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is added, that the organ of Colouring is small in his head, while that of Locality is fully developed : you are now as it were examining the instrument while you observe its performance.
Phil. I comprehend your illustration, and, as I desire only to find the truth, I may observe, that although I see no. adequate ground, a priori, for assigning locality to one faculty and colouring to another, neither do I perceive any good reason in the nature of these mental acts to deny that the case may be as you state ;—the acts themselves are different, just as the feeling of benevolence is different from that of cruelty, and therefore they may belong to different organs; but it lies with you to prove that they do so. Besides, what is your exact definition of a faculty ?
Phren. Your candour and love of truth I never doubted, whenever it was possible to surmount the prejudices with which your mind had been preoccupied. We admit that the burden of proving the truth of phrenology rests with us, and all we request is your attention to the evidence. You will find some of it in the Phrenological Transactions, part in the Phrenological Journal, but Nature herself is the grand record of which I would solicit your consideration. The best definition of a faculty which I am able to give is this,
a particular mental power connected with a particular part “ of the brain as its organ.”
Phil. But this conveys no idea of what the particular
power is ?
Phren. The works on phrenology specify them. Thus, Causality is one, and Tune is another.
Phil. But you call combativeness a faculty, and benevolence a faculty, and these are mere feelings or states of mind, and not powers.
Phren. This is one of the errors of the old philosophy. Do you ever meet in society with persons who oppose you at every step, contradict you in every argument, and maintain a systematic opposition to every proposal submitted to their consideration ?
Phil. Yes, I do, and this variety of character is admitted in scripture. The apostle speaks of men who through strife preached Christ crucified.
Phren. Whether, then, is it more correct to view those persons as possessing an active impulse or propensity prompting them to opposition in general, without requiring any hostile aggressions to call it into activity, or to consider their minds as only susceptible of entering into the state of opposition when external circumstances call for it ?-Which opinion is best supported by facts,—that which regards combativeness as a disposition, a tendency, an instinct, in such minds, or merely a state which may be induced like any other state, but which exerts no active influence over their conduct?
Phil. I am disposed to admit there is some colour of plausibility in your remarks.
Phren. But I might go farther. One great evil produced by the metaphysical mode of philosophizing is, that too narrow a view is taken of the general constitution of the mind. If the metaphysician can discover any plausible explanation of a particular mental phenomenon, he never conceives himself called on to consider how his theory concerning it accords with other facts regarding the mental powers, or with human nature in general. For example, when he gravely tells
you, 6 that he regards every intellectual operation as a “ general result of our spiritual nature; and that metaphy“ sics draws no line of separation between intellect, faculty, “ and feeling,” he does not imagine himself called upon to reconcile with this statement the notorious facts, that some men have strong feelings and weak intellects, or, vice versa, that others possess particular feelings in a powerful degree, while they are almost insensible to others; or that one intellectual faculty is found deficient, and all the others eminently energetic, in the same individual. Or, again, when the metaphysical opponent adds, that “ nothing can be more « monstrous than to talk of the propagation of an intellec“ tual power," he does not think it necessary to grapple
with Dr Gregory's statement to the same effect, in the following words :-“ Hujusmodi varietates non corporis modo,
verum et animi quoque, plerumque congenitæ, nonnun“ quam hereditariæ, observantur. Hoc modo parentes sæpè “ in prole reviviscunt; certè parentibus liberi similes sunt,
non vultum modo et corporis formam, sed animi indolem, “ et virtutes, et vitia. Imperiosa gens Claudia diu Romæ « floruit, impigra, ferox, superba ; eadem illachrymabilem “ Tiberium, tristissimum Tyrannum produxit; tandem in “ immanem Calligulam, et Claudium, et Agrippinam, ip
sumque demum Neronem, post sexcentos annos desitura." In short, the metaphysical student has his faculties too much warped, and his field of vision too much limited to a point, to discover the bearing of the phenomena of nature on his theories, and hence is led into inextricable labyrinths and interminable errors. The phrenologist is in a different situ- . ation. He discovers that combativeness and destructiveness, for example, are powers, by attending to their effects ; and he ascertains that they are connected with different organs by physical observation ; and then he compares these conclusions with appearances presented to him by the human mind in every condition. One individual in society is remarkable for deficiency of the combative principle, and another is distinguished for its energy. These facts harmonize with the existence of a small and large development of the organ in different persons, which can be pointed out to the senses. The records of insanity describe cases of the most dreadful fury without derangement of intellect or even of the moral feelings. The connexion of these different powers with distinct organs, one of which may become diseased, and the others remain sound, coincides with this fact. The patient of Mr Hood at Kilmarnock* lost the power of recollecting words and their signification, while every other faculty of his mind remained entire; and the doctrine of a
• Phren. Trans. p. 235.
