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sistent scheme of mutual relations. But if all good systems of arrangement be, in a certain sense, natural, in another sense all of them are artificial, for every system implies some startingpoint or principle of comparison ; and that which is best for the conception of one set of animal structures, may not be the best for another. Not one of them can for an instant be regarded as a type of what was in the prescient mind of the Creator when he called living nature into being.
If these remarks apply to arrangements of the animal kingdom like that of Cuvier, still more do they apply to the Circular and Quinary system of Mackay, who, pot content with the ascending and descending scale of older naturalists, and, following out a far wider series of analogies, has thrown the animated world into a circular arrangement, and in groups of five, and contrived to bring into a kind of orderly and geometrical comparison things in former times most widely put asunder. This scheme
may have its uses, and may sometimes assist us in comprehending nature, by submitting new analyses to our view; but it is intensely artificial, and is not accepted by our best physiologists and naturalists; and, on this account, is most unfit to form the basis of one single speculation on the high subject of a creative law. Its remote and sometimes most fanciful resemblances have a potent charm for this imaginative author; and led him, especially in his first edition, in to details offensive to every principle of sound reason and good taste. Our readers will find the passages to which we refer in his first edition, (pp. 268-271,) but our limits prevent us from quoting them,
If our author be cheated by his eyes and ears, and misled by his outer senses, he also has an inner principle which continually misleads him. He is not only, as we have said, intensely hypothetical, but intensely credulous. A drowning man will catch at a feather or a straw to save himself from sinking; but one who resolutely plunges into the water because he sees such things floating, would be counted a madman. Yet our author plunges into the very deepest streams of human speculation, without one quality fitted to bear him up except a blind belief in his own buoyancy; and be then catches at any thing and every thing that floats about him upon the surface. A hypothetical spirit is a good spirit, if it be properly tempered with knowledge, honesty, and sagacity. It is but a perpetual upward tendency, and a craving for some bigher principle, to bind together new phenomena and disconnected facts. When thus tempered, it leads us not to worship our first imaginations, and to make all nature bend to them, but it makes them bend to nature. We may carry as much sail as we please, if we have but
proper ballast, and a willing hand ready to turn the helm whenever we are steering on a shoal. This has been the governing principle of the two Herschels, father and son, of Black, of Davy, of Dalton, and other great names in modern discovery.
But we must turn again to our author to affirm, that he has neither knowledge to justify the positions he has taken, nor sagacity to discover any new means of defending them; but that he presses into his service every kind of force that will hoist bis colours for an hour. His credulity is quite on a level with bis rashness. Of these qualities we must give a few examples; but, for want of space, it must be in the way only of simple enumeration. He believes that Mr Crosse has, by help of his galvanie battery, made an Acarus well fledged and full of eggs; and he believes that he can build a stable system of animated nature upon its back. He believes that, by a double process of incubation, he can hatch a rat from a goose's egg—that a seven months' child has the brain of a beast--that dogs can play admirably at dominoes--and that he is himself a great philosopher, and born to • improve the knowledge of mankind, and through that medium their happiness !' (p. 387.) Let him, then, no longer .compose in solitude, and almost without the cognizance of a single • fellow-being,' but set up at once a new school of sky-blue philosophy, and he will fill the fashionable world with wonders. Under his celestial teaching we may live to see a grizzly dowager, a wheezing bachelor, and a withered maid, sitting down to a quiet game of whist with a new-fashioned dummy in the form of a solemn poodle; while a lively spitz, or fawning spaniel, is raised on its hind-quarters at the corner of the sofa table, and teaching the knighi's move to the younger ladies of the household !
But to go on with our enumeration. He believes that he is a great metaphysician-that mind and soul (as our fathers understood the word) are all a dream—that material organs are all in all-that he can weigh a mind as a butcher does a joint, by a steelyard—that he can measure the length and
breadth of psychology' by tangents, as a tailor does a piece of broad-cloth--that he has anvulled all differenee between phy
sical and moral'—that Gall and Spurzheim are the only mental philosophers since the days of Plato-that he can swallow their whole system without any grumblings among his digestive organs—that Comte is a great mathematician and that pho- tography throws a bright light on the faculty of memory. He believes that the human family may be (or ought to be) of many species, and all sprung from apes--that while he bestializes men and humanizes beasts, he is a great moralist—and that while he tries to set up a system which destroys all semblance of any final
cause,' he is a good theist. Lastly, and above all, while he rejects the Word of God, (which tells him that God made man and woman in his own image, and breathed into their nostrils the breath of life,) and thinks he can make man and woman far better by the help of a baboon, he believes that he may still remain a good Christian. It may be so; for men are full of strange contradictions. This author is at least consistent in his own materialism; and as he has adopted a scheme of nature against common sense, reason, and experience, so may he have embraced a scheme of religion that is against the vulgar teaching of his own philosophy. It is our business to analyse his mind, and to expose his system when we think it wrong, and not to reconcile his contradictions. But let no man or woman be cheated by the pipings of his organ of veneration,' and believe his work, on that account, not to be offensive and mischievous. Many a stagnant shallow pool will reflect the images of the sky; but if we stoop down to drink it, we only fill our mouths with nastiness.
As we have alluded to phrenology, we may add a word or two upon it before we go on to graver matters.
