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After reading Edgar Allan Poe. Something the critics have not noticed: a new literary world pointing to the literature of the 20th Century. Scientific miracles, fables on the pattern A+ B, a clear-sighted, sickly literature. No more poetry but analytic fantasy. Something monomaniacal. Things playing a more important part than people; love giving away to deductions and other forms of ideas, style, subject and interest. The basis of the novel transferred from the heart to the head, from the passion to the idea, from the drama to the denouement.
In every science, after having analysed the ideas, expressing the more complicated by means of the more simple, one finds a certain number that cannot be reduced among them, and that one can define no further. These are the primitive ideas of the science; it is necessary to acquire them through experience, or through induction; it is impossible to explain them by deduction.
In the one instance, the dreamerloses sight of this object in a wilderness of deductions and suggestionsuntilhe finds the incitamentum, or first cause of his musings,… forgotten. In my case, the primary object was invariably frivolous, although assuming, through the medium of my distempered vision, a refracted and unreal importance.
You can’t remember sex. You can remember the fact of it, and recall the setting, and even the details, but the sex of the sex cannot be remembered, the substantive truth of it, it is by nature self-erasing, you can remember its anatomy and be left with a judgment as to the degree of your liking of it, but whatever it is as a splurge of being, as a loss, as a charge of the conviction of love stopping your heart like your execution, there is no memory of it in the brain, only the deduction that it happened and that time passed, leaving you with a silhouette that you want to fill in again.
Intellect begins with the observation of nature, proceeds to memorize and classify the facts thus observed, and by logical deduction builds up that edifice of knowledge properly called science? But admittedly we also know by feeling, and we can combine the two faculties, and present knowledge in the guise of art.
For chemistry is no science form’d à priori; ’tis no production of the human mind, framed by reasoning and deduction: it took its rise from a number of experiments casually made, without any expectation of what follow’d; and was only reduced into an art or system, by collecting and comparing the effects of such unpremeditated experiments, and observing the uniform tendency thereof. So far, then, as a number of experimenters agree to establish any undoubted truth; so far they may be consider’d as constituting the theory of chemistry.
The knowledge of Natural-History, being Observation of Matters of Fact, is more certain than most others, and in my slender Opinion, less subject to Mistakes than Reasonings, Hypotheses, and Deductions are; … These are things we are sure of, so far as our Senses are not fallible; and which, in probability, have been ever since the Creation, and will remain to the End of the World, in the same Condition we now find them.
Science as we now understand the word is of later birth. If its germinal origin may be traced to the early period when Observation, Induction, and Deduction were first employed, its birth must be referred to that comparatively recent period when the mind, rejecting the primitive tendency to seek in supernatural agencies for an explanation of all external phenomena, endeavoured, by a systematic investigation of the phenomena themselves to discover their invariable order and connection.
The true man of science will know nature better by his finer organization; he will smell, taste, see, hear, feel, better than other men. His will be a deeper and finer experience. We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy. It is with science as with ethics,–we cannot know truth by contrivance and method; the Baconian is as false as any other, and with all the helps of machinery and the arts, the most scientific will still be the healthiest and friendliest man, and possess a more perfect Indian wisdom.
I presume that few who have paid any attention to the history of the Mathematical Analysis, will doubt that it has been developed in a certain order, or that that order has been, to a great extent, necessary — being determined, either by steps of logical deduction, or by the successive introduction of new ideas and conceptions, when the time for their evolution had arrived.
It is difficult to distinguish deduction from what in other circumstances is called problem-solving. And concept learning, inference, and reasoning by analogy are all instances of inductive reasoning. (Detectives typically induce, rather than deduce.) None of these things can be done separately from each other, or from anything else. They are pseudo-categories.