Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.

2. Whether Artificial Effects may be called Natural, and in what sense.

IN my former discourses I have declared that Art produces Hermaphroditical Effects, that is, such as are partly Natural, and partly Artificial; but the que∣stion is, whether those Hermaphroditical Effects may not be called Natural Effects as well as others, or whe∣ther they be Effects quite different and distinct from Natural? My answer is, When I call Artificial Page  5 effects Hermaphroditical, or such as are not Natural; I do not speak of Nature in general, as if they were something else besides Nature; for Art it self is natural, and an effect of Nature, and cannot produce any thing that is beyond, or not within Nature; wherefore ar∣tificial effects can no more be excluded from Nature, then any ordinary effect or Creature of Nature; But when I say they are not natural, I understand the par∣ticular nature of every Creature, according to its own kind of species; for as there is Infinite Nature which may be called General Nature, or Nature in General, which includes and comprehends all the effects and Creatures that lie within her, and belong to her, as be∣ing parts of her own self-moving body; so there are also particular natures in every Creature, which are the in∣nate, proper and inherent interior and substantial forms and figures of every Creature, according to their own kind or species, by which each Creature or part of Nature is discerned or distinguished from the other; as for example, although an Animal and a Vegetable be fellow Creatures, and both Natural, because Mate∣rial, yet their interior particular Natures are not the same, because they are not of the same kind, but each has its own particular Nature quite different from the other; and these particular Natures are nothing else but a change of corporeal figurative motions, which make this diversity of figures; for were the same inte∣rior and natural motions found in an Animal as are in Page  6 a Vegetable, an Animal would be a Vegetable, and a Vegetable an Animal without any difference; and after this rate there would be no variety at all in Nature; but self-motion acting diversly and variously, not onely in every kind and species, but in every particular Creature and part of Nature, causeth that wonderful variety which appears every where even to our admiration in all parts of Nature. But to return to artificial effects, it is known that Nature has her own ways in her actions, and that there are constant productions in every kind and sort of natural Creatures, which Nature observes in the propagation and increase of them; whose gene∣ral manner and way is always the same; (I say, general, because there are many variations in the particular mo∣tions belonging to the production of every particular Creature.) For example, all Mankind is produced after one and the same manner or way, to wit, by the copulation of two persons of each Sex; and so are other sorts of Creatures produced other ways: also a perfect Creature is produced in the same shape, and has the same interior and exterior figure as is proper to it ac∣cording to the nature of its kind and species to which it belongs, and this is properly called a natural produ∣ction: But when the figurative motions in particular productions do not move after this ordinary way, as in the productions of Monsters, it is called a praeter-natural or irregular production, proceeding from the irregu∣larity of motions; not praeternatural in respect to general Page  7 Nature, but in respect to the proper and particular na∣ture of the figure. And in this regard I call Artifical effects Hermaphroditical, that is, partly Natural, and partly Artificial; Natural, because Art cannot pro∣duce any thing without natural matter, nor without the assistance of natural motions, but artificial, because it works not after the way of natural productions; for Art is like an emulating Ape, and will produce such figures as Nature produces, but it doth not, nor cannot go the same way to work as Nature doth; for Natures ways are more subtil and mysterious, then that Art, or any one particular Creature should know, much less trace them; and this is the true construction of my sense concerning natural and artificial production; whereby it is manifest that I am not of the opinion of that Experimental Writer who thinks it no improba∣bility to say that all natural effects may be called artifi∣cial, nay, that Nature her self may be called the Art of God; for Art is as much inferior to Nature, as a part is inferior to the whole, and all Artificial Effects are Ir∣regular in comparison to Natural; wherefore to say God or Nature works Artificially, would be as much as to say they work irregularly.