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of sublunary space; while the sterile fancy of another sees no glory in the heavens, and no loveliness on earth.
A system of mental philosophy, therefore, pretending to the truth of nature, ought not only to unfold the simple elements of thought and of feeling, but to enable us to discover in what proportions they are combined in different individuals. In chemical science, one combination of elementary ingredients produces a medicine of sovereign virtue in removing pain; another combination of the same materials, but differing in their relative proportions, brings forth a mortal poison. In human nature, also, one combination of faculties may produce the midnight murderer and thief; and another, a FRANKLIN, a HOWARD, or a FRY, glowing with charity to man.
If, however, we inquire at the philosophers on the mind, for rules by which to discriminate the effects upon the character and conduct of individuals, produced by different combinations of the mental powers, what information do we receive? Instead of light upon this interesting subject, we find in their works only disputes, whether such differences exist in nature, or are the result of education and other adventitious circumstances; many maintaining the one opinion, while some few advocate the other. This department of the philosophy of man, in short, is a perfect waste. Mr STEWART is aware equally of its importance and forlorn condition. The varieties of intellectual character among men, says he, present another very interesting object of study, which, "considering its practical utility, has not yet excited, so much as might have been expected, the curiosity of our countrymen." (Dissert. Part ii. p. 198). The reason appears sufficiently obvious. The common modes of studying man afforded no clew to the discovery desired.
In thus surveying the philosophy of man, as at present exhibited to us in the writings of philosophers, we perceive, first, That no account is given of the influence of the material organs on the manifestations of the mental powers;
that the progress of the mind from youth to age, and the phenomena of sleep, dreaming, idiocy and insanity, are left unexplained or unaccounted for, by any principles admitted in their system: Secondly, That the existence and functions of some of the most important primitive faculties are still in dispute; and, thirdly, That no light whatever has been thrown on the nature and effects of combinations of the primitive powers, in different degrees of relative proportion. It is with great truth, therefore, that Monsieur De Bonald, quoted by Mr STEWART, observes, that "diversity of doctrine has increased from age to age, with the number of masters, and with the progress of knowledge; and Europe, which at present possesses libraries filled with philosophical works, and which reckons up almost as many philosophers as writers; poor in the midst of so much riches, and uncertain with the aid of all its guides, which road it should follow; Europe, the centre and focus of all the lights of the world, has yet its philosophy only in expectation."
While philosophers have been thus unsuccessfully engaged in the study of mental science, human nature has been investigated by another set of observers,-Moralists, Poets and Divines. These have looked upon the page of life merely to observe the characters there exhibited, with the view of tracing them anew in their compositions: and certainly they have executed their design with great felicity and truth. In the pages of SHAKSPEARE, ADDISON, JOHNSON, TILLOTSON and BLAIR, we have the lineaments of mind traced with a perfect tact, and exhibited with matchless beauty and effect: But these authors had no systematic object in view, and did not aim at founding their observations on principles which might render them subservient to the practical purposes of life. Hence, although in their compositions we find ample and admirable materials for the elucidation of a true system of the philosophy of man, yet, without other aids than they supply, we cannot arrive at fundamental principles sufficient to guide us in our intercourse with the world. The charge against their represen
tations of human nature is, not that they are incorrect, but that they are too general to be useful. They draw striking pictures of good men and of bad men, but do not enable us to discover, prior to experience, whether any particular individual with whom we may wish to connect our fortunes, belongs to the one class or the other, a matter of the last importance, because, in the course of gaining experience, we encounter the risk of suffering the greatest calamities. In short, Poets and Novelists describe men as they do the weather; in their pages they make the storm to rage with terrific energy, or the sun to shine with the softest radiance, but do not enable us to discover whether, to-morrow, the elements will war, or the zephyrs play; and without this power, we cannot put to sea with the certainty of favouring gales, nor stay in port without the risk of losing winds that would have wafted us to the wished-for shore. Phrenology, therefore, if a true system of human nature, ought not only to furnish to the popular reader the key of philosophy, to unlock the stores of intellectual wealth contained in the volumes of our most gifted authors, but also to render their representations of human character practically useful, by enabling him to discover the natural qualities of living individuals prior to experience of their conduct, and thus to appreciate their tendencies before becoming the victim of their incapacity or passions.
