Secrets of the Art Revealed


bullet1 Chapter 1 General properties of this Art and Science

bullet2 1. supremely universal

1 This Art and Science is supremely Universal

This Art and Science is supremely Universal, as no Science treats of anything whatsoever without using either this Art, or the terms of this Art, or terms that can be reduced to them or resolved into them; (Doctor Illum. in Introd. Art. dem. cap. 35. n. 4. f. 19.) 'now the principles of the Figures, on account of their utmost universality, are amply sufficient for answering countless questions: (Doctor. Illum. in Lib. Prop. Art. Dem. Dist. 4. p. 1. de Quaest. f. 41.) "where a set number of explicit terms produces countless implicit meanings, where countless implicit definitions proceed from a set number of explicit definitions, and likewise with the conditions, rules and questions so that the Art, in its greater universality or generality can unfold endless sequences of implicit things from its explicit parts:" (Doctor. Illum. in Art. Inv. Dist. 4. q. 9. K.K. f. 157.) 'therefore any reasoning that exists or that can be made, N.B. and even anything at all that exists or that can exist is reflected in this Art as in a mirror, where all Sciences appear.' (Doctor. Illum. in Introd. Artis Dem. cap. 34. n. 1. f. 29.)

And it is supremely Universal because it is more universal than Metaphysics and Logic, even though 'this Art, as well as Logic and Metaphysics all deal, as it were, with the same subjects as each intends to deal with everything. However, this Art is different from the two others in two ways, namely in its way of considering its subject and in its way of positing principles; now Metaphysics considers things that are external to the Soul inasmuch as they can be reasoned about in terms of being; and Logic considers things in the way that they exist within the Soul, and treats of certain intentions that follow upon the existence of intelligible things such as genus, species and things comprised in the act of reasoning like syllogisms, consequences and so forth; but this Art, as the supreme summit of all human Science considers things equally according to either mode. However, it is different as far as its principles are concerned: whereas Metaphysics posits, formulates and discovers principles and applies them directly to proofs regarding the passivities or properties of its subject; and Logic posits all the rules and considerations needed to make syllogisms; this Science, however, does not actually express any principles per se on which its arguments are founded, but merely shows the way to find common principles in every Science, if the terms of the Science whose principles it wants to find are known, and with some knowledge of these it posits some terms as principles from which countless propositions can be formed in the same way that countless words are formed from a very limited number of letters of the Alphabet etc.: and if propositions about specific subjects are used in the demonstrations made with this Art, they are accidental to the Art, since the demonstrations made with this Art not only have to use these principles, but also to form and discover principles, and not only common principles, but particular ones as well. (Doctor. Illum. in Introd. Artis Dem. cap. 1. n. 2.) and not only particular principles, but also all particulars arising from the particular principles of other sciences: "And the reason for this is that this Art is universal above all other sciences, and on account of this universality, the particulars of other sciences can be rationally reduced to it; hence, as it is more general than all others, all others must be encompassed by it, so that in judging their particulars, they can be purified so the conditions that they have per se can be known in accordance with the conditions that they have in their universal principles. (Doctor. Illum. in Comp. Art. Dist.2 de Reg. reg.39.f.88 )

"And although this Science is intent upon these universals as prime causal and essential principles, it is nonetheless chiefly concerned with the universal that is actually caused by, or consists in these simple primordial principles, namely the medium for reaching final conclusions about any particular contained in in it: now this universal is a composite, and the more it is compounded and combined, the more particulars it encompasses, because as it is more and more compounded and combined, it consists in more and more numerous simple principles." (Doctor. Illum. in Comp. Art. Dist.3 de Quaest. f. 147.) And this is a most profound secret.