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INQUISITIO LEGITIMA DE MOTU.
By the last paragraph of the Cogitata et Visa we learn that that work was intended for a preface to certain "Tables of Discovery, or Formulæ of Legitimate Investigation,” which were to be set forth in a few subjects as a specimen of the work in hand. Ante omnia visum est ei Tabulas Inveniendi sive legitimæ inquisitionis formulas, hoc est materiem particularium ad opus intellectus ordinatam, in aliquibus subjectis proponi, tanquam ad exemplum et operis descriptionem fere visibilem.
In the Commentarius Solutus (July 26. 1608), among other memoranda relating to the progress of the work, I find the following: "The finishing the 3 Tables, De Motu, De Calore et Frigore, De Sono."
Now in Gruter's volume, among the Impetus Philosophici, I find a Latin fragment entitled Filum Labyrinthi, sive Inquisitio legitima de Motu; in Stephens's second collection, I find an English piece entitled Sequela chartarum, sive Inquisitio legitima de Calore et Frigore; in Rawley's Opuscula I find a Latin fragment entitled Historia et Inquisitio prima, de Sono et auditu, et de forma Soni, et latente processu Soni; sive Sylva Soni et auditus.
Of these, the first is merely a skeleton of an enquiry, the titles of the several charta being given in order, but the titles only; the second is a rough collection of materials for that enquiry de forma Calidi, which was afterwards selected as the example to illustrate the method by, in the second book of the Novum Organum; both have evidently been intended as specimens of the materies particularium ad opus intellectus ordinata, and there can be little doubt that they belong properly to this period and place. The third is a collection of the materies particularium, set out without any indication of a
tabular arrangement, and may perhaps have been drawn up in its present shape about the same time with those portions of the natural history which belong to the third part of the Instauration, and to which in form it bears a greater resemblance. But in the absence of all evidence from which the date of composition can be inferred, the reference in the Commentarius Solutus induces me to place it here.
The preface, entitled Franciscus Bacon Lectori, stands in Gruter's volume immediately before the Filum Labyrinthi, and probably belongs to it.
The selection of Motion as the first subject to which the new method was to be applied and the example by which it was to be illustrated, strikes me as very characteristic both of the aspiring genius of Bacon's philosophy and of the error of judgment which lay at the bottom of it. He saw that all the active operations of nature were modes of motion, and concluded that if we could thoroughly understand the nature of motion, we should at once have the key to her secret processes, and therewithal the command over her powers; which was the true end and aim of knowledge. The subtlety and intricacy of the phenomena did not daunt him; for the true method was as the clue of the Labyrinth, which patiently and faithfully followed out must inevitably lead at last to the central principle which explains and reconciles them all. How far he proceeded in the enterprise, we may partly learn from the Commentarius Solutus, which contains the commencement of an elaborate and methodical investigation into the nature of motion; with what success, we may partly infer from the second book of the Novum Organum, in which the description of the different kinds of motion is introduced merely as a part of the doctrine of the prerogatives of instances: the fact probably being that he had despaired of arriving by the Filum Labyrinthi at any tangible result within any assignable time.
The investigation, as set down in the Commentarius on the 26th and 27th of July, 1608, is carried out a little further than in this fragment; and as it belongs naturally to this place, and will throw some additional light upon the nature of the process as Bacon at this time conceived it, as well as upon the names by which some of its stages are distinguished, I cannot better conclude this preface than by quoting it in extenso.
Nov. 1. Carta electionis et præoptionis.
3. Meta posita, sive Carta terminans.
5. Vena exterior, sive Carta divisionis primæ.
6. Carta assignationis vel collocationis.
1. Carta Historiæ ordinatæ ad divisiones
1. Carta Analysis motus compositi, vel de spelling.
2. Vena interior, sive Carta divisionis se-
3. Carta observationis, sive axiomatis.
5. Carta humana activa, sive practica.
7. Carta Indicationis, sive ad cartas no-
Nota Interpretationem legitimam non fieri, nec clavem Interpretationis adoperari usque ad reordinationes et cartas novellas finitas, ut duæ sint machine Intellectus, una Inferior quam descripsimus, altera Superior quæ est novellarum."
INQUISITIO LEGITIMA DE MOTU.
Quieta rerum principia sermones spectant; moventia autem et motus ipse, opera.
Motuum genera bene discreta et descripta, Protei vincula.
1 Probably apparentiæ secundæ.
? This is the last of many memoranda which appear to have been transferred from an old note-book (transportata ex commentario vetere) on the 26th of July, 1608. The next page is headed Transportat. Jul. 27. 1608, - the beginning of the next morning's work.
Quod animo metimur; Motus; exacte inspicienti non alius quam localis; sensibilis scilicet et minutus.
Etiam quies comprehendatur; ex natura propria aut per accidens, ex libratione vel cohibitione motus.1
Tria motuum genera imperceptibilia, ob tarditatem, ut in digito horologii; ob minutias, ut liquor seu aqua corrumpitur aut congelatur &c.; ob tenuitatem, ut omnifaria aëris, venti, spiritus, quæ non cernuntur ac subtiliores eorum motus nullo sensu comprehenduntur, sed tantum per pensa et effectus.
Motus et naturas per globos non distinguimus ut alia sit ratio cœlestium, alia sublunarium: popularis ratio ista videtur et infirma; nam etiam cœlestia mutantur in magnis, ut patet in cometis coordinatis situ suo cum stellis fixis: In parvis si mutantur tamen sensum nostrum latent; Nam quæ etiam in superficie terræ fiunt mutationes de circulo Lunæ, si oculus ibi positus esset, discerni nequirent; Rursus eadem æternitas et motus regularitas terræ competit; Nam in profunditate terræ par æternitas ac in cœlo, et videntur variationes et mutationes et turbæ tantum in confiniis regnorum istorum fieri; scilicet in superficie et crusta terræ, et superficie et confiniis cœli, et aëris regione media quam vocant; Etiam fluxus maris tam regularis est quam motus lunæ.
De motu autem animali, et de eo motu qui ad sensum peragendum requiritur, non inquirimus, sed eum sui juris facimus et emancipamus ut seorsim et principaliter inquiratur.
Motus autem animales quatenus ad cohibitionem et participationem manifestam motuum cæterorum comprehendimus, ut saltum, sanguinis per venas ascensionem, etc.
Motus autem impressionis sive signaturæ quæ incorporea sunt tamen ob spatiorum sive locorum Mutationes comprehendimus, ut in sonis, visibilibus, attractionibus sive coitionibus; calorem tamen et frigus omnino emancipamus ob dignitatem et multiplicem usum, et de illis seorsim et principaliter inquiri volumus.
Nec motum generationis vitalis expedimus, sive assimilationem magnain, sed et hunc emancipamus.
Opposite this paragraph is written qu.