of treating a physical problem with that of the ancient schools and of modern science. Let the question be, What is gold?
1. Plato, though in the later Dialogues he dwelt more on larger and mainly moral themes, might have answered: There is an Idea of gold in the divine mind, of which
1 In the passage quoted from 'De Augmentis,' iii. 4, Bacon mentions voluntary motion" as a thing of which we may find the form, but elsewhere speaks as if motion were one of those "simple natures," into combinations of which he held all the phenomena of the universe might be reduced. We can attach no meaning to the form of a simple nature," which is by definition irresolvable. "Form" can only be understood as the differentia of a simple nature (which is the genus), or as the simple nature itself, plus the differentia; but the decision is perplexed by Bacon's confused classification of qualities and relations.
all special golds are copies: the human mind partially participates in this Idea, and by a process of contemplation may attain to realise it.
2. Aristotle would have answered: There are varieties of gold, but there is something common to all by which we recognise them as such; the τό τι ἂν εἶναι — that which makes each to be so-which, withdrawn, we can no longer concede it to be gold. By comparing the kinds and rejecting everything peculiar to each, that common to all-the logical definition, the metaphysical eidos-remains as the result of a mental analysis.
3. A chemist would take the gold into his laboratory, subject it to a physical analysis, and find that it had certain properties-i.e., was subject to certain laws, and made up of certain elements which he could decompose no further, and which he might be able to put together again or not, according to circumstances.
4. Bacon, by a process of analysis, half mental half physical, discovers that the Turma or congeries known as gold has a certain Schematism-a way in which its "natures," density, softness, colour, &c., are arranged. Find that Schematism and the Forms of these natures, and we may make gold. For, he says in the 'Sylva Sylvarum,' after enumerating the qualities, "if a man can make a metal that has all these properties, dispute whether it be gold or no." But Bacon necessarily failed to find his simple natures: and as, when failing in his search for simple notions, he fell back on the hope of other Inductive processes, so now, finding it impossible to demonstrate his process, he left it incomplete, betook himself to concrete examples in Natural History
Atque opere in medio defixa reliquit aratra."
NATURAL HISTORIES, SYLVA SYLVARUM,' AND
BACON became conscious that the task he had set himself was incapable of completion. His sands were running; the aid of other men, "at home or beyond seas," in the progress of his work, had failed him; and he turned from what was at the outset his chief design,1 the perfection of a new logical machinery, to the accumulation of the material on the fulness of which he now felt discovery must rely. In the 'Distributio Operis,' he still writes as if he hoped to see Part III. of the 'Instauratio' brought near to a close,-Tertia Pars complectitur Phenomena Universi,' and even Part IV. fairly advanced; but, in the General Preface, he admits that it is beyond the compass of a life; and this belief grew on him. During his later years, with restricted means, the limits set to his achievement were narrowed; and, in
1 Mr Ellis's view is supported by the fact that Bacon, in his earlier works, as the 'Valerius Terminus,' makes hardly any reference to the 'History,' and dwells, almost exclusively, on the 'Interpretation of Nature,' as the centre of his system. Mr Spedding, however, claims that place for a complete classified natural history; and, in a curious dialogue affixed to the 'Parasceve,' argues as if he believed it capable of accomplishment.
the introduction to the 'Natural History' (1622), dedicated to Prince Charles, while giving still greater prominence to the subject, as "the key of all knowledge and operation," he speaks more despondently of the completion of the work he had once held might be accomplished in a few years (as Aristotle's 'History of Animals,' by aid of Alexander): now he can only hope to see started a process of investigation, where one set of persons may collect and another interpret. In the same paper he shows himself more aware of the impossibility of fully demonstrating his Inductive progress, or attaining, by any short cut, the conceptions he admitted to be indispensable; and we find him, in the special introduction to the Organum,' and later in the preface to the 'Prodromi,' attaching more weight to the ordinary methods. He desires to implement, not to destroy, and admits there may be "two streams and dispensations of knowledge," as there are two tribes of students: those without the gates, content to adorn our present possessions; and the true sons of science, who aspire to overcome nature by invention. In the 'Parasceve' he emphasises the importance of facts and their utility in themselves, even though they may not lead us to the ultimate laws imaged in the 'De Augmentis' as the apex of the pyramid: elsewhere he refers to experiments and observations as not only supplying Part III., but being no mean preparation for the types of the 'Scala Intellectus.' Nothing is more characteristic of the unconquerable elasticity that makes
1 Later still he confesses to Fulgentius that it will require the research of ages, but holds that, soon or late, it will be a krîμa eis ǎel, the possession of a Promised Land.