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infer, not only the particulars already inducted or brought in for examination, but others of which we had no previous knowledge * -to propound this procedure, with, rules for conducting it aright, was the object designed and realized in the Novum Organum; and by which Bacon acquired, and so justly merited, the title of founder or Father of Experimental Philosophy.
In giving to this new method the name of Induction, an old scholastic term, well known to Plato and his pupil, Aristotle,Bacon was influenced, perhaps, by the consideration that it would induce a more ready reception of his plan; that if the badges of the ancient philosophy were retained, its errors would be sooner abandoned, and that the more readily because there would be no
* See Novum Organum, lib. 1, aph. 19, 82, 103, 104, 105, 106; and see, ante, p. 126,—“All true und fruitful natural philosophy,' &c.
nominal change.* To avoid any ambiguity which might arise from the use of an old term in a new sense, Bacon, in various parts of his writings, cautiously distinguishes his Induction from that of Aristotle's; and
yet some ardent admirers of the Stagirite, misled, perhaps, by the name, and eager to ascribe to their idol every kind of merit, have confidently asserted, that Bacon's induction is identical with the induction of Aristotle. A more erroneous opinion could not have been hazarded. • It is like confounding,' says Dugald Stewart, the Christian Graces with the Graces of Heathen Mythology.'
“The induction,' observes Bacon, of which the logicians speak of, and which seemeth familiar with Plato, (whereby the principles of sciences may be pretended to be invented, and so the middle propositions
* See, however, Bacon's own observations on this subject.-Works, vol. 2, p. 132, and vol. 9, p. 163.
+ Dugald Stewart's Philosophy, vol. 2, p. 363.
by the derivation from the principles;) their form of induction, I say, is utterly vicious and incompetent: wherein their error is the fouler, because it is the duty of art to perfect and exalt nature; but they contrariwise have wronged, abused, and traduced nature. For to conclude upon an enumeration of particulars without instance contradictory, is no conclusion, but a conjecture; for who can assure, in many subjects, upon those particulars which appear of a side, that there are not others on the contrary side which appear not? As if Samuel should have rested upon those sons of Jesse which were brought before him, and failed of David, which was in field. And this form, to say truth, is so gross, as it had not been possible for wits so subtile as have managed these things to have offered it to the world, but that they hasted to their theories and dogmaticals, and were imperious and scornful towards particulars; which their manner was to use but as lictores et viatores," for sarjeants and whifflers, Admitting that experience, (which is the result either of observation or experiment,) is the only source of our knowledge of nature, still, before we can rightly interpret its phenomena, we must rid the mind of those prejudices which, like a false or uneven mirror, are apt to distort the truth. The mind of man,' says Bacon, is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered or reduced.'* Before the time of Bacon, no attempt had been made to detect and enumerate these prejudices or biases of the mind; and it was left for the great restorer of true philosophy to undertake so useful a task. This he accomplished in the first book of the Novum Organum, giving to these prejudices the significant name of idols of the under
standing: because, like false divinities, they have withdrawn men from the worship of Truth.
These prejudices or idols are divided by Bacon into four classes, which he denominates Idola Tribus; Idola Specus; Idola Fori; and Idola Theatri: i. e., Idols of the Tribe, the Den, the Forum, and the Theatre.
1. The Idols of the Tribe are those prejudices which are inherent in human nature. Among these may be reckoned that disposition
among men to assume the existence of a greater degree of order and uniformity in nature than experience is, in fact, found to justify; and thus when any thing inconsistent with this notion presents itself, it is either tortured, as it were, into reconcilement, or explained away. Thus, for example, as soon as the French geologists (MM. Cuvier and Brongniart) had accurately examined and described the tertiary strata of the Paris basin, an attempt was made to trace the