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whole. This requires always a statement of the function of the part, together with the attributes of the part which adapt it to its function. But in all cases such attributes of a part must be given as make it a member of the whole. If the whole is a mere aggregate, it is necessary to give only the position of each part with reference to the whole; but if there is active coöperation, the attributes which adapt the part in the coöperation must be given. Thus parts, as wholes, are presented through attributes, but only by means of those attributes which bind them into the unity of the whole.
The law of unity in Partition requires that the parts be so presented that the receiving mind may readily and correctly organize them into the whole. This can be done only
1. When the parts are made on the same basis of division.
In dividing an individual there is choice of bases, permitted by the nature of the object, and determined by the purpose of the description. It may serve the purpose best to follow some accidental basis, as the order in which the parts appear to the eye, or the relative position in space. Such obvious and superficial bases are always used in the lower order of description - descriptions in which the sensuous phases of the object are made prominent. The more scientific the description the more fundamental the basis. This is a question of adaptation to a purpose. On the basis of separation in space, the child readily divides the human body into head, trunk, and limbs. This is the best basis for the child, but the physiologist would insist on a basis more intimately connected with life processes. The ordinary description of a landscape would require the mention of such parts as appear at different places, or as occur at different moments of time. But for geographical purposes, the basis must have some fundamental relation to life. Every change in the basis gives a new set of parts.
Not only does this law require the basis to be chosen which is best adapted to the purpose of the writing, but it requires that all the parts be determined on the same basis.
If a writer should present a tree as composed of roots, bark, trunk, woody substance, branches, and pith; or the human body as composed of flesh, blood, nerves, muscular tissue, vital organs, adipose tissue, bones, and the mechanical system, using two or more bases of division, utter confusion would arise in the mind of the interpreter. The division should be such as could be made of the actual object. The tree can be actually parted into root, trunk, and branches, and each part put in a different place. So with bark, woody substance, and pith. But if one should attempt to make an actual division of the tree on both bases at once, he would have a practical illustration of what the law of unity means in requiring the division to be made on the same basis.
And further, the mind can organize the parts into unity readily
2. When the parts are named in the order determined by the basis.
If ignorant of a tree, as the recipient in a description is supposed to be, to present the parts as roots, leaves, trunk, and branches would cause the mind to form an object wholly different from the one to be described. The basis of partition used determines the order of presenting the parts. It is not necessarily an order of nearness in space or succession in time. It may be an order of functional relation. When the basis of division is that of space, the parts must be named in spatial order. When the basis of division is the order of observation in time, the parts must be named in the order of occurrence. When the basis is some determining principle, the parts must be named in their functional relation, without regard to their position or succession. Thus the parts of the eyeball may be named from without inward, or from within outward, following an order in space; or following the operation of the law of optics, there would be an entirely different method of procedure, — as first, the retina; second, the crystalline lens, with the parts about it which aid in refracting light; then those parts which regulate the light, followed by those which adjust and protect the image-forming parts.
But after the proper basis is selected and adhered to, and the parts given in the order determined by the basis, the object cannot be readily and correctly unified except
3. When all the parts which determine the basis are named.
To present a tree as composed of trunk, branches, and leaves, or a flower as composed of calyx, corolla, and pistil, is to present the mind with an incomplete unit, and therefore a violation of the general law of unity.
Thus the basis being determined by the purpose, if all such parts as the basis gives be presented in the order of their relation as determined by the basis, the mind will the most readily and correctly organize them into the unity they were in before their separation in the process of presentation.
The process of description may now be presented in one view by the following outline, which forms a general scheme for all descriptions. Not that a description conforms to the outline, but every description moves within the outline as modified in adaptation to the end sought.
The object to be described, —
I. As a whole, by means of its attributes.
a. Purpose and means.
d. Likeness and difference.
(1) Extension — form and size.
II. As made up of parts.
1. Analysis into parts by the laws of partition.
THE PROCESS ILLUSTRATED.
Construction. — Suppose we choose for our theme a particular human eye.
1. The primary law requires that we fix at the outset a definite aim. Let this be to instruct. More specifically, let it be to produce a full and accurate knowledge of the object chosen, — not a mere picture or general conception of it. This presupposes on the part of the hearer or reader a mind so fully developed that there need be but little concern about adapting to its method of thought, with the exception that the person addressed is supposed to have but a vague knowledge of the object. His knowledge of the eye, in the case assumed, is not sufficient to warrant a strictly logical method of procedure.
2. That the law of unity may be followed, the next step is a statement of the unifying idea. The purpose being to instruct under the conditions named, the unifying idea is found in the intellectual relations of the object. The aim stated above requires us to choose the highest bond of union, which is that of the purpose of the eye.
3. The third step is to present this eye as a whole by means of its attributes, under the laws of selection, completeness, and method. The attributes selected, their number, and their arrangement are determined by the purpose of the description already fixed, and also by the unifying idea chosen for the eye itself. The attributes must be united into the whole by showing how each adapts the eye to its purpose.