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there was a science of acoustics; and painting while as yet there was no theory of colors and perspective.
Art, says Whewell, in its earlier stages, is anterior to science ; it may afterwards borrow aid from it, and, undoubtedly does.
Science inquires for the sake of knowledge, art for the sake of production. Hence, science is concerned with the higher truths, art with the lower; science is never engaged in productive application; art always is. The most perfect state of science, therefore, will be the highest and most accurate inquiry; the perfection of art is the most apt and efficient system of rules. Hence, art consists of a system of rules, directing what and how it shall be done.
Science may be summed up as a collection of truths ; art, a body of rules or directions. The language of science is, This is, or This is not; This does, or, This does not happen. The language of art is, Do this,-Avoid that. Science takes cognizance of a phenomenon, and endeavors to discover or evolve its law; art proposes to itself an end, and looks out for, or seeks the means to effect it.
Art may be regarded as of three kinds—theoretic, practical, and mixed. Many persons are loud in their denunciations of mere theorizers, theories, and theoretic notions or methods of doing things; for, as maintained by such, theory and theoretical are opo posed to practice and practical. Theory may be knowledge, but is, more frequently, as such maintain, nought but the speculation or the hypothesis of some dreamer. Practice, say they, is the application of knowledge gained by experience; hence empirical knowledge will only satisfy such inquirers. There is, however, no opposition between theory in its highest sense and knowledge ; for the former is the embodiment of the principles by which practice reaches, or accomplishes its end. The error, of the objectors to theory, is, in blending or using hypothetical and theoretical as synonymous with conjectural. This is untrue and therefore unphilosophical in relation to what is theoretical. Theory always implies knowledge, not conjecture, as some are disposed to maintain ; but the knowledge of things in their principles or causes. In the words of Parr, "Theory is a general collection of the inferences drawn from facts and compressed into principles.”
Theory, Macintosh remarks, denotes the most general laws to which certain facts can be reduced.
Theory and hypothesis, according to Taylor, may thus be distinguished : an hypothesis is a guess or supposition, made concerning the cause of some particular fact, with the view of trying experi
ments, or making observations to discover the truth. A theory is a complete system of suppositions put together for the purpose of explaining all the facts that belong to some one science. In geometry for example, hypothesis may aid in the construction of the correct theory the confirmation of which must depend upon demonstration ; but let it be remembered that the inability to construct the demonstration does not disprove the correctness of the theory. Dr. Franklin in studying the laws and nature of electricity, started with the inquiry, “Is not the electrical spark identical with the flashes of lightning ?” This was his hypothesis, or guess, or supposition, which by repeated experiments he succeeded in proving to be true. Hypothesis when demonstrated ceases to be hypothesis by becoming theory; for when the principles employed in the explanation of the phenomena are known to exist, you have the difference between theory and hypothesis, the latter being but supposition. Or in other words, hypothesis differs from theory in this: the former is the supposing of something, the existence of which is not proved, to explain phenomena which have been observed ; the latter explains phenomena by causes which are kżown to exist and to be in operation.
Hypothesis, then, is no more to be rejected as useless than theory; for the right use of the former aids in discovering the latter. The suppositions of which an hypothesis is constructed are not arbitrary fictions, altogether, but suppositions conformable to careful observation, experience or analogy.
Practical art, or knowledge, is generally understood to be such às has been derived from experience. Among the Greek physicians, those who founded their practice on experience called themselves empirics; those who relied on theory, methodists; and those who held to the middle course, dogmatists. The term empiricism became naturalized in England when the writings of Galen and other opponents of the empirics were in repute, and hence it was applied generally to pretenders to knowledge. It properly relates to knowledge that is the result of experience. The term is used in the writings of Aristotle in the sense as historical. Historical knowledge is the knowledge that a thing is or was. Empiricism, then, is an unreasoning and instructive imitation of previous practice. It allows nothing to be true nor certain but what is given by experience, and, therefore, rejects all knowledge a priori. Locke in tracing all knowledge to experience, gives his testimony in favor of empiricism.
What the farmer needs, is what we all need, knowledge, or cognition; that is to say, to know or have a clear perception of the connection and agreement or disagreement and repugnancy of the notions or ideas of things. Where such a perception is, there is knowledge, says Locke; and where it is not, there may be fancy, guess, belief, think, etc., but not knowledge.
Knowledge in minds attentive to their own." Men of great learning are met with almost everywhere; persons of great knowledge are far from being common anywhere, even in the most learned communities. Knowledge is the good part to be sought and chosen in this work-world of ours. It may cost much diligent and careful search, yet when found, amply rewards its possessor, from whom it shall never be taken away. Do not then underestimate a man of great learning; you can hardly overestimate a man of great knowledge.
