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a subject. The analytic method is by all means to be preferred for the investigation of truth, and, contrary to what Galen and others have advised, even for communicating it to others; since a man can learn that of which he is ignorant, only by means of what is better known, whether he does this himself, or with help of a teacher; the only process being, a notioribus ad minus nota. In this little treatise of Aconcio there seem to be the elements of a sounder philosophy and a more steady direction of the mind to discover the reality of things than belonged to the logic of the age, whether as taught by the Aristotelians or by Ramus. It has not, however, been quoted by Lord Bacon, nor are we sure that he has profited by it.
21. A more celebrated work than this by Aconcio is one by the distinguished scholar, Marius Nizolius, Nizolius on "De Veris Principiis et Vera Ratione Philo- the prinsophandi contra Pseudo-Philosophos. (Parma, philosophy. 1553.) It owes, however, what reputation it possesses to Leibnitz, who reprinted it in 1670, with a very able preface, one of his first contributions to philosophy. The treatise itself, he says, was almost strangled in the birth; and certainly the invectives of Nizolius against the logic and metaphysics of Aristotle could have had little chance of success in a country like Italy, where that authority was more undoubted and durable than in any other. The aim of Nizolius was to set up the best authors of Greece and Rome and the study of philology against the scholastic terminology. But it must be owned that this polite litera
ure was not sufficient for the discovery of truth; nor does the book keep up to the promise of its title, though, by endeavouring to eradicate barbarous sophistry, he may be said to have laboured in the interests of real philosophy. The preface of Leibnitz animadverts on what appeared to him some metaphysical errors of Nizolius, especially an excess of nominalism, which tended to undermine the foundations of certainty, and his presumptuous scorn of Aristotle. His own object was rather to recommend the
z Nizolius maintained that universal terms were only particulars-collectivè sumpta. Leibnitz replies, that they are particulars distributivè sumpta; as, omnis homo est animal means, that every
one man is an animal; not that the genus man, taken collectively, is an animal. Nec vero Nizolii error hic levis est; habet enim magnum aliquid in recessu. Nam si universalia nihil aliud sunt quam с
treatise as a model of philosophical language without barbarism, than to bestow much praise on its philosophy. Brucker has spoken of it rather slightingly, and Buhle with much contempt. I am not prepared by a sufficient study of its contents to pass any judgment; but Buhle's censure has appeared to me somewhat unfair. Dugald Stewart, who was not acquainted with what the latter has said, thinks Nizolius deserving of more commendation than Brucker has assigned to him." He argues against all dialectics, and therefore differs from Ramus; concluding with two propositions as the result of his whole book :-That as many logicians and metaphysicians as are any where found, so many capital enemies of truth will then and there exist; and that, so long as Aristotle shall be supreme in the logic and metaphysics of the schools, so long will error and barbarism reign over the mind. There is nothing very deep or pointed in this summary of his reasoning.
22. The Margarita Antoniana, by Gomez Pereira, published at Medina del Campo in 1554, has been Antoniana of chiefly remembered as the ground of one of the many charges against Des Cartes for appropriating unacknowledged opinions of his predecessors. The book is exceedingly scarce, which has been strangely ascribed to the efforts of Des Cartes to suppress it." There
singularium collectiones, sequitur, scientiam nullam haberi per demonstrationem, quod et infra colligit Nizolius, sed collectionem singularium seu inductionem. Sed ea ratione prorsus evertuntur scientiæ, ac Sceptici vicere. Nam nunquam constitui possunt ea ratione propositiones perfecte universales, quia inductione nunquam certus es, omnia individue a te tentata esse; sed semper intra hanc propositionem subsistes; omnia illa quæ expertus sum sunt talia; cum vero non possit esse ulla ratio universalis, semper manebit possibile innumera quæ tu non sis expertus esse diversa. Hinc jam patet inductionem per se nihil producere, ne certitudinem quidem moralem, sine adminiculo propositionum non ab inductione, sed ratione universali prudentium; nam si essent et adminicula ab inductione, indigerent novis adminiculis, nec haberetur certitudo moralis in infinitum. Sed certitudo moralis ab inductione sperari plane non potest, additis qui
buscunque adminiculis, et propositionem hanc, totum magis esse sua parte, sola inductione nunquam perfecte sciemus. Mox enim prodibit, qui negabit ob peculiarem quondam rationem in aliis nondum tentatis veram esse, quemadmodum ex facto scimus Gregorium a Sancto Vincentio negasse totum esse majus sua parte, in angulis saltem contactûs, alios in infinito; et Thomam Hobbes (at quem virum !) cœpisse dubitare de propositione illa geometrica a Pythagora demonstrata, et hecatombæ sacrificio digna habita; quod ego non sine stupore legi. This extract is not very much to the purpose of the text, but it may please some of those who take an interest in such speculations.
