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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7739. SCIENCES, Distribution of the.—
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7739. SCIENCES, Distribution of the.—

I have received the copy of your System of
Universal Science. * * * It will be a monument
of the learning of the author and of the
analyzing powers of his mind. * * * These
analytical views indeed must always be ramified
according to their object. Yours is on the
great scale of a methodical encyclopedia of all
human sciences, taking for the basis of their
distribution, matter, mind, and the union of
both. Lord Bacon founded his first great division
on the faculties of the mind which have
cognizance of these sciences. It does not seem
to have been observed by any one that the
origination of this division was not with him.
It had been proposed by Charron, more than
twenty years before, in his book de la Sagesse.
B. 1, c. 14, and an imperfect ascription of the
sciences to these respective faculties was there
attempted. This excellent moral work was
published in 1600. Lord Bacon is said not to
have entered on his great work until his retirement
from public office in 1621. Where sciences
are to be arranged in accommodation to
the schools of an university, they will be
grouped to coincide with the kindred qualifications
of professors in ordinary. For a library,
which was my object, their divisions and subdivisions
will be made such as to throw convenient
masses of books under each separate
head. Thus, in the library of a physician, the
books of that science, of which he has many,
will be subdivided under many heads; and
those of law, of which he has few, will be
placed under a single one. The lawyer, again,
will distribute his law books under many subdivisions,
his medical under a single one. Your
idea of making the subject matter of the sciences
the basis of their distribution, is certainly
more reasonable than that of the faculties
to which they are addressed. * * * Were I to re-compose my tabular view of the
sciences, I should certainly transpose a certain
branch. The naturalists, you know, distribute
the history of nature into three kingdoms or departments:
zoology, botany, mineralogy. Ideology,
or mind, however, occupies so much
space in the field of science, that we might perhaps
erect it into a fourth kingdom or department.
But, inasmuch as it makes a part of the
animal construction only, it would be more
proper to subdivide zoology into physical and
moral. The latter including ideology, ethics,
and mental science generally, in my catalogue,
considering ethics, as well as religion, as supplements
to law in the government of man, I
had them in that sequence. But certainly the
faculty of thought belongs to animal history, is
an important portion of it, and should there
find its place.—
To Mr. Woodward. Washington ed. vii, 338.
(M. 1824)