We reject the peculiarities of the system, because they are unsustained by any direct anatomical proof. We have several times seen the human brain dissected, (and twice by Dr Spurzheim himself,) and we affirm that neither he nor any one else has been able to demonstrate any subdivisions of its structure corresponding to the organ theory. But some one may tell us that it is proved by a wide induction of facts of another kind, derived from the external forms of the cranium. This we also deny; and we need not repeat opinions enforced in former articles of this Journal, but refer to them. Let us, however, remark in passing, that there is one substantial reason why phrenology should maintain its ground with those who have a large capacity of belief, or an obstinacy in maintaining their first opinions. It starts with the assumption of certain qualities of the mind, which belong, with greater or less prominence, to every human being. These qualities were known before phrenology was ever thought of; but it gives them a local habitation, and sometimes a new name. When, therefore, a credulous neophyte presents himself for manipulation, and from the bumps upon the outside of his head is told of that which passes in the inside of it, we consider it morally and physically impossible that the oracular response should not touch some prominent points of character, of which the patient must needs be conscious if he have any character at all. It is, in such a case, the property of human nature to be taken with good hits, and to overlook the many mistakes and blunders ; and so may the oracles of phrenology, like some
others, have their hierophants and their votive offerings for many generations.
In a limited sense, we are all of us phrenologists: we all of us believe that the sensible impressions of external nature are conveyed, through the nervous system, to the brain, and there apprehended by the mind; and we believe that, in a reverse order, the intentions of the will are conveyed from the brain to the organs of the body. This is no new doctrine; and we may accept a lofty expanded forehead, and other outer characters of the cranium, as indications (though by no means sure ones) of high capacity. We will even go a step further, and allow, should it ever be sanctioned by good evidence, (which we very greatly doubt,) that the intellectual, moral, and animal qualities of a man may be indicated, in a general way, by three corresponding developments of the brain, so as to affect the outer form of the head. But when men go on with their most artificial partitions of the brain, and thus proceed to build a regular psychological system on their own inventions, they may become not only ridiculous but very mischievous. Such a system may give us the ready change of hard technical words, with certain material notions to fix their meaning. But let no man fancy, when he has mastered these watchwords and party symbols, that he has reached the philosophy of the mind. He may
know no more about it than a stammering boy does of oratory from having learned by rote the jargon of an old book of rhetoric; or than a bellows blower, or sexton, does of Handel's glorious harmonies, after he has counted all the keys or gilded pipes of his parish organ.
The questions between the materialist and the immaterialist are not, in truth, affected by the phrenological hypothesis. They remain in their old places. It matters not whether all the brain be subservient to every act of the mind, or particular parts of the brain to particular acts. What we call mind is that principle which binds our thoughts together, and makes us intellectually what we are; giving us a unity of consciousness not transferable to another, or separable into parts—a unity of knowledge, a unity of responsibility, and a unity of aspiration after future good. Common language does not confound such things under names descriptive of dead matter, and its actions on things dead and inorganic; because common language is the voice of human nature, and not the echo of an hypothesis. Spurzheim was a clever and honest man; but ridden to death by an hypothesis, as many a good man has been before him. He was not a vulgar materialist, whatever may be some of his followers; and we know, for we have discussed this point with him, that the theory of spontaneous generation and transmutation of species found no favour with him, because he believed it utterly untrue.
A most wretched system of psychology, ending in a chilling physical fatalism, destructive of law and social order, or, at least, depriving them of their purest sanctions, has been reared on the doctrines of Gall; and it is on this account that we owe them a grudge. And the system is quite natural if the longings of the soul are to be satisfied with dry technicalities, and not allowed to rise above them—if we are only to know the highest functions of the mind through an insufferable jargon, which cannot go one step with us beyond the dull material instruments subservient to thought. Our author is one of the worst offenders of this school. While speculating on the phenomena of the earth, he can rise to the heaven of heavens, by the very powers which he, in theory, denies. But if his speculations lead him towards any conception of a mind superior to the common functions of gross matter, his senses are paralysed; he stops short with a strange inconsistency, and sinks down into the worst absurdities of a dismal and irrational materialism. He tells us that material organs are all in all that man's mode of action depends solely on his organ• ization'— that grades of mind, like forms of body, are mere "stages of development'-and that there is no essential difference between man and beast. It follows, from his system, that the buzzing of bees, the gabbling of turkeys, and the jabbering of apes, are phenomena of the same order-differing only in degree with the highest symbolical representations of human thought, and the highest recorded abstractions of pure intellect. He tells us, that the difference between instinct and reason is all a foolish dream—that they are both organic. That the instinct of a bee, which leads it, in the construction of its cell, to solve a difficult problem in solid geometry, ‘is only a primitive ex
ercise of constructiveness :' That we may be unfortunate in inheriting bad organs from nature-grind on we must; and, if we make sad discord, it is the fault of the organs we inherit, and not of the hand that turns the handle : That if ill befall a man for his grating music, he has no right to grumble; • for the • system of nature has the fairness of a lottery, in which every • man has a like chance of drawing a prize,' (p. 360.) Lastly, we are told, ó that free-will in man is nothing more than a vicissitude
of the supremacy of the faculties (i.e. the organs) over each • other,' (p. 332.)
We think all we have just quoted or referred to, one mass of mischievous absurdity. The absurdity of the last definition is perhaps the worst of all. Even allowing the absurd organ theory, volition and choice imply some control over the activity of such organs. Whence this controlling power which makes the essence of the will ? Certainly not in the organs which by the hypothesis are controlled.