« הקודםהמשך »
impressions made upon his senses, so as to state them to others, without the presence of the object originally exciting them, -a power which brutes are not observed io possess, and which implies self-prompted action, in contrast to mere passive affection. In brief, it was genuine memory, a faculty peculiar to man. They further supposed, that they noticed in man a capacity of taking up impressions thus retained and re-produced, and combining, comparing, and classifying them, in obedience to some general laws. Here were generalization and language,-powers observed not to belong to brutes, or any mere matter. They saw, or supposed they saw, that while birds can make nests, and bees construct hives,—thus availing themselves of the law of cause and effect, by a blind instinct showing them the way of preserving and propagating their species,-man can take this law and make it a distinct object of contemplation in the abstract ; that he can view it, and apply it under all circumstances, whether in immediate reference to the preservation of his species, or not; that, seeing the effect of fire on water, of the superincumbent air on a vacuum beneath, and of inertia to keep a moving wheel in motion, he contrives the steam-engine. Thus also, he can view other laws in themselves, on their own account, as truths, and not merely as a substratum. He can view them in the abstract, as well as in the concrete. This power is not observed to inhere in matter. They observed too, or supposed that they observed, a power of intuitive insight into certain truths, producing an immediate couviction of their universality and necessity. For instance, mathematical axioms and demonstrations,-primary truths, such as: Every effect must have a cause; man cannot be a responsible without being a voluntary agent, etc.
This power is not observed to belong to matter, whether dead, organic, or animal. They further supposed, that they noticed in man a sense of right and wrong, according to which he judges of his feelings, principles and actions. This too was observed to belong to no other being. They also noticed, that man felt self-reproach for disregard of this law, and self-complacence in obeying it; and this, because he felt that he ought to obey it. They therefore assigned to man a self-controlling power, called the will, which originates its own states, and gives direction to the emotions and thoughts of the soul, and actions of the body. This they observed did not belong to animals, as they were not conscious, that the activity of these powers lay in any portion of the body; as the sensations of any set of muscles did not beget thought; as too, other material objects were uniformly found inadequate to the effects, as just described ; they concluded, that the human mind owed its distinctive powers to something gifted with an energy which matter has not, --spirit. Nevertheless, though the mind is observed to use no part of the body
in these higher workings, as it employs the eye, the ear, etc., in external perception, it was known, that there was a sympathy and mutual dependence between the two. The mind, when strongly excited, shows its workings in bodily sensations. The feelings of the soul only become known to us through some undefinable motions and affections of the body, in the neighborhood of the heart. A sleepy, or torpid, or diseased state of body, stamps the same character upon the mind. In short, they operate by a sympathetic ebb and flow from one to the other. It was therefore judged, that man had a two-fold nature, consisting of body and spirit; and that, while the latter was designed to be master of the former, the former is, in beings constituted as we are, a condition of the manifestations of the latter. The proverbial language of men, too, shows, that the head and brain were regarded as the main bodily organ, which limits the energy of the mind. We all understand what sort of reproach is conveyed, when a person is called a sap-head, or said to lack brains. Dr. Johnson's severe retort is, no doubt, in the minds of all our readers : "I am bound to find you in reasons, but not in brains, sir!” They believed man to be thus fitted up with these various powers and susceptibilities; they believed, too, that he had unbounded resources of happiness, in the harmony between them and their proper objects; a due subordination of the body to the soul, and of the the soul to the requisitions of the great moral law. They believed, that the moral law enjoined benevolence to our fellow-men, veneration for sacred persons and things, and a conscientiousness that was scrupulous, and even punctilious, in the performance of duty; and, that all our other faculties ought to be reduced in subservience to these. Such, in substance, to the best of our knowledge, amid all the controversies waged about entities and quiddities, has been common ground with all respectable philosophers prior to Messrs. Gall and Spurzheim. Now, what are we to think of these presumptuous dogmatists, who pronounce all the opinions of former philosophers to be founded on mere hypothesis and fancy? The simple fact is, that Plato, Locke, Reid, Kant, and Stewart, pryed deeper ipto mental phenomena, and saw more of the mind, than “your philosophy ever dreamed of.” And they did so for the plain reason, that they studied mental operations as such, and reasoned upon them, while our new doctors have been dissecting and reasoning upon the brain,
Let us see, now, what these gentlemen have done to tear away the established foundations of mental science, and to erect a new fabric on its ruins.
In the first place, they say they have noted thirty five protuberances on the head; each of which is shown, by a long series of observations, to indicate some tendency of mind or character, VOL. VII.
whose strength, other things being equal, is proportioned to the size of the protuberance. We have no anxiety to debate this point with them. If they have done so,—which may need more proof than they have yet furnished to establish,-let them have the glory of it.
But they add, secondly, that these swells on the head are protruded by separate interior masses of brain. We confess ou doubt here, but have no time to pursue it. Be it as they claim They infer from these separate inclosures, set apart for each men tal tendency, that, since the brain is the organ of mind, these several divisions of it are so many organs; and that, since organ: correspond to the powers acting through them, there is the same nuniber of original, independent, mental faculties. They utterly scout the idea of the mind's unity. They insist, that it leaves the variety of the mental phenomena unes plained, and inexplicable. The following is their language upon this point:
The evidence for the plurality of the mental organs must be admitted to be both physiological and philosophical.
This discovery will one day be appreciated, as the greatest boon conferred by observation and science on the human race. Levison, p. 21.
