Imágenes de página

him the following heap of words, in praise of what he considers as a national classification of the sciences.'

•The classification of human knowledge, and nomenclature of the sciences, inade by Mr. Jefferson, of Virginia, was indeed the earliest after that of the reverend Dr. Johnson, of Connecticut; and yet, from very peculiar circumstances, will, in this review, be examined last. At the time of its formation, it was the act of an individual, the subject of an European monarch, and the community of which he was a member scarcely emerged from its embriotic and colonial stage. Now, it is the system of a nation; a great nation; a nation which has, successfully, fought the autocratic, and the andrapodistic wars; a free nation, in which that very individual, a free man, has honourably fulfilled the most dignified and awful office of free laws.' p. 208.

Nor is Mr. Jefferson the only person who has been stilted on the bombastic sublimity of our author. Almost every individual, learned or unlearned, with whom he has held intercourse is assigned an appropriate niche in the temple of science.' Hear, for example, what Dr. Mason, of New York has been doing. * Before his energetic criticism every vestige of dubiety was dissipated, like the matinal mist by the orient sun.' In two instances the climax is so far above the clouds, that weak mortals, wanting faith in his unseen things, will say he has written nonsense:- And we shall be obliged to any one who will decipher, for instance, the meaning of the sentences which follow.

* Acquired in laborious and painful detail, the discoveries of an individual transcended by a train of successors, the advances of this generation surpassed, by those of subscquent, the language and the science of one nation engrafted upon those of others, the vast and variegated attainments of modern times accumulated upon those of ancient ages; to us, of this age, and of this country, knowledge is presented in rich and copious stores, abundant in materials, defective, principally, in arrangement.' p. 10.

• The earliest epoch from which it is possible to institute a comparison of the attainments of the human mind, connected with the æra which has been assigned, is, as regards the anterior, and even the antediluvian, inhabitants of the world. p. 29.

This is the way in which our author has contrived to fill up all these three hundred and seventy-one pages. He must needs tell us the precise dates of his visits to Monticello,—and what was thought of the various parts of his system, by the different individuals with whom he had occasion to converse. Nothing, indeed, which can have the most distant reference to his work is permitted to escape unnoticed; and if, fortunately for readers and reviewers, the supreme court of Michigan territory

had not interrupted his labours, we know not but judge Woodward would have been writing quartos till this time. Such books are nothing to him. He composes a volume as he fills up an official document. The sciences were found to be inaccurately classified; and the judge just sits down and pens a writ of error in three hundred and seventy-one pages quarto.

• Do give us next an epigram

In twenty pages folio." We have only one more observation to make on the composition of this volume. Much obscurity is occasioned by the new mode of punctuation, which our author has instituted. The comma and semicolon abound; but the colon has been banished. The semicolon is uniformly introduced in places which require either the comma, or no point at all; for in almost every instance it is used to divide the predicate from the subject. One or two examples will suffice. He says, the intellectual class would comprehend; the human mind, the minds of brutes, the supreme or divine mind, and metaphysics. Metaphysical science is composed of; politics, jurisprudence, ethics, and pneumatology.' p. 178. • The New York philosophical society, judiciously selected, for its first president, Clinton; the pride of the Eboracensian Republic.' p. 211. Reader, or as the judge would say, (p. 122) my auditor,' be not dissuaded from studying the Introduction to the System of Universal Science, by these Eboracensian, Euclidian, and Cullenian adjectives; for we have now done with his onomatopæism:' and shall proceed to consider the more substantial contents of the work.

Mr. Woodward and his printer in conjunction have given us one of the most elegant books in the world; and we know . not that it contains one typographical error. The matter it contains is interesting; and the author deserves, on many accounts, no ordinary degree of praise. He narrates, with candour, what has been done before his day, in the classification of the sciences; and with the exception of too great partiality for a few of his cotemporaries, we believe his history of the rise and progress of science to be correct. He is concise; and generally, perspicuous. We could not trace his course without republishing the greater part of his performance.

The second thing attempted in this volume is to develop, in a systematic order, his own arrangement of the sciences; and to introduce, from the Greek, a new and classical nomenclature, which may be ingrafted, without variation, into every modern language. In this important work, we hesitate not to affirm, that he has accomplished more than all the literary men who have preceded him. Generally speaking, the new names which he has given, appear well when written, and are

pleasant to the ear when spoken. Had he presented in company with those which already appear, the synonymic' tables, to which he refers his readers before they are informed that he intends to publish any, his nomenclature would, perhaps, have speedily become popular. At present, none but those who are acquainted with the Greek language can be expected to understand it. But to come more immediately to his system and nomenclature. He uses the word epistemia, to denote a specific department of human knowledge, commonly called a particular science. By encatholepistemia' he means

a system of universal science. The name of every epistemia is to terminate in ia; but a department of science which may be called generic, because it contains several species of epistemia, is to bear some' vocable' (or word, 'my auditor,') which shall end in ica. The subdivision of an epistemia is to receive some name ending in logia; and the division of a subdivision, a word ending in graphia. Universal science he divides into three Provinces, six Classes, and eighteen Orders. These eighteen Orders then produce sixty-four Epistemia. “All human science (says he) must have relation either to matter, or to matter in union with mind, or to mind.' p. 248. Hylica is his name for matter; hylennoeica for matter and mind in union, and ennoeica for mind. These are his three Provinces of science. But here an objection arises,—that the names of his provinces are the names of the objects of science, and not of the sciences themselves. Matter is not a science; but the knowledge which the mind has of matter is science. The same is true of mind, and of matter and mind in union. A system of universal science should branch out,—not into created beings,—but into provinces, classes, orders, and species. Every part of the chart which follows the name of encatholepistemia should be a ramification of universal science. Our author himself was apparently so sensible of this truth, that in his second table he expunges hylica and hylennoeica to make room for hetærica and æsthetica, which are names of artificial distinctions between auxiliary, and principal, sciences.