separate faculty and organ of language accords with this description; and all these cases shew, that the idea of a power which may become active by internal impulse being connected with particular organs, coincides better with the general phenomena of mind than the notion that there are no faculties, but only different states of mind.
Phil. I now comprehend what you mean by a faculty; but there is another preliminary obstacle to the study of phrenology, which appears to me nearly insurmountable; I mean the difficulty of discriminating the intellectual and moral character of individuals who are the subjects of observation. I do not mean to say that it is impossible to form an accurate estimate of a man's character from his conduct ; but I do maintain, that to effect this purpose requires such an extensive acquaintance with conduct, and the motives which led to it, as may be obtained by any one person only in a comparatively small number of cases, and will furnish an induction much too limited to serve as the basis of any general rules.
Phren. It is a common mistake to suppose that all the organs and faculties were discovered, or are to be demonstrated to others, in a single individual. Were this the method followed by phrenologists, your objections would be insuperable; but nothing can be farther from the truth. They state, that each organ and its functions were discovered by observation of extreme cases, and are to be proved by such alone. Who can hesitate in deciding, for example, that Haydn had a great faculty for music, and Mr Sloane, * whose mask is to be found in the Phrenological Society's Collection, certifies that he scarcely knows one tune from another. The talents here are so different, that no deep skill is requisite to distinguish them; and therefore the masks of these individuals may be contrasted in regard to the organ of Tune. You will find the development as different as the
Phren. Trans, p. 226.
mental manifestations. Again, it is impossible to read the literary productions, or to listen to the speeches of Dr Chalmers and Mr Joseph Hume respectively, and entertain a moment's doubt as to which of them manifests most of ideality; and masks of their foreheads are to be found, in which an equally palpable difference of the organs of ideality appears. No person can read the history of King Robert Bruce, and doubt that he possessed firmness and courage in an eminent degree; and in the cast of his skull the indications of the organs of these faculties stand prominently forth. The Rev. Mr M. mentioned in the Phrenological Transactions, p. 310, at a mature age, left a mechanical trade, to study divinity, and served as a clergyman for many years thereafter, with distinguished piety and zeal. The manifestations of veneration are extremely conspicuous; and it is a fact, that in his head the organ is largely developed. In the conduct of the boy J. G. mentioned in the Transactions, p. 289, the most striking indications of cunning and want of Conscientiousness were exhibited, and in his head Secretiveness is found large and Conscientiousness small. Now, if in every instance where a very decided character, animal, moral, or intellectual, comes under your notice, you observe the development of the brain, and contrast the organs with which the strong manifestations are connected, with a cast of an individual of opposite powers or dispositions, you will find the difficulties really far less than you imagine.
Phil. You phrenologists are very ready with your answers, and those of you who possess a little ingenuity, are really extremely plausible in your statements; but then your organs compensate one another, and by the help of this principle, and a little dexterous metaphysical analysis, I know not any character whatever which might not be reconciled to the tenement in which it is lodged, conformably to the rules of the system. Thus, if we observe an open expanded forehead, presenting the organs of the intellectual faculties very fully developed, we must not be surprised to find the owner of this enviable apparatus deficient in intel
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