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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 667MB


    Software instructions

      Once, nearly all mechanical knowledge was of the class termed special, and shop manipulations were governed by empirical rules and the arbitrary opinions of the skilled; an apprentice entered a shop to learn a number of mysterious operations, which could not be defined upon principles, and only understood by special practice and experiment. The arrangement and proportions of mechanism were also determined by the opinions of the skilled, and like the manipulation of the shop, were often hid from the apprentice, and what he carried in his memory at the end of an apprenticeship was all that he had gained. The tendency of this was to elevate those who were the fortunate possessors of a strong natural capacity, and to depress the position of those less fortunate in the matter of mechanical "genius," as it was called. The ability to prepare proper designs, and to succeed in original plans, was attributed to a kind of intuitive faculty of the mind; in short, the mechanic arts were fifty years ago surrounded by a superstition of a different nature, but in its influences the same as superstition in other branches of knowledge.

      Goats, pigs, cows, and other cattle roamed freely through the village-street, looking for food and licking the faces of the dead.

      Now, it is a remarkable fact, and one as yet not sufficiently attended to, that a metaphysical issue first raised between the Platonists and Aristotle, and regarded, at least by the latter, as of supreme importance for philosophy, should have been totally neglected at a time when abundant documents on both sides were open to consultation, and taken up with passionate eagerness at a time when not more than one or two dialogues of Plato and two or three tracts of Aristotle continued to be read in the western world. Various explanations of this singular anomaly may be offered. It may be said, for instance, that after every moral and religious question on which the schools of Athens were divided had been closed by the authoritative ruling of Catholicism, nothing remained to quarrel over but points too remote or too obscure for the Church to interfere in their decision; and that these were accordingly seized upon as the only field where human intelligence could exercise itself with any approach to freedom. The truth, however, seems to be that to take any interest in the controversy between Realism and Nominalism, it was first necessary that European thought as a whole should rise to a level with the common standpoint of their first supporters. This revolution was effected by the general adoption of a monotheistic faith.Euripides gives us an interesting example of the style in which this ethical application of physical science could be practised. We have seen how Eteocls expresses his determination to do and dare all for the sake of sovereign power. His mother, Jocast, gently rebukes him as follows:

      From this it may be seen that there must occur a great loss of power in operating on large pieces, for whatever force is absorbed by inertia has no effect on the underside. By watching a smith using a hand hammer it will be seen that whenever a piece operated upon is heavier than the hammer employed, but little if any effect is produced on the anvil or bottom surface, nor is this loss of effect the only one. The expense of heating, which generally exceeds that of shaping forgings, is directly as the amount of shaping that may be done at each heat; and consequently, if the two sides of a piece, instead of one, can be equally acted upon, one-half the heating will be saved.Or, again, we may say that two principles,the Nominalistic as well as the Realistic,are here at work. By virtue of the one, Spinoza makes Being something beyond and above the facts of experience. By virtue of the other he reinvests it with concrete reality, but a reality altogether transcending our powers of imagination. Very much, also, that Plotinus says about his One might be applied to Spinozas Substance, but with a new and positive meaning. The First Cause is above existence, but only existence as restricted within the very narrow limits of our experience, and only as infinite reality transcends the parts which it includes.

      Men on each other fed with mutual slaughter,


      "She struck me as being rather nice," Bruce replied. "And I am quite sure that she was sincere in her congratulations."


      "Yes, yes, but now listen; I have told you already that...."Another distinguished compliment was paid to Plotinus after his death by no less an authority than the Pythian Apollo, who at this period had fully recovered the use of his voice. On being consulted respecting the fate of the philosophers soul, the god replied by a flood of bombastic twaddle, in which the glorified spirit of Plotinus is described as released from the chain of human necessity and the surging uproar of the body, swimming stoutly to the storm-beaten shore, and mounting the heaven-illumined path, not unknown to him even in life, that leads to the blissful abodes of the immortals.423


      On turning from the conduct of State affairs to the administration of justice in the popular law courts, we find the same tale of iniquity repeated, but this time with more telling satire, as Plato is speaking from his own immediate experience. He considers that, under the manipulation of dexterous pleaders, judicial decisions had come to be framed with a total disregard of righteousness. That disputed claims should be submitted to a popular tribunal and settled by counting heads was, indeed, according to his view, a virtual admission that no absolute standard of justice existed; that moral truth varied with individual opinion. And this200 is how the character of the lawyer had been moulded in consequence:But all this time the popular belief in omens had continued unaffected, and had apparently even increased. The peculiar Greek feeling known as Deisidaimonia is first satirised by Theophrastus, who defines it as cowardice with regard to the gods, and gives several amusing instances of the anxiety occasioned by its presenceall connected with the interpretation of omenssuch as Aristophanes could hardly have failed to notice had they been usual in his time. Nor were such fancies confined to the ignorant classes. Although the Stoics cannot be accused of Deisidaimonia, they gave their powerful sanction to the belief in divination, as has been already mentioned in our account of their philosophy. It223 would seem that whatever authority the great oracular centres had lost was simply handed over to lower and more popular forms of the same superstition.