The causes of the failure of the metaphysician are easily recognised. He studied the mind chiefly by reflecting on his own consciousness; he turned his attention inwards, observed the phenomena of his own faculties, and recorded these as metaphysical science. But the mind is not conscious of organs at all; we are not informed by feeling of the existence of muscles, of nerves of motion, nerves of taste, nerves of smell, of an auditory apparatus, of optic nerves, or of any mental organs whatever. All that consciousness reveals is, that the mind inhabits the head; but it does not inform us what material substances the head contains; and hence it was impossible for the metaphysician to discover
the organs of the mind by his method of philosophising, and no metaphysical philosopher pretends to have discovered them. The imperfection of this mode of investigation accounts for the contradictory results obtained by different metaphysicians. Suppose an individual possessed of a brain like a New Hollander, to turn philosopher; he would never, by reflecting on his own consciousness, find an instinctive faculty for art; and, therefore, he would exclude it from his system. Another philosopher, constituted like RAPHAEL, on the other hand, would feel it strongly, and give it a prominent place.
When we turn our attention to the works of Physiologists, we discover the most ceaseless, but fruitless, endeavours to ascertain and determine the parts of the body, with which the several mental powers are most closely connected. Some of them have dissected the brain, in the hope of discovering in its texture an indication of the functions which it performs in relation to the mind; but success has not hitherto crowned their efforts. When we examine, with the most scrupulous minuteness, the form, colour, and texture of the brain, no sentiment can be perceived slumbering in its fibres, nor half-formed ideas starting from its folds. It appears to the eye only as a mass of curiously convoluted matter; and the understanding declares its incapacity to penetrate the purposes of its parts.
In short, we cannot, by merely dissecting any organ of the body, discover its functions. For example, anatomists, for many centuries, dissected the nerves of motion and feeling, and saw nothing in their structure that indicated the difference of their functions; and, at this moment, if the nerves of taste and of hearing were presented together on the table, we might look at them for ages without discovering any traces of their functions from their structure alone. Simple dissection of the brain, therefore, could not lead to the discovery of the functions of its different parts.
The obstacles which have hitherto opposed the attain ment of this information have been many.
Imagination has been called in to afford information which philosophy withheld, and theories have been invented to supply the place of knowledge founded on fact and legitimate induction. "The greater number of physiologists, physicians and philosophers," says Dr SPURZHEIM, "derive the moral sentiments from various viscera, or from the nervous plexus and ganglia of the great sympathetic nerve, that is, from the nerves of the abdomen and thorax; but, comparative anatomy and physiology entirely contradict this opinion. There are animals endowed with faculties attributed to certain bowels or viscera, which do not possess these viscera. Insects, for instance, become angry, and have neither liver nor bile. Oxen, horses, hogs, &c. have many viscera in structure analogous to those of man, and yet they want many faculties which are attributed to these viscera, and with which man is endowed." The heart is supposed to be the seat of the tender affections; but the heart of the tiger and of the lamb are alike in structure, and the one ought to be the organ of cruelty, and the other of meekness, if this supposition were true. (New Phys. Syst. p. 133). Other physiologists have compared the size of the brain of man with that of the lower animals; contrasting at the same time their mental powers; and have been led to the conclusion that it is the organ of the mind, and that its superior development in man indicates his mental superiority over the brutes; but these philosophers have not succeeded in determining the functions of the different parts of this organ, and have not been able, in any important degree, to connect their discoveries with the philosophy of mind. CAMPER, in order to measure the extent of the brain, and, as he imagined, the corresponding energy of the intellectual faculties, drew a vertical line, touching the upper lip and the most prominent part of the forehead; and also a horizontal line, crossing the former, and touching the tips of the upper front teeth, and the external opening of the ear, or, at least, cor.. responding to these points in its direction; and he thought