- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 847MB
Nothing can be more unreasonable than to expect an apprentice engineer to begin by an inductive course in learning and reasoning  about mechanics. Even if the mind were capable of such a course, which can not be assumed in so intricate and extensive a subject as mechanics, there would be a want of interest and an absence of apparent purpose which would hinder or prevent progress. Any rational view of the matter, together with as many facts as can be cited, will all point to the conclusion that apprentices must learn deductively, and that some practice should accompany or precede theoretical studies. How dull and objectless it seems to a young man when he toils through "the sum of the squares of the base and perpendicular of a right-angle triangle," without knowing a purpose to which this problem is to be applied; he generally wonders why such puzzling theorems were ever invented, and what they can have to do with the practical affairs of life. But if the same learner were to happen upon a builder squaring a foundation by means of the rule "six, eight, and ten," and should in this operation detect the application of that tiresome problem of "the sum of the squares," he would at once awake to a new interest in the matter; what was before tedious and without object, would now appear useful and interesting. The subject would become fascinating, and the learner would go on with a new zeal to trace out the connection between practice and other problems of the kind. Nothing inspires a learner so much as contact with practice; the natural tendency, as before said, is to proceed deductively.
(1.) Why have belts been found better than shafts for transmitting power through long distances?(2.) What are the conditions which limit the speed of belts?(3.) Why cannot belts be employed to communicate positive movement?(4.) Would a common belt transmit motion positively, if there were no slip on the pulleys?(5.) Name some of the circumstances to be considered in comparing belts with gearing or shafts as a means of transmitting power.
He was back in The Netherlands before me.Unquestionably Plotinus was influenced by the supernaturalistic movement of his age, but only as Plato had been influenced by the similar reaction of his time; and just as the Athenian philosopher had protested against the superstitions which he saw gaining ground, so also did the Alexandrian philosopher protest, with far less vigour it is true, but still to some extent, against the worse extravagances universally entertained by his contemporaries. Among these, to judge by numerous allusions in his writings, astrology and magic held the foremost place. That there was something in both, he did not venture to deny, but he constantly endeavours to extenuate their practical significance and to give a more philosophical interpretation to the alleged phenomena on which they were based. Towards the old polytheism, his attitude, without being hostile, is perfectly independent. We can see this even in his life, notwithstanding the religious colouring thrown over it by Porphyry. When invited by his disciple Amelius to join in the public worship of the gods, he proudly answered, It is their business to come to me, not mine to go to them.511 In allegorising the old myths, he handles them with as much freedom as Bacon, and evidently with no more belief in their historical character.512 In giving the name of God to his supreme principle, he is careful to exclude nearly every attribute associated with divinity even in the purest forms of contemporary theology. Personality, intelligence, will, and even existence, are expressly denied to the One. Although the first cause and highest good of all things, it is so not in a religious but in an abstract, metaphysical sense. The Nous with its ideal offspring and the world-soul are also spoken of as gods; but their personality, if they have any, is of the most shadowy description, and there is no reason for thinking that Plotinus ever wor345shipped them himself or intended them to be worshipped by his disciples. Like Aristotle, he attributes animation and divinity to the heavenly bodies, but with such careful provisions against an anthropomorphic conception of their nature, that not much devotional feeling is likely to have mingled with the contemplation of their splendour. Finally, we arrive at the daemons, those intermediate spirits which play so great a part in the religion of Plutarch and the other Platonists of the second century. With regard to these, Plotinus repeats many of the current opinions as if he shared them; but his adhesion is of an extremely tepid character; and it may be doubted whether the daemons meant much more for him than for Plato.513
Such, as it seems to us, is the proper spirit in which we should approach the great thinker whose works are to occupy us in this and the succeeding chapter. No philosopher has ever offered so extended and vulnerable a front to hostile criticism. None has so habitually provoked reprisals by his own incessant and searching attacks on all existing professions, customs, and beliefs. It might even be maintained that none has used the weapons of controversy with more unscrupulous zeal. And it might be added that he who dwells so much on the importance of consistency has occasionally denounced and ridiculed the very principles which he elsewhere upholds as demonstrated truths. It was an easy matter for others to complete the work of destruction which he had begun. His system seems at first sight to be made up of assertions, one more outrageous than another. The ascription of an objective concrete separate reality to verbal abstractions is assuredly the most astounding paradox ever173 maintained even by a metaphysician. Yet this is the central article of Platos creed. That body is essentially different from extension might, one would suppose, have been sufficiently clear to a mathematician who had the advantage of coming after Leucippus and Democritus. Their identity is implicitly affirmed in the Timaeus. That the soul cannot be both created and eternal; that the doctrine of metempsychosis is incompatible with the hereditary transmission of mental qualities; that a future immortality equivalent to, and proved by the same arguments as, our antenatal existence, would be neither a terror to the guilty nor a consolation to the righteous:are propositions implicitly denied by Platos psychology. Passing from theoretical to practical philosophy, it might be observed that respect for human life, respect for individual property, respect for marriage, and respect for truthfulness, are generally numbered among the strongest moral obligations, and those the observance of which most completely distinguishes civilised from savage man; while infanticide, communism, promiscuity, and the occasional employment of deliberate deceit, form part of Platos scheme for the redemption of mankind. We need not do more than allude to those Dialogues where the phases and symptoms of unnameable passion are delineated with matchless eloquence, and apparently with at least as much sympathy as censure. Finally, from the standpoint of modern science, it might be urged that Plato used all his powerful influence to throw back physical speculation into the theological stage; that he deliberately discredited the doctrine of mechanical causation which, for us, is the most important achievement of early Greek thought; that he expatiated on the criminal folly of those who held the heavenly bodies to be, what we now know them to be, masses of dead matter with no special divinity about them; and that he proposed to punish this and other heresies with a severity distinguishable from the fitful fanaticism of his native city only by its more disciplined and rigorous application.
Under that heading the story reminded readers that the Everdail estate had been haunted several weeks before according to report.