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The first thing that arrests the eye of the phrenologist in the likeness of Bacon, is the extraordinary size of the head; and next, the great mass of brain which lies in the region of the intellectual faculties. Both the perceptive and reasoning organs are wonderfully developed. In the portraits of philosophers and other distinguished men, it is not unusual to find either large Comparison and Causality, or uncommon perception, but it is exceedingly rare that we see, as in this instance, both compartments of the forehead full, wide, and deep. This is that happy combination with which we as seldom meet, as with the master minds who are indebted to it for their greatness. It is the organisation that marks the universal genius, and may be observed to some extent in the likenesses of Shakspeare and the admirable Crichton. It is the very head the phrenologist would conceive, à priori, as best fitted to contain the capacious mind of Bacon, the ripe scholar, the profound lawyer, and father of the inductive philosophy. His most active organs were, probably, Individuality, Language, Comparison, and Causality. A greater or more harmonious developement of all these faculties has never, perhaps, been seen. In the head of the distinguished German philosopher, Kant, we find extraordinary reflective intellect, but only moderate perception, and he was the greatest abstract thinker of his age. In that of Newton, wonderful perceptive faculties and good Causality and Comparison. In Bacon, all these organs unite and blend in harmonious proportions. Both observation and thought would here be vivid, clear, rapid, and comprehensive.
To a mind thus prodigally endowed, simple facts would not appear alone, or in an insulated light, but all their relations and remote
connections be seized almost at a glance. Perception and reflection would act harmoniously, the premises immediately suggest the conclusion, and the most intricate processes of thought be evolved with a clear celerity approaching intuition. In its profound speculations, so gifted an intelligence would neither incline too much to the practical or theoretical-neither despise the real importance of facts in philosophy, nor overrate their value-neither sink altogether into mere details, nor soar into transcendentalism. From the great size of the head as a whole, from the general developement, the favourable temperament, and the habitual mental exercise, the phrenologist is constrained, by the principles of his science, to infer that Bacon must have been one of those rare examples of almost universal genius of which the annals of history do not, perhaps, present a dozen instances. In this wonderful man, all the conditions of phrenology meet, all its requirements are fulfilled, and of course there is no chance for the slightest equivocation. He was therefore great and profound on all subjects to which he directed bis gigantic energies, or the new scheme of mental science is little better than its predecessors, and must be abandoned as a dream, an ingenious theory, shadowy, and unsubstantial as the metaphysics of the schools. It is our purpose to show, by something better than declamation, or mere assertion, that phrenology sustains itself nobly in this severe test, and passes the ordeal in triumph.
We present Bacon to our readers in the threefold character of philosopher, lawyer, and orator; and in each shall show that he was eminent, and in two of them pre-eminent, in an age singularly distinguished for intellectual cxcellence. His claims to be esteemed the most profound philosopher of his day are now so seldom questioned, and the vast benefits which science has derived from adhering to the inductive system are so generally admitted, that any attempt to enlarge upon the peculiar merits of the Novum Organum Scientiarum, may perhaps appear to some entirely useless and supererogatory. But as an intimate knowledge of the merits of that great work are chiefly confined to the cultivators of science, and as it is comparatively little known to the general reader, we have thought that a few remarks upon this subject would not be out of place. In an able and learned lecture, delivered before the Manchester Phrenolo. gical Society, at the opening of the session, October 6th, 1835, by Daniel Noble, member of the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the superiority of the Baconian over all preceding systems is so clearly shown, as well as its harmony with the phrenological method of investigation, that we preser availing ourselves of some extracts from that production, instead of presenting to our readers an outline of the Novum Organum, which we had ourselves prepared for this article. After a few appropriate remarks upon the advancement of true science in the last two hundred years, he thus proceeds :
Before the true nature of the Baconian method can be properly appreciated, it becomes necessary to say a few words relative to the philosophy which formerly prevailed. In remote ages, and down to a very recent period, philosophers, in exercising their intellectual powers in the investigation of scientific truths, devoted themselves almost exclusively to the cultivation of their reasoning or reflective faculties, and this, in most cases, to the complete neglect of the powers of observation; and hence, when they applied themselves to the solution of any problem in physics or in metaphysics, they would run lightly over in their minds the few facts which accident, rather than design, had made them acquainted with ; then, by the conception of some false analogy, they would invent a theory, and ultimately fashion their few facts to a fancied accordance with this theory, rather than modify the latter so as to agree with the facts. In this most imperfect and fallacious method was the human intellect exer. cised for centuries; general axioms being directly raised from a few ill-digested particulars; and these being rested upon as unshaken truths, intermediate axioms were attempted to be discovered from them, while facts in opposition, when absolutely forced upon the attention, were distorted and misinterpreted, so as to accord with preconceived notions, or they were rejected altogether :--it was declared that the illusive subtle character of the senses rendered them unsafe and incomplete helps to the human intellect; that the only sure guide to man was that exalted faculty which so nobly distinguished him from the rest of the visible creation, the reasoning faculty ; that the senses were only to be regarded as the servants of the intellect; and that, as a theory was more particularly the offspring of reason, and the perception of a fact only that of sense, the daughters of sense must, with all submission, yield in humble pros. tration to the majesty of the daughter of reason. It was even held that an observation of nature should be doubted, rather than a theory of the human reason. Thus when there arose a philosopher of great intellectual strength, who, having taken a superficial survey
a of almost the whole range of science, invented numberless theories fallacious as plausible, and fashioned a comparatively small number of facts into a fancied accordance with these theories, the whole world was in admiration, and stood captivated by the charm; and thus, for at least two thousand years, the real advancement of science was entirely suspended, and philosopher and the multitude bowed alike with submission to the all but infallible authority of the mighty Aristotle!
