Top custom essays
When the asteroids were first discovered, an ESSAY I. Strange as this a planet, hypothesis was, it was generally adopted by philo- sophers, and even calculations were entered into to assign the place at which this marvellous catastrophe took place, and the directions followed by the frag- ments. But if we simply asked what analogy have we for such an event, when has a planet ever been known to burst? Unity of In a similar spirit, without any more disparage- composition in physi- ment to the great name of Cuvier than to that of ology. Newton, it has been a subject of complaint on the part of a large and increasing school of physiologists, that a too prevalent devotion to the teleological me- thods which he so peculiarly supported, and which derived so undue a preponderance from the authority of his name, has been a great hindrance to the pro- gress of the more extended views opened by the higher principle of ff unity of composition " advo- cated by the school of Greoffry de St.
Hilaire, which Cuvier so strenuously opposed, and which the influ- ence of his name was long so potent unduly to repress. And it was accordingly as a sort of paradox that Professor Stokes ventured to announce his im- portant discovery of a change of refrangibility, which affords the key to so wide a range of curious phe- nomena of light, including and generalising the singular results before obtained by Sir J. The higher and wider extension of analogy and slow pro- gress of ge- generalisation is not effected at once and at first, neraiisa- tion. Even when many classes of facts have been successfully made out, it requires time, and the appearance of some genius of more rare original power, to indicate at once a comprehensive theo- retical principle by top custom essays striking out some general con- G 4 88 UNIFORMITY OF NATURE.
Great prin- And even when they are proposed, such more ciples re- luctantly elevated views are not at once appreciated or under- adopted. Dislike of Some very eminent men of science have been theorising. Yet, men of the most comprehensive minds are the most ready to admit the value of such speculative top custom essays ideas if well formed. The curious, the inquiring spirit of man must be suffered to make excursions,. A beautiful example of this kind of anticipation is Example of Horrocks.
Thus, for example, the nebular hypothesis of the Nebular theory. Such a disturbance could not occur from the action of any existing planetary attraction : but, in the state of nebulosity, it is far from impossible to conceive some action of the kind among the multitude of conflicting forces then acting. No sound philosopher doubts that the top custom essays effect was due to some regular cause : the nebular hypothesis may serve to suggest that the conception of such a cause is not wholly beyond the limits of physical analogy. The progress of physical discovery may, it is true, Difficulties ,. But the inquirer, truly imbued with inductive prin- ciples, will not despond. Lesser diffi- There is one grand maxim of pre-eminent value cutties not to hinder in philosophic inquiry generally, and which finds a reception of great prin- peculiar application under such circumstances as ciples.
The anomaly that water is at its greatest density at about 40 F. Yet no truly inductive philosopher for a moment doubts that it is really a part and consequence of some higher law of which the ordinary law of ex- pansion is a part. Indeed, Berthollet has speculated on the subject, so far, at least, as to maintain that the cause, whatever it be, which produces crystallisation, is in operation in expanding the water before the crystals of ice are actually formed, and which are specifically much lighter than the water.
Other suggestions of a theoretical kind have also been made : but, at any rate, we see enough to show that the phenomenon is not one of necessity out- standing all explanation, and that it very probably will ere long be brought under the dominion of theory.
Principle of The system of inductive reasoning in its full ex- uniformity throughout tent essentially involves the conviction of the universal nature the essence of and permanent uniformity of nature. Not an in- And we may remark that this idea, in its proper tuitive or natural be- extent, is by no means one of popular acceptance or lief. And it should top custom essays be observed that each class of per- commonly doubted or sons, in admitting this belief within the limited range denied be- yond nar- of his own experience, though he doubt or deny it in row limits. Nor, again, is it only among the most ignorant that this limitation is put upon the truth.
The precise doctrine of the generalisation of this idea of the uniformity of nature, so far from being obvious, natural, or intuitive, is utterly beyond the attainment of the many. In all the extent of its uni- versality it is characteristic of the philosopher. It is clearly the result of philosophic cultivation and train- ing, and by no means the spontaneous offspring of any primary principle naturally inherent in the mind, as some seem to believe. It is not attained without deep study and reflection. The best-informed philosopher is the man who most firmly believes it, even in opposition to received notions : its acceptance depends on the extent and profoundness of his inductive studies. Throughout the range which science opens to us we find the several classes and orders of phenomena defined by laws of increasing generality, and thus intimately connected and bound together, so that ESSAY I.