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In the Introduction, I have shewn that the Brain is admitted by Physiologists in general, to be the organ of the Mind; but that two obstacles have impeded the discovery of the uses of its particular parts. 1st, Dissection alone does not reveal the functions of any organ. No person, by dissecting the optic nerve, could predicate that its office is to minister to vision; or, by dissecting the tongue, could discover that it is the organ of taste. Anatomists, therefore, could not, by the mere practice of their art, discover the functions of the different portions of the brain. 2dly, The mind is not directly conscious of acting by means of organs; and hence the material instruments, by means of which it performs its operations in this life, and communicates with the external world, cannot be discovered by reflection on consciousness.
The phrenologist compares development of brain with manifestations of mental power, for the purpose of discovering the functions of the brain, and the organs of the mind. This course is adopted, in consequence of the accidental discovery made by Dr GALL, that certain mental powers are vigorously manifested, when certain portions of the brain are large, and vice versa, as detailed in the Intro
duction. It is free from the objections attending the anatomical and metaphysical modes of research, and conform to the principles of inductive philosophy.
No inquiry is instituted into the substance of the Mind, or into the question, Whether the mind fashions the organs, or the organs constitute the mind? If dissection of organs does not reveal their functions, and if reflection on consciousness does not disclose the nature of the mind's connection with matter, no means remain of arriving at philosophical conclusions on these points; and speculative reasoning concerning them, although it may amuse the fancy, cannot instruct the judgment. Mr STEWART justly observes, "that the metaphysical opinions which we may happen to have formed concerning the nature either of body or of mind, and the efficient causes by which their phenomena are produced, have no necessary connection with our inquiries concerning the laws according to which the phenomena take place." "Whether, for example, the cause of gravitation be material or immaterial, is a point about which two Newtonians may differ, while they agree perfectly in their physical opinions. It is sufficient if both admit the general fact, that bodies tend to approach each other, with a force varying with their mutual distance, according to a certain law. In like manner, in the study of the human mind, the conclusions to which we are led by a careful examination of the phenomena it exhibits, have no necessary connection with our opinions concerning its nature and essence."-Elements, vol. i. Introduction. The object of phrenology is to discover the Faculties of the Human Mind; the organs by means of which they are manifested; and the influence of the organs on the manifestations. It does not enable us to predict actions.
A mental organ is a material instrument, by means of which the Mind in this life manifests a particular power. Dr GALL's discovery leads us to view the Brain as a congeries of such organs, and in the Introduction, reasons have been assigned for regarding this proposition as sufficiently pro
bable, to justify an inquiry into the direct evidence by which it is supported. For the purpose of comparing mental faculties with cerebral development, it is necessary to shew, 1st, That the mental qualities of individuals can be discovered; and, 2dly, That the size of different parts of the brain can be ascertained during life.
1st, Discrimination of mental Dispositions and Talents.In regard to the Feelings, men praetised in the business of life have observed, that one individual is strongly addicted to covetousness,-another to cruelty,-another to benevolence,—another to pride,—another to vanity; and they are accustomed to regard these dispositions as natural, uniform, and permanent. They have never believed, that a man, by an effort of the will, can totally change his nature, or that the true character is so little manifested, that a person may be prone to benevolence to-day, who yesterday was addicted to avarice; that one who is now sinking in the lowest abasement of self-humiliation in his own eyes, may to-morrow become conceited, confident and proud; or that to-day an individual may be deaf to the voice of censure or of fame, who yesterday was tremblingly alive to every breath that was blown upon his character. Nay, they have even regarded these dispositions as independent of one another, and separable; for they have often found that the possession of one was not accompanied with the presence of the whole. Hence, in addressing any individual, they have been in the custom of modifying their conduct, according to their previous knowledge of his dispositions or genius, obtained by observing his actions. To the covetous man they address one motive; to the benevolent another; to the proud a third; and to the vain a fourth. When they wish to move such individuals to act, they speak to the first, of his personal interest; to the second, of the pleasure of doing good; to the third, of the necessity of preserving his own dignity; and to the fourth, of the great praise that will attend the performance of the action recommended.
As to intellectual endowments, a person who has heard, for the most fleeting moment, the bursts of melody which flow from the throat of CATALANI, cannot be deceived as to the fact of her possessing a great endowment of the faculty of Tune; he who has listened but for a few minutes to the splendid eloquence of CHALMERS, can have no doubt that he is gifted with Ideality; and he who has studied the writings of Dr THOMAS BROWN, cannot hesitate as to his having manifested profound discriminative and analytic talent. In surveying the prodigies performed by some individuals in mechanics, poetry, painting, and sculpture, it is equally impossible to doubt the existence of particular powers, conferring capacities for excelling in these different branches of art. It is equally easy to find individuals, in whom these various powers are as indubitably deficient. Hence the difficulties of determining the existence of particular intellectual talents, and their degrees of strength, are not unsurmountable; especially if extreme cases be sought for, and these, as the instantia ostentiva, ought to be first resorted to. Men of observation have acted on these principles without hesitation, and without injury to themselves. They have not designed for the orchestra, the individual whom they found incapable of distinguishing betwixt a rude noise and a melodious sound, on the notion, that "a genius for music" might be "acquired by habits of study or of business." They do not place in difficult situations, requiring great penetration and much sagacity, individuals who cannot trace consequences beyond the stretch of three ideas: nor do they conceive, that a man, who has no intellectual capacity to-day, may become a genius to-morrow, or in ten years hence, by an effort of the will.
They, no doubt, have always observed, that the faculties are developed in succession; that the child is not in possession of the powers of the full grown man; and that, hence, a boy may be dull at ten, who may turn out a genius at twenty years of age, when his powers are fully unfolded by time. But they do not imagine that every boy may be
made a genius, by habits of study or of business; nor believe, that, after the faculties are fully developed, any individual may, by exertions of the will, become great in a department of philosophy or science, for which he had previously no natural capacity. They have observed, that cultivation strengthens powers, in themselves vigorous; but they have not found that education can render eminently energetic, dispositions or capacities which nature has created feeble. On the other hand, they have remarked, that, where Nature has bestowed a powerful disposition or capacity of a particular kind, it will hold the predominant sway in the character during life, notwithstanding every effort to eradicate or subdue it. They have noticed, too, that where Nature has bestowed, in an eminent degree, the faculties which constitute genius, the individual will manifest his native superiority, in spite of great obstacles arising from circumstances or situation. The lives of poets, painters, and artists, in every age, display examples of the truth of this observation.
An individual, no doubt, may do particular actions, or even for a time follow a course of action, the same in external appearance, from different internal motives. But few men can pass their whole lives in disguise, or acquire the art of acting in the business and enjoyments of life, so habitually and so skilfully, as not to allow their true characters to appear to those who are placed in a favourable situation to observe them; or, if there be persons who do possess this power of dissimulation, it forms the predominant feature in their mental constitution; and, as will afterwards be shewn, it is indicated by a particular form of organization. But, farther, let it be observed, that it is only in so far as the propensities and sentiments of our nature are concerned, that disguise is possible, even in a single case. In every act that depends on the knowing and reflecting faculties, it is absolutely impracticable. No man can either write logical discourses, or trace profoundly an abstract principle, who has not powerful reflecting faculties. No one