Let a farmer interrogate his neighbor on any subject concerning his vocation, and what kind of an answer is he likely to get ? It will come, most probably, in some such phraseology as this: “I guess, " “I believe,” “I fancy,” “I reckon," "I think,” etc. But says the farmer, I did not ask what you “guess," " believe,” “fancy,” “reckon," “think,” or what you have learned from others, but, “What do you know?" "Ah," says his neighbor, on turning within, “I find I know but little, and do not even know much of that quite certain.” The inquirer then turns to those who sit, as it were, in Moses' seat and teach them with authority, and in a reverend and docile spirit asks for knowledge, where and when alas, he receives naught but "learning" from the oracle interrogated. It is the lack of knowledge on the part of those who attempt to teach others, that more than aught else, has brought much of “book farming,” so called, into deserved disrepute. No greater honor can be awarded to the good sense of practical men, whether farmers, gardeners, or artizans, than that they can and do discrimiuate between knowledge and learning, between what a man knows, and what he guesses, between practice with science, and hypothesis with naught but conjecture, or speculation.
The age abounds in scientific smatterers, and no industrial employment is more eagerly beset by them than that of the farmer. It therefore becomes farmers to beware of false teachers, who teach not the traditions of men, for doctrine, but their own vague con
jectures, which have no claim of being regarded even as hypotheses. It is such a use of words without knowledge,-mere rhetorical breaths that has brought odium upon “book farming." Farmers, however, should beware in their haste in denouncing "book farming,” not to do it indiscriminately, for the real value of true science being acknowledged, has been the occasion for pretenders and charlatans to undertake the palming off of "science, falsely so called.” Knowledge is power; and books that are books, will aid the seeker of it, in getting possession of this pearl of great price.
Every farmer should, therefore, seek to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the art of his vocation, to be an artistic, rather than “scientifico farmer. It is not essential to good, successful and profitable farming that the farmer should have a thorough knowledge of all the departments of science connected with his employment, for, if it were so, then good farming would be an impossibility. It would be just as reasonable to maintain that every child should be taught anatomy and physiology in order to enjoy good health, as to claim that the husbandman should have all knowledge in order to be a good farmer. In both cases there are certain rules to be observed and practiced, which may be used or employed as successfully by one, ignorant of science, as by another who is master of it. Common intelligence, with an ordinary education, with discriminating judgment, or, to sum up in one phrase, good common sense, is requisite and necessary to all tillers of the soil. All beyond, is desirable, but neither absolutely essential nor nccessary to success. Art, theoretical, practical, and mixed, with theory, hypothesis, and empiricism, are all essential in the development of knowledge. But art, according to the views here presented, is of the first and chief importance to every practical man, whether farmer or artisan.
Having thus to some extent indicated the difference between theoretical and practical farming,-between art and science, I would now invite your attention to some considerations on stock and stock breeding and feeding--and especially in regard to cattle and sheep, already the leading branch of husbandry in the State.
The art of breeding with reference to special and specific points can hardly be traced much beyond the time of Colling and Bakewell. Down to their time the quality of both cattle and sheep were very much what the country made them. The cow was valued as a calf and milk producing animal, and the bull for the specific quality mentioned by Job; and when degraded to an ox, took his place
in a team with draught oxen, which, according to the biography of Elijah, were of great antiquity.
The Devons and the Herefords seem to represent races as distinct from breeds. The Long horns are, perhaps, entitled to the same distinction. In Ireland it is stated that no distinct race or breed can be traced. Cattle from this green isle were proverbially the most inferior animals seen in the English cattle market. It was the result of the haphazard breeding which prevailed over portions of England and Scotland. This was the state of things a century ago. Since then, much improvement has been made. The first step in this was to breed from the best, and often from these accidental crossings, animals of remarkable beauty and symmetry were produced. The merits of the first cross are well known to many farmers of this Society.
In sheep, Bakewell, it is said, put together white-faced and blackfaced, white-legged, and black-legged, horned and hornless, longwoolled and short-woolled; and so it is said he did with the different breeds and races of cattle. From such heterogeneous materials, have the modern breeds of cattle and sheep been made.
The improved Short horns, and the new Leicester sheep, became celebrated, and were sought and introduced into nearly every farming district in England, Scotland and Ireland; and also into this country. The uncultivated stock seemed to disappear before them like the red man before the onward march of civilization; the old and distinct races hardly proving an exception, but in their strongholds of Devonshire and Herefordshire. In these regions three ways seemed to be open for the breeders ; first, to discard their own stock and adopt the new breed ; or secondly, following the example set them, seek improvements by crosses of which their own herds should be the foundation ; or thirdly, to seek improvement by breeding only from the best. The latter course was adopter and pursued, and hence, the purity of the races was preserved. But for this course, the beautiful Devons, the picturesque West Highlanders, and the noble Herefords, would have disappeared from England.
Breeding from the best, it was found, improved them without the introduction or infusion of other blood. This may have been less marked, but it should be kept in mind, that it started from a higher point and is more permanent.
What farmers and breeders desire to know is, “What breed or race of cattle is best for our farmers ?" This interrogation should