When men like Galileo or Copernicus advanced their new doctrines, they were tested by an appeal not to nature, but to the works of the Grecian philosopher! In such a state of things the natural powers of mankind could not have their legitimate direction; and we find that the philosophy of the middle and more remote ages was almost altogether of the professorial and disputatious kind, a method utterly unfit for the investigation of truth.
The method of investigating nature by the previous formation of a general theory, Lord Bacon calls the anticipation of nature, and this he designates as rash and hasty, and as utterly inconsistent with natural ordinance; and the intellect, being duly exercised upon objects, he emphatically styles the interpretation of nature. And yet, when all these things are duly considered, it will not excite our surprise that mankind should for centuries have chosen to anticipate rather than to interpret nature, especially when we take into account the corresponding views which the metaphysicians took of the human mind itself. This, the grand instrument for obtaining, and reservoir for receiving, the possessions of all science, was almost universally regarded as though it existed only uithin, and not united to, the body; its dependence in this life upon organisation was but rarely hinted at; and to a great extent it was considered that the mind is first formed with certain fundamental notions of general principles, independent of all experience, or of knowledge gained by the senses : and hence, with such a preliminary view of the constitution of the thinking principle, it need excite no surprise that philosophers should have delighted to reflect upon, speculate from, and attempt to trace out, their general notions; and that, with their magnificent views and ideas of the etherial transcendency of spirit, and the innate grossness of matter, they should have disdained, humbly, patiently, and unostentatiously to observe nature, and collect facts, applying the bridle, rather than the spur, to the bepraised and much vaunted faculty of reason.
It was reserved for the illustrious Bacon to dissipate and disperse this false system of philosophy. He it was, who, by an acuteness of perception and magnitude of judgment which have never been surpassed, and but rarely equaled, had not only the penetration to dctect the causes of error and retardation in the labours of his predecessors, but also the sagacity at once, and unaided, to perceive the grounds on which a true interpretation of nature could alone be established. And it may with certainty be affirmed, that, although the discovery of printing must be allowed to have originally given the renewed momentum to the mental energies and labours of mankind, still the present condition of the sciences, as conducing to human
civilisation and improvement, is in a great measure owing to the proponnding of Lord Bacon's new method of investigating the laws of nature, as systematically laid down and explained in his “ Novum Organum Scientiarum." It is by the application of these doctrines, which have a true foundation in the nature of things, that every practical improvement in the arts and sciences has been achieved; and if one branch of science more than another may be regarded as the result of the application of the Baconian axioms, phrenology is most indubitably that branch, formed as it is on the sure basis of the inductive philosophy. The laws of the human mind in relation to external nature, the wonderful intellectual powers of Bacon had at once the grasp to comprehend; and when we observe (the mind itself having become a matter of science) how beautifully the method of induction, as laid down by Bacon, accords with the observed laws and aptitude of the human intellect, as demonstrated by phrenology, our wonder and admiration for the man who, unaided by phrenology, could do so much, need scarcely recognise any limits--so fine an example of the grandeur of the human intellect, in its most exalted condition, did this truly great man present, and so perseveringly and effectually to the improvement of the human race were his mighty energies applied.
We will now attempt, in a very few words, to give a general notion of the inductive philosophy, as propounded in the “Novum Organum Scientiarum.” It is there laid down that, before an axiom is established, all the facts relative to any given subject, which can be collected, must be brought together, and every affirmation which they imply, embodied in a general proposition; that such parts of the proposition as individual facts in the series are found to negative, must be removed, and what is left as constantly affirmed, must be received as an axiom formed by experience, itself the director in the contriving of new experiments; and as, in the progress of experiment, some circumstance may transpire invalidating certain points of the axiom, so must it be modified as to recognise the exception. As an example, suppose the subject of inquiry to be the effect of cold, or deprivation of heat, upon the dimensions of liquid substances: let us suppose the collection of all the previously observed facts, and what is the general affirmation left, after a moderately inquisitorial examination of the series? This proposition may be supposed to stand as the axiom to lead to new observations—As heat is with. drawn from liquids, their dimensions decrease. This, then, is taken as the guide to further experiments; and in the progress of these, it is found that, whilst water obeys the supposed general law until the reduction of temperature is brought to 40° Fahrenheit, on its arrival