Having ascertained the Provinces of science, he proceeds to educe his generic and specific sciences, in such a manner as he thinks a being would instantaneously coming into existence, with all the human faculties in their full perfection, but yet unacquainted with the objects of the material universe. Present material objects to such a being, he says, and the mind will perform certain abstractions. The first abstraction is that of number. The idea of number (continues he) never could have entered into a human mind, but by the actual presentation of material objects to its observation. This idea of number,' he tells us, may be considered the base of all human science. It is that indispensable foundation, which being removed, the whole superstructure falls.'

Here the truth forces from us the remark, that Mr. Woodward appears to be less acquainted with the philosophy of the human mind, than with any other science. The wisest men of the present age have abundantly proved, that there are no abstract ideas in the human mind. The Creator has given us the faculty of conception, as well as that of perception; so that he who can perceive one body, may conceive of another like it, and of the meaning of the words two, ten, or twenty. It is not true that the idea of number never could have entered into a human mind but by the actual presentation of material objects to its observation;' for it is as easy, to conceive of two things that think, as of two things that do not think. Were a human being instantaneously created, as he supposes, with all the mental faculties complete, he might, without ever having perceived matter, be conscious of an act of judgment now-remember a similar act of judgment already past,—and then conceive of the meaning of two judgments.

We like the classification of the judge, better than his method of accounting for the operations of the human mind in .systematization.' The generic science which springs from our knowledge of number he calls mathematica; which he confesses to be an objectionable term, because it signifies something learned, and is equally applicable to every science which is acquired by attendance on instruction. The class of mathematica, or the science of mathematics, is divided into two orders,-arithmetica, the science of number,—and geometrica, the science of number applied to space. For our conception of space he attempts to account, as he did for that of number, by the doctrine of abstract ideas. Arithmetica generates two epistemia,-called arithmia and analysia; the first of which includes common arithmetic and logarithms, and the last algebra and fluxions. Geometrica contains the three epistemia of geometria, g'oniametria, and ancylometria; answering to geometry, trigonometry, and spherical trigonometry; or the mensuration of space in general, of angles,

and of curves. Again, the province of matter originates the class called physica, or physical science; which affords the four orders of physiognostica, physiosophica, uranica, and chymica; answering respectively to natural history, or that which is perceived of physics,—to natural philosophy, or the knowledge of physical properties and operations,—to the science of the heavenly bodies,—and to chymistry. Physiognostica produces the specific sciences of geog‘nosia, or geology; of oryctognosia, or mineralogy; of phytognosia, or botany; and of zoognosia, zoology. Physiosophica is an order containing six epistemia; to wit, stereosophia, hydrosophia, ærosophia, photosophia, electrosophia, and magnetosophia; which answer respectively to the science of solids—of water-of air-flight—ofelectricity-and of magnetism. Galvinism he deems a subdivision only of electricity. The orders uranica and chymica,—have each one epistemia-called astronomia and chymia, -answering to astronomy and chymistry. To these two last orders the objection arises, that they are made generic sciences, and yet contain each only one specific science; which is nothing less than to bestow two names upon the same thing. There may be individual things which do not admit the application of these relative terms; but where different species, or specific differences are found there must be a genus; and a genus should include specific differences; otherwise, as in the case before us, a distinction is made where there is no reason for it. Besides, the science of astronomy naturally belongs to the order ofgeometrica, and should follow ancylometria, because it consists principally in the application of spherical trigonometry to the heavenly bodies. Chymia also naturally takes rank with the epistemia belonging to the order of physiosophica; which treats of the properties and operations of matter acting upon matter.

Our author's second Province, hylennoeica, is divided into three classes, -anthropoglossica, anthropodynamica, and diegetica; which respectively correspond with the sciences relating ( human speech, to human power, and to narration. Anthropoglossica is divided into the three orders of grammatica, dialectica, and callilogica; which signify the sciences that are founded upon letters, upon dialectics, and upon belles-lettres. The epistemia, deduced from the order grammatica, are grammatia, and anthropoglossia-or grammar, and human language: from the order dialectica, logiotetia, and rhetoria,-or logic and rhetoric; and from callilogica, callilogia, poesia, euphradia, and diacrisia; which in English are fine writing, poetry, fine speaking, and criticism. Euphradia ought not to be made a specific science, because it is a branch of rhetoric. The principles of rhetoric are merely general observations, or rules, obtained by analysis, to regulate fine speaking. It is immaterial whether the speech be written or not. It is worthy of remark, that lexicography, which is of superior importance to many of these epistemia, has no place in the table. The author confesses, it is another defect in the system, that callilogia has the termination of logia; which has been allotted to the first department of science inferior to an epistemia. He might have assumed the word negos sermo, stilus, instead of dogos, sermo; and then by using the

« AnteriorContinuar »