The demand is for a new organon, a scientific method which shall face the facts of experience and justify itself by its achievement in the reduction of them to control.
For the rest, Spencer's doctrine is valuable more as stimulating to thought by its originality and width of view than as offering direct solutions of ethical problems. Following up the same line of thought, Leslie Stephen with less brilliance but more attention to scientific method has worked out in his Science of Ethics (1882) the conception of morality as a function of the social organism: while Professor S.
This work, which embodied the results of many years' research, was distinguished by its strict adherence to the scientific method of investigation by experiment, and by the originality of its matter, containing, as it does, an account of the author's experiments on magnets and magnetical bodies and on electrical attractions, and also his great conception that the earth is nothing but a large magnet, and that it is this which explains, not only the direction of the magnetic needle north and south, but also the variation and dipping or inclination of the needle.
Even today, the scientific method involves experimentation that almost always necessitates some amount of data collection.
A brief tract on comic metres (De comicis dimensionibus) and a work De causis linguae Latinae - the earliest Latin grammar on scientific principles and following a scientific method - were his only other purely literary works published in his lifetime.
But Bacon's great task of reforming scientific method was one which, as he conceived it, left morals on one side; he never made any serious effort to reduce his ethical views to a coherent system, methodically reasoned on an independent basis.
But in spite of his errors the scientific method pursued by Ptolemy was correct, and though he was neglected by the Romans and during the middle ages, once he had become known, in the 15th century, he became the teacher of the modern world.
Seeing that sodium was the only possible reducing agent, he set himself to cheapen its cost, and deliberately rejecting sodium carbonate for the more expensive sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), and replacing carbon by a mixture of iron and carbon - the so-called carbide of iron - he invented the highly scientific method of winning the alkali metal which has remained in existence almost to the present day.
The third period, beginning about 1885, has been one of rationalism, recognition of universal religion, large acceptance of the scientific method and ideas and an ethical attempt to realize the higher affirmations of Christianity.
The evidence of date derived from changes in the language is more difficult to formulate, and the inquiry calls for the most diligent use of scientific method and critical judgment.