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CHAP. II. — -PSYCHOLOGY.
1. Past and future Philosophy—2. Two meanings of the word Philosophy,
3. Why the Sciences become independent-4. That Philosophy will become Metaphysics ; Poetry and Metaphysics-5. Psychology as an independent science—6. Object and method of ordinary Psychology, 7. Object and method of experimental Psychology—8. Divisions of Psychology; general, comparative, teratological Psychology, -science of characteristics—9. Object of the work.
To the question, What was philosophy in the beginning ? a reply is
easy. It was universal science. It would be more difficult to answer an inquiry as to what it is to be in the future; and yet the study of the past, and certain inductions founded upon history, may perhaps enable us to foretell its destiny. At its origin philosophy has for its object the universality of things, the All, and philosophy, like its object, is One; outside it there is no idea of distinct and independent sciences. It resembles those rudimentary organisms in which the physiological distribution of labour has not yet taken place. The slow and continuous labour of life, a natural tendency towards progress, will bring the sciences out of philosophy, as the organs are brought out of the embryo. Let us follow the march of this development in the past; it may cast a light upon the future, and afford us a glimpse of it.
The first branch which became detached from the common tree, and entered upon a separate life, is the science of numbers and of sizes—Mathematics. The Pythagorean school confounded mathematics with philosophy, but two centuries later they became clearly separate. Plato did not admit that a man might be a
philosopher without having been a geometrician, but thenceforth geometry did without philosophy. The nature of mathematics explains this. Among all the sciences, not one has less need to disquiet itself concerning facts and experience. If, at their origin, mathematics were empirical, as they probably were, they speedily elevated themselves to the abstract notions which form their bases, and found their true method. In the third century B.C. there existed in Greece an order of precise, rigorous sciences, recognised as such, and perfectly distinct from philosophical researches. We are about to trace the continuation of the first example of this emancipation of the particular sciences.
Many ages had to elapse before a new science was to achieve its autonomy. The ancient philosophy, which reached its greatest height in Plato and Aristotle, still remains the universal science, or nearly so; in it metaphysics follow physics, politics follow morals, studies in physiology were weighed with studies in psychology (Timæus, De Anima); it is still the science of all that is; it studies man, nature, and God. Thus it remains in the Middle Ages; outside of philosophy, there is nothing but mathematics and that which relates to them, and the Arts, such as medicine and alchemy. But now we find a new science growing up, aided by calculation and experience, which accumulates facts and seeks out laws, which observes instead of reasoning, and which speedily finds itself strong enough to assert its independence. This science is called physics. It was a slow and progressive emanation, whose facts are nearer to us, and better known, so that we can follow them. Galileo, though breaking away from Aristotle, is still a philosopher. He boasted of having devoted more years to philosophy than months to mathematics,' and his doctrine is declared 'absurd in philosophy' in the judgment of the Inquisition. Descartes held that philosophy is “a tree whose root is metaphysics, and whose trunk is physics.' His system of physics, like that of Newton, is explained under the title Principia Philosophia. Philosophical instruction, which from its nature can only follow workers and inventors from afar, comprised physics until the end of the eighteenth century. The disruption was not rude ; it took place because it was inevitable. When the domain of a science is actively utilized, when every corner of it is explored