“But, surely among all these inchoate branches of science, there must be some one at least complete! It seems to us that we heard a great clamor of applause, “as the voice of many waters”, over the discovery of protoplasm.
But alas! when we turned to read Mr. Huxley, the learned parent of the new-born infant is found saying: “In perfect strictness, it is true that chemical investigation can tell us little or nothing, directly, of the composition of living matter, and…it is also in strictness, true, that We KNOW NOTHING about the composition of any body whatever, as it is!”
This is a sad confession, indeed. It appears, then, that the Aristotelian method of induction is a failure in some cases, after all. This also seems to account for the fact that his model philosopher, with all his careful study of particulars before rising to universals, taught that the earth was in the centre of the universe; while Plato, who lost himself in the maze of Pythagorean “vagaries”, and started from general principles, was perfectly versed in the heliocentric system.
We can easily prove the fact, by availing ourselves of the said inductive method for Plato’s benefit. We know that the Sodalian oath of the initiate into the Mysteries prevented his imparting his knowledge to the world in so many plain words. “It was the dream of his life”, says Champollion, “to write a work and record in it in full the doctrines taught by the Egyptian hierophants; he often talked of it, but found himself compelled to abstain on account of the ‘solemn oath.'”
And now, judging our modern-day philosophers on the vice versa method – namely, arguing from universals to particulars, and laying aside scientists as individuals to merely give our opinion of them, viewed as a whole – we are forced to suspect this highly respectable association of extremely petty feelings toward their elder, ancient, and archaic brothers. It really seems as if they bore always in mind the adage, “Put out the sun, and the stars will shine.””
H. P. Blavatsky