• Unity of mind, its indivisibility into various faculties, feelings, and propensities, can do it (that is, erpluin facts, as well as the indivisibility of the solar ray can explain the prismatic spectrum and the rainbow.' Chenevix, p. 77.
may be some truth in all this,--we are sure there is much error,-if we understand their meaning. They cannot be so stupid, as for a moment to conceive, that the old idea of the mind's unity excluded diversity of operations. They must know, that philosophers were fully aware of the immense variety of mental affections, dispositions and thoughts, and never once thought of questioning it; nay, held it forth to distinct view in all their reasonings. It was supposed, too, that one fundamental faculty gave rise to all these varied manifestations ; that the mind performs three species of operations, under the relations of feeling, intellect, will ; that these functions performed, each separately, a great variety of operations. They considered the mind thus simple and incapable of decomposition, because of the unity of consciousness, the light by which the mind sees itself, and because of their perception of their own personal identity. The mind refers all its actings to the same unchanging self, with the same spontaneous and unquestioning assurance with which it pronounces two and two to be four, or feels all the motions of the body to belong to one and the same body. They saw that, if the mind was a compound of various agents, instead of being an ele
mental power, which originates different kinds of activity, then must the feeling of oneness and continuity in mental action be broken, and personal identity forever vanish. Each human body, instead of includiny one person, would contain a family of persons. Regarding the proof of the mind's unity, as irrefragable as that of their own being, they never had the sagacity to discern its inconsistency with the possession of varied capacities and modes of operation. In our view, they recognized a larger variety of mental functions, than our pbrenological friends have done. They saw the one vegetative power of the tree shoot forth into a thousand branches: the one body wielding various members; the one mind giving birth to manifold creations. Nor did it strike them, that these branches, these members, these creations, were to be regarded in any sense as primitive and fundamental ; but, as products, modes, or relations of the power from which they came. We ask phrenologists to say, whether the above is not a fair account of the opinions hitherto entertained on this subject ? We ask, too, were not these opinions right?
Now phrenologists insist, that they have made a mighty advance in mental philosophy, by establishing thirty-five distinct fundamental faculties. Here they must mean one of two things : either that fornier philosophers have not held to varieties of mental phenomena, as we have stated,-a flagrant calumny,—or that, instead of the old idea of different modes of activity in the same energy, they have substituted different agents. All know, that they mean the latter. They urge this view on two grounds. 1st, There are thirty-five projections on the head. As the brain is the organ of mind, and the only means of its action, separate masses of brain must be separate organs, and of course have separate faculties. Now, without questioning their alledged premises, we ask, what proof have they, that these may not indicate different actings of the same faculty, as well as different faculties? How, too, do they know, that different sorts of activity may not swell parts of the brain too far inward to be seen, or so as to protrude the inactive exterior bumps? The lungs and mouth, in one position give out shrill tones; in another, grave ones. Are they different faculties in each instance? Nervous irritability, in one instance, is a source of pain ; in another, a cheerful prompter of activity. Are here different faculties? The countenance, in one aspect, exhibits indignation; in another, joy. Is it not ono and the same faculty ?
But they urge again, that the diversities of mental operation, and the idiosyncrasies of character, on any other supposition, are insolvable mysteries.
As a specimen of their reasoning on this point, take the fol
It cannot be the same faculty which makes us love ourselves and our neighbors, which is fond of destroying and preserving, which feels self-esteem or seeks other's approbation.' Spurzheim, vol. ii. p. 23.
Now this is either sheer dogmatism, or ignorance, or both together. Every one knows, that such things are essential to the very idea of the will; an idea, by the way, of which phrenologists seem to have lost sight, in its just import, as we shall yet see more fully. They are not content to refer the moral feelings and affections to one power. The same agent that is conscientious, cannot, it seems, be reverent or kind; so we have conscientiousness, veneration, and benevolence. Well, it turns out, that one reveres blocks, another the living God, another persons in authority, and another nothing. How are we to solve this ? Oh! we are told, these are different states of the activity of the same saculty! If then they are forced to this principle at last, why not allow it at first, and take the philosophical ground of assuming no more causes than are sufficient to explain the phenomena. It is not enough, that we have one eye to see, and a soul to delight in colors, and their thousand-fold shadings and combinations. We must have an organ of color. But why does one like black, and another blue, and another both combined ?
“De gustibus non est disputandum.” We see no reason for thirty-five original faculties, which does not weigh equally well for three hundred and fifty, or three thousand five hundred.
Having disposed of this discovery, we proceed to another built upon it, and which is a much more direct innovation upon mental science. It seems, according to Dr. Spurzheim, that the old philosophers have not only “taken effects for causes, and confounded modes of action, in quantity and quality, with fundamental faculties; they have also overlooked one of the most important conditions to the exhibition of affection and intellectual powers, viz., the organization of the brain." Spurzheim, vol. ii. p. 24.
That the import of this may be more manifest, we quote the following from Levison :
• Experience affirms, that the cerebral organs were subject to the same conditions, as the external senses and the muscular system.”
Thus we are incessantly treated with earnest discourse about the dependence of the mind on the laws of the brain, and its capacities being graduated and limited by the energy of its “cerebral instruments." For those not versed in the jargon of this new nomenclature, we will just say, that bumps are meant by this terse and idiomatic phrase. Now it is true, that weariness of body gives weariness of mind; that long-protracted exercise of the mind begets a want of rest; and that the refusal of this re