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its most extended sense. Yet it appeared convenient to carry on the history of Science, so far as it depends on Observation, in a line separate from these discussions concerning Ideas. The account of these discussions and the consequent controversies, therefore, though it be thoroughly historical, and, as appears to me, a very curious and interesting history, is reserved for the other work, the Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. Such a history has, in truth, its natural place in the Philosophy of Science; for the Philosophy of Science at the present day must contain the result and summing up of all the truth which has been disentangled from error and confusion during these past controversies.
I have made a few Additions to the present Edition ; partly, with a view of bringing up the history, at least of some of the Sciences, to the present time, so far as those larger features of the History of Science are concerned, with which alone I have here to deal,—and partly also, especially in the First Volume, in order to rectify and enlarge some of the earlier portions of the history. Several works which have recently appeared suggested reconsideration of various points; and I hoped that my readers might be interested in the reflections so suggested.
I will add a few sentences from the Preface to the First Edition.
“As will easily be supposed, I have borrowed largely from other writers, both of the histories of special sciences and of philosophy in general. I have done this without
Among these, I may mention as works to which I have peculiar obligations, Tennemann's Geschichte der Philosophie; Degerando's Histoire Comparée des Systèmes de Philosophie; Montucla's Histoire des Mathématiques, with Delalande's continuation of it; Delambre's Astronomie Ancienne, Astronomie du Moyen Age, Astronomie Moderne, and Astronomie du Dix-huitième Siècle; Bailly's Histoire d'Astronomie Ancienne, and Histoire d'Astronomie Moderne ; Voiron's Histoire
scruple, since the novelty of my work was intended to consist, not in its superiority as a collection of facts, but in the point of view in which the facts were placed. I have, however, in all cases, given references to my authorities, and there are very few instances in which I have not verified the references of previous historians, and studied the original authors. According to the plan which I have pursued, the history of each science forms a whole in itself, divided into distinct but connected members, by the Epochs of its successive advances. If I have satisfied the competent judges in each science by my selection of such epochs, the scheme of the work must be of permanent value, however imperfect may be the execution of any of its portions.
“With all these grounds of hope, it is still impossible not to see that such an undertaking is, in no small degree, arduous, and its event obscure. But all who venture upon such tasks must gather trust and encouragement from reflections like those by which their great forerunner prepared himself for his endeavors ;-by recollecting that they are aiming to advance the best interests and privileges of man; and that they may expect all the best and wisest of men to join them in their aspirations and to aid them in their labors.
“Concerning ourselves we speak not; but as touching the matter which we have in hand, this we ask;—that men deem it not to be the setting up of an Opinion, but the performing of a Work; and that they receive this as a certainty—that we are not laying the foundations of any sect or doctrine, but of the profit and dignity of mankind :-Furthermore, that being well disposed to what shall advantage themselves, and putting off factions and prejudices, they take common counsel with us, to the end that being by these our aids and appliances freed and defended from wanderings and impediments, they may lend their hands also to the labors which remain to be performed :—And yet, further, that they be of good hope; neither feign and imagine to themselves this our Reform as something of infinite dimension and beyond the grasp of mortal man, when, in truth, it is, of infinite error, the end and true limit; and is by no means unmindful of the condition of mortality and humanity, not confiding that such a thing can be carried to its perfect close in the space of one single day, but assigning it as a task to a succession of generations.'-BACON-INSTAURATIO MAGNA, Præf. ad fin.
d'Astronomie (published as a continuation of Bailly), Fischer's Geschichte der Physik, Gmelin's Geschichte der Chemie, Thomson's History of Chemistry, Sprengel's History of Medicine, his History of Botany, and in all branches of Natural History and Physiology, Cuvier's works; in their historical, as in all other portions, most admirable and instructive.
“If there be any man who has it at heart, not merely to take his stand on what has already been discovered, but to profit by that, and to go on to something beyond ;—not to conquer an adversary by disputing, but to conquer nature by working ;—not to opine probably and prettily, but to know certainly and demonstrably ;-let such, as being true sons of nature (if they will consent to do so), join themselves to us; so that, leaving the porch of nature which endless multitudes have so long trod, we may at last open a way to the inner courts. And that we may mark the two ways, that old one, and our new one, by familiar names, we have been wont to call the one the Anticipation of the Mind, the other, the Interpretation of Nature.”—Inst. Mag. Præf. ad Part. ii.