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nary Dissertation, which is divided into two chapters. In the first of these the writer offers some strictures on the hypothetical systems in metaphysics, for which some of the followers of Hartley and Priestley have, since the appearance of his former work, claimed the public approbation; and defends, with a little warmth, that more cautious process of observation and induction which he had forinerly recommended, and himself steadily pursued. There is no doubt, we believe, now entertained by judicious scholars, that the scheme of investigation adopted by Mr. Stewart is as sound and unquestionable in metaphysical researches, as in all the branches of natural science. Of the theories of the Hartleian school we shall have occasion to say more hereafter.

The second chapter, in the Preliminary Dissertation, is employed upon a question, which we have always thought interesting, and which is now rendered more so by the character of the disputants. Mr. Stewart, in some early chapters of his former work, expatiated pretty largely on the benefits which might be expected to result from a just view and assiduous cultivation of the metaphysics. It is natural for an author to be partial to his own pursuits. But the philosophers of the north are sceptical. A writer in the Edinburgh Review, in one of the early numbers, controverted this opinion, and insisted on the inutility of metaphysical knowledge for practical purposes. The sum of his argument is, that the proper use of knowledge being to increase the power of man, a science of which the phenomena are observed,

but not discovered, can be of little service to that end: that in physics a great variety of new facts are obtained by skilful experiinents; but that in metaphysics the most accurate inquirer can only notice what has been, from time immemorial, open to the view of all who were disposed to examine: that it is, therefore, highly improbable that new phenomena should now be discovered; and though an able philosopher may classify more skilfully what is already known, and perhaps have sagacity enough to point out inferences not immediately obvious, he can add nothing new to the facts of the science; and even his results will generally be found to have been anticipated by the practical good sense of mankind; who know perfectly well (for example) how memory depends upon attention, and is assisted by association, without any elaborate inquiry into the nature of the human faculties.

The argument, of which we have here presented the substance, is expanded and enforced by its author with considerable ability, and Mr. Stewart has judged it worthy of a pretty large examination. He denies, in the first place, that there is any essential difference between physical and metaphysical science, as to the manner of collecting the data pro. perly belonging to each. Berkley's theory of vision, he observes, is “at least an attempt towards an experimental decomposition of our perceptions: and the whole of a philosopher's life, if he spends it to any purpose, is one continued series of experiments on his own faculties and powers.” Even with respect to the distinction attempted to be made between experiment and observation, he insists that it is, in truth, little more than' nominal ; that in the anatomy of the body, as in the anatomy of the mind, facts are obtained solely by accurate observations, yet no one ever doubted the usefulness of that study; and that, as the whole science of astronomy evidently falls within the scope of the Reviewer's remarks, his arguments, if they possess any force, tend to depreciate a large department of physics equally with the science of mind. In reply to some instances, adduced to shew that men who never studied the philosophy of mind have sufficient practical acquaintance with the relation subsisting between its faculties, Mr. Stewart observes, that a considerable proportion of the most important theorems upon motion, the centre of gravity, the composition of forces, and other mathematical truths, are solved by every savage who feathers his arrow or loads it, or trains his horse to particular exercises ; and on the whole, he insists, in a series of arguments and illustrations, through which we have not space sufficient to follow him, that he is sanctioned by the justest views of the probable progress of philosophy, in re-affirming the beneficial tendency of the studies to which the best years of his life have been devoted.

To this chapter the Edinburgh Reviewers have rejoined, and defended their original positions with some eagerness; but, we think, they have left the question about where they found it.

Upon the principal subject in debate, which respects the utility or unprofitableness of metaphysical studies, we concur, in the main, with Mr. Stewart; yet we are far from thinking that there is absolutely nothing in what is urged on the other side. When the Reviewer says broadly, that in metaphysics certainly knowledge is not power, we have no hesitation in saying, that certainly he is wrong. There can be no doubt that a knowledge of the connection between the different faculties of the mind, may, in many cases, enable us to devise methods for manag. ing them skilfully: -an intimate acquaintance with the nature and extent of associations is of great value in education : and it seems even probable, that, in the progress of the science, some lights may be obtained for the assistance of those who may suffer an accidental injury in any of their senses, or who labour under the very common and very afflicting disorders of the judgment or imagination. Still, it is impossible to contend that knowledge is power, to the same extent in metaphysics, as in natural science ; and though, when facts are once procured, it matters little whether they were obtained by means of observation or experiment, it cannot be denied that the more experiments we can make, the more chances we have of discovering phenomena, and that, in the nature of things, experiments are far more conveniently made upon matter than upon mind.

But we think that Mr. Stewart has permitted his opponents to narrow too much the grounds on which the defence of metaphysical studies may be rested. Some knowledge, to be sure, is power ; perhaps, in a sense, all knowledge is so: but knowledge is not merely power, nor can its value be fairly measured only by this rule. Many branches of inquiry well deserve the attention of every inquisitive understanding; many have a tendency to fortify the mind, or to enlarge, or to adorn it; many contribute to the sources of elegant and harmless amusement, which have only a very remote effect in increasing the powers of man, even upon the largest meaning that can be given to that expression. Nor is it in any manner an objection to the philosophy of mind, that it is less useful than physical inquiries. Different branches of knowledge are doubtless of different values, sometimes in the nature of things, sometimes in relation to certain individuals or to particular objects; but any science is worthy of cultivation, which is likely to be of some use to many persons, or of much use even to a few. What is ordinarily unprofitable should not be generally pursued; what is essentially frivolous should be universally neglected ; but in the different branches of real knowledge, we must permit men to choose pretty freely, as their interests, or opportunities, or tastes, may direct them; and, among these, we are inclined to think the metaphysical studies entitled to occupy a very respectable station.

Many worthy men entertain, indeed, strong prejudices against these pursuits; but let it be recollected, that reflective understandings are naturally

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