Dissertation on Progress of Philosophy, p. 38.
b Biogr. Univ. Brunet, Manuel du Libraire. Bayle has a long article on Pereira, but though he says the book had been shown to him, he wanted probably the opportunity to read much of it.
is, however, a copy of the original edition in the British Museum, and it has been reprinted in Spain. It was an unhappy theft, if theft it were; for what Pereira maintained was precisely the most untenable proposition of the great French philosopher- the absence of sensation in brutes. Pereira argues against this with an extraordinary disregard of common phænomena, on the assumption of certain maxims which cannot be true, if they contradict inferences from our observation far more convincing than themselves. We find him give a curious reason for denying that we can infer the sensibility of brutes from their outward actions: namely, that this would prove too much, and lead us to believe them rational beings; instancing among other stories, true or false, of apparent sagacity, the dog in pursuit of a hare, who, coming where two roads. meet, if he traces no scent on the first, takes the other without trial. Pereira is a rejecter of Aristotelian despotism; and observes that in matters of speculation and not of faith, no authority is to be respected. Notwithstanding this assertion of freedom, he seems to be wholly enchained by the metaphysics of the schools: nor should I have thought the book worthy of notice, but for its scarcity and the circumstance above mentioned about Des Cartes.
23. These are, as far as I know, the only works deserving of commemoration in the history of speculative philosophy. A few might easily be inserted from the catalogues of libraries, or from biographical collections, as well as from the learned labours of Morhof, Brucker, Tennemann, and Buhle. It is also not to be doubted, that in treatises of a different character, theological, moral, or medical, very many passages, worthy of remembrance for their truth, their ingenuity, or originality, might be discovered, that bear upon the best methods of reasoning, the philosophy of the human mind, the theory of natural religion, or the general system of the material world.
According to Brunet, several copies have been sold in France, some of them at no great price. The later edition, of 1749, is of course cheaper.
Fol. 18. This is continually told
of dogs; but does any sensible sportsman confirm it by his own experience? I ask for information only.
d Fol. 4.
24. We should not, however, conclude this chapter without adverting to the dialectical method of Ramus, whom we left at the middle of the century, struggling against all the arms of orthodox logic in the university of Paris. The reign of Henry II. was more propitious to him than that of Francis. In 1551, through the patronage of the Cardinal of Lorraine, Ramus became royal professor of rhetoric and philosophy; and his new system, which, as has been mentioned, comprehended much that was important in the art of rhetoric, began to make numerous proselytes. Omer Talon, known for a treatise. on eloquence, was among the most ardent of these; and to him we owe our most authentic account of the contest of Ramus with the Sorbonne. The latter were not conciliated, of course, by the success of their adversary; and Ramus having adhered to the Huguenot party in the civil feuds of France, it has been ascribed to the malignity of one of his philosophical opponents that he perished in the massacre of St. Bartholomew. He had, however, already, by personally travelling and teaching in Germany, spread the knowledge of his system over that country. It was received in some of the German universities with great favour, notwithstanding the influence which Melanchthon's name retained, and which had been entirely thrown into the scale of Aristotle. The Ramists and Anti-Ramists contended in books of logic through the rest of this century, as well as afterwards; but this was the principal period of Ramus's glory. In Italy he had few disciples; but France, England, and still more Scotland and Germany, were full of them. Andrew Melville introduced the logic of Ramus at Glasgow. It was resisted for some time at St. Andrew's, but ultimately became popular in all the Scottish universities. Scarce any eminent public school, says Brucker, can be named, in which the Ramists were not teachers. They encountered an equally zealous militia under the Aristotelian standard; while some, with the spirit of compromise, which always takes possession of a few minds, though it is rarely very successful, endeavoured to unite the two methods, which in fact do not seem essentially exclusive
M'Crie's Life of Melville, ii. 306.
of each other. It cannot be required of me to give an account of books so totally forgotten and so uninteresting in their subjects as these dialectical treatises on either side. The importance of Ramus in philosophical history is not so much founded on his own deserts, as on the effect he produced in loosening the fetters of inveterate prejudice, and thus preparing the way, like many others of his generation, for those who were to be the restorers of genuine philosophy."
Brucker, v. 576. Buhle, ii. 601.