« VorigeDoorgaan »
society has originated. Man is created obviously with a view to the social state. His feelings of benevolence, love of praise and justice, require society for their objects, as much as the stomach requires food to enable it to perform. the process of digestion; and nature, by means of this faculty, seems to give the instinctive tendency to associate, by means of which the whole powers of the mind may find scope for exercise. If this view be correct, deficiency in the organ will be essential to an anchorite or hermit.
Some of the lower animals possess this propensity as well as man: It is remarkably strong in the dog; and horses and oxen sometimes become sick and pine, when deprived of accustomed companions. "It is to be observed, however," says Dr SPURZHEIM, " that the instinct of being attached for life, and that of living in society, are not mere degrees of energy, so that a lower degree produces attachment for life, and a higher degree for society. For there are animals which live in society without being attached for life; as the bull, the dog, cock, &c.; others live in society, and in family, as starlings, ravens, crows, &c. ; others again are attached for life without living in society, as the fox, magpie," &c. The instinct, therefore, of living in society, and that of living in family, are modifications of the faculty in question; just as smell, although the same sense in herbivorous and carnivorous animals, is modified in the former to take cognizance of vegetable substances, and in the latter, of the animal fibre and effluvia. "Man belongs to the animals which are social and attached for life; society and marriage are consequently effects not of human reflection, but of an original decree of nature."-Spurzheim's Physiog. Syst. p. 200, and Phrenology, p. 152.
Dr GALL does not coincide in the opinion that attachment for life in man and animals results from this organ. It appears to him, so far as his knowledge of natural history extends, that, in all species where both the male and female concur in rearing the young, marriage for life exists; and that, on the other hand, where the unaided female
is sufficient to this end, the connection is temporary. At the same time, he speaks with much reserve on the subject, and is not prepared to decide, whether there is a separate organ for attachment for life,-whether it is the result of a combination of several organs, or a modification of Adhesiveness.-Vol. iii. p. 485.
Excessive energy of this faculty produces extreme regret at the loss of friends, or at leaving our country. Nostalgia is supposed to result from disease of the organ. Mr STEWART and Dr THOMAS BROWN †, admit this tendency as a primitive instinct of our nature, and concur in general with the views of the phrenologists in regard to it.
J. J. ROUSSEAU founds his celebrated Essay on the Origin of the Inequality of Ranks, which obtained the prize from the Academy of Dijon, on the non-existence of such a propensity in the human mind. He views man in his natural state, as an isolated and wandering animal, satisfying his hunger by the chase, or by the fruit of the forest, and quenching his thirst at the spring or the brook, and having no more need or desire of society with his kind, than the eagle or the wolf. He conceives, that the individual who first enclosed a spot of ground and called it mine, and who first cajoled his fellow men to settle around him and assist him in his projects, was the author of all the evil with which human nature is now afflicted. Many volumes have been written in answer to this absurd lucubration; but I submit, that Phrenology, by shewing that those who have this part of the brain large, are inspired with an instinctive tendency to attachment and society, affords a brief and satisfactory refutation of the hypothesis.
The organ is established.
• Outlines, p. 87.
+ Lecture 67.
This organ is situated at the posterior-inferior angle of the parietal bone.
Dr GALL gives the following account of its discovery. After he had abandoned all the metaphysical systems of the mind, and become anxious to discover the primitive propensities of human nature, by means of observation, he collected in his house a number of individuals of the lower classes of society, following different occupations, coachdrivers, servants, &c, After acquiring their confidence, and disposing them to sincerity, by giving them wine and money, he drew them into conversation about each other's qualities, good and bad, and particularly about the striking characteristics in the disposition of each. In the portraits which they drew of each other, they paid particular attention to those who everywhere provoked quarrels and disputes; they also distinguished individuals of a pacific disposition, and spoke of them with contempt, calling them poltroons. Dr GALL became curious to discover, whether the heads of the bravoes whom they described differed in any respect from those of the pacific individuals. He ranged them on opposite sides, and found, that those who delighted in quarrels had that part of the head immediately behind, and a little above the ear, much larger than the others.
He observes, that there could be here no question about the influence of education, and that this prominent feature in the character of each could never be attributed to the influence of external circumstances. Men in the rank to which they belonged, abandon themselves without reserve to the impulse of their natural dispositions.
The spectacle of fighting animals was, at that time, still existing at Vienna. An individual belonging to the establishment was so extremely intrepid, that he frequently presented himself in the arena quite alone, to sustain the
combat against a wild boar, or a bull. In his head, the organ was found to be very large. Dr GALL next examined the heads of several of his fellow students, who had been banished from Universities for exciting contentions, and continually engaging in duels. In them also the organ was large. In the course of his researches, he met with a young lady who had repeatedly disguised herself in male attire, and maintained battles with the other sex; and in her, also, the organ was large. On the other hand, he examined the heads of individuals, who were equally remarkable for want of courage, and in them the organ was small. The heads of the courageous persons varied in every other point, but resembled each other in being large in this part. Equal differences were found in the other parts of the heads of the timid, when compared with each other, but all were small at Combativeness.
This faculty has fallen under the lash of ridicule, and it has been objected, that the Creator cannot have implanted in the mind a faculty for fighting. The objectors, however, have been equally shallow in learning, as in observation of human nature. The profoundest metaphysicians admit its existence, and the most esteemed authors describe its influence and operations. The character of Uncle TOBY, as drawn by STERNE, is in general true to nature, and it is a personification of the combative propensity, combined with great Benevolence and Integrity. "If," says Uncle TOBY, "when I was a school-boy, I could not hear a drum beat but my heart beat with it, was it my fault? Did I plant the propensity there? Did I sound the alarm within, or nature?" He proceeds to justify himself against the charge of cruelty supposed to be implied in a passion for the battle field. "Did any one of you," he continued, "shed more tears for HECTOR? And when King PRIAM came to the camp to beg his body, and returned weeping back to Troy without it, you know, brother, I could not eat my dinner. Did that bespeak me cruel? or, because, Brother SHANDY, my blood flew out into the camp, and
my heart panted for war, Was it a proof that it could not ache for the distress of war too?"
TACITUS, in his history of the war by VESPASIAN against VITELLIUS, mentions, that, "Even women chose to enter the capital and abide the siege. Amongst these, the most signal of all was VERULANA GRACILIA, a lady, who followed neither children nor kindred, nor relations, but followed only the war."—Lib. iii. "Courage," says Dr JOHNSON, "is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice."
Mr STEWART and Dr REID admit this propensity, under the name of "sudden resentment;" and Dr THOMAS BROWN gives an accurate and beautiful description of it, under the name of "instant anger." "There is a principle in our mind," says he, "which is to us like a constant protector, which may slumber indeed, but which slumbers only at seasons when its vigilance would be useless, which awakes at the first appearance of unjust intention, and which becomes more watchful and more vigorous in proportion to the violence of the attack which it has to dread. What should we think of the providence of nature, if, when aggression was threatened against the weak and unarmed, at a distance from the aid of others, there were instantly and uniformly, by the intervention of some wonder-working power, to rush into the hand of the defenceless, a sword or other weapon of defence? and yet this would be but a feeble assistance, if compared with that which we receive from those simple emotions which heaven has caused to rush, as it were, into our mind, for repelling every attack." —Vol. iii. p. 324. This emotion is exactly the phrenological propensity of Combativeness. The chief difference between Dr BROWN's views and ours, is, that he regards it as a mere susceptibility of emotion, liable to be called into action when provocation presents itself, but slumbering in quiescence in ordinary circumstances; while we look upon it as an active impulse, exerting an influence on the mental constitution, independent of unjust attack.