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if the nerves of the system be not duly supplied with pure blood, then they cannot be properly renewed--their functions fail; there may be either a want of power in these nerves, or they may be too active, so that the mind cannot control them. Now, such states frequently come on in persons obliged to use these muscles where a demand is made on one particular set of muscles to the exclusion of the others. One would think standing in a shop might be done for almost any length of time; but one set of muscles alone are employed, and there is thus an irregular demand made on the nerve, and on the circulation, to supply particular organs. I have no doubt that standing sixteen hours a day in a shop is injurious to the whole muscular system ; for not only is the person exposed to an injurious influence from the over-action of one set of muscles, but there are some not used at all; and if a man is only occupying from twenty to thirty muscles during the day, there are other muscles which are not doing what they ought, in order to retain their health and vigour.
If persons were to be submitted to some process of measuring the strength of all their muscles before they went into one of these shops, and were to be measured again after they had undergone this process for one year, there would be found a material decrease of actual power. I do not mean to say this would always produce a state of ill-health, or destroy life; but it combines, with other causes, to prevent that state of the body in which health is secured. We find that it is just the same with individual sets of organs as with mind and body-that if one suffers all suffer; and thus they re-act one upon another, and all the organs of the body may become diseased, at length, from the injurious action of one, or one set. If the stomach be in a diseased state, and does not digest its food properly, the chyle is improperly formed, as well as the blood which is made from it; and when the stomach performs its functions properly, if the blood is improperly grated in the langs, it goes to the body in an imperfect state, and the organs of the body are imperfectly developed.
(To be continued.)
BY R. SMITHI. There is scarcely a system in vogue at any time, whether religious, political, or philosophical in its pretensions, that is altogether destitute of truth. The difficulty lies in determining the kind and degree of truth; but the difficulty is not sought to be mastered. Men fall into two very opposite errors respecting it: on the one hand, it is forced into a preternatural shape, or on the other, utterly abandoned for its connexion with much that is obviously false and absurd. Both these errors have been committed against phrenology. It has had to suffer through the advocacy of injudicious friends, and the opposition of remorseless enemies. One side has thrust it forward as the basis of religion, morals, jurisprudence, politics, and general science and art; claiming for it the exclusive capacity to settle all questions of mind and morals, and to resolve all philosophical enigmas; and the other side has denounced it as rampant materialism, or, what is worse, as a modern form of inflexible fate. It were needless to dilate upon the manifest inconsistency of both parties : in one, we see extravagant
enthusiasm ; in the other, blind prejudice. We hope to escape the tyranny of both by a careful observance of the principles of a sounder philosophy; not hesitating to state fully our views on this subject, despite the rod in terrorem, which is to be put in requisition a month hence.
Phrenology assumes to be the science of mind. It puts in its claims against many rivals-some of great repute, in a fearless, but not presumptuous spirit. Like many other systems, it takes the brain as the organ of the mind; but, unlike every other system, it assigns distinct functions to distinct portions of that organ. According to the generally-received doctrines of mind, the brain acts as a whole in each phenomenon; but according to Phrenology, it acts in part only, relatively to the phenomena to be produced. The portions of brain which produce these phenomena, are called organs; and are mainly divided into moral, intellectual, and animal, which are numerously subdivided. That part of the brain in which the moral and intellectual organs are located, is called the anterior or cerebrum; whilst that in which the inferior, or animal organs, are situated, is styled the posterior or cerebellum; the former being the larger, the latter the smaller part of the brain. The activity of the functions assigned to the different organs, depends upon their size and quality, the temperament of the individual, his education, and the circumstances by which he is surrounded. This may suffice to indicate the general pretensions of Phrenology, with the truth of which, in its generic features, rather than in detail, we have to do. Let us look to the evidence.
We argue the truth of Phrenology on the ground of the differences betwixt individuals. These differences must be sought in either the spiritual mind, with which Phrenology is not at variance, or in its physical instrument—the brain. If they arise from the former, we cannot see how the identity of the individual can co-exist with the removal of those differences, many of which are absolutely inconsistent with a future improved state of being; if, however, they arise from the physical organ of the mind, their removal cannot affect the spiritual mind, since it would be nothing more than putting off a part of its dress. It may be argued, that the differences in question can be accounted for on the supposition that the brain acts as a whole in the production of each phenomenon. If, however, it can be shown, that these differences are always contingent upon certain specific differences in the brain itself, this argument falls to the ground. We hence further assert, that the prominence or depression of certain parts of the brain in persons of the same temperament and circumstances is found to be co-ordinate with particular phenomena; whilst a difference in respect to the brain, however slight, although the temperament, education, and circumstances, may be identical, will be found to change entirely the character of the phenomena. But it may be further argued, that whilst a difference in a portion of the brain, though other things be equal, may change entirely the character of the phenomena, it does not follow that a given function is confined to a given portion of the cerebral mass. We are prepared to admit, on the principle that the brain invariably acts as a whole, that a difference in a part might change the phenomena; but the fact which sustains the claims of Phrenology here is, that a difference in one particular part of the brain alone, is the cause of the diversity of the particular phenomena; and that no difference in any other part can occasion the same diversity in the same phenomena. Thus we consider we may fairly assume, that the specific differences of individuals are referable to their organic differences; and, in the case of the brain, to specific diversities in the organ itself.
We next argue the truth of Phrenology in relation to memory. Upon this subject the most unphilosophical opinions were prevalent. There was nothing like classification of memory. A man was esteemed to have a good memory, who could easily retain historical facts, or store up words; but phrenologists have proved that this faculty is greatly diversified. Thus, one man may remember words, another places; and a third, events. Now, on what principle can this variety be explained, except on the principles of Phrenology ? On these principles, the ability to recollect is always coordinate with the faculty to perceive and appreciate certain things. Thus, one individual recollects a train of reasoning in mathematics, and another, a series of events in history; but the predilections of these individuals is not at variance with their ability to recollect; proving that the strong powers of memory, in a given direction, are the result of strong powers of perception in that direction, rendering the impressions vivid, and the more easily recalled. The phrenologist can thus account for the apparent stupidity of persons on the score of memory. Where he observes a deficiency in the ability to perceive, he naturally infers an inability to recollect; but the followers of the old school of philosophy make no such distinction: hence their blunders and inconsistencies. Some striking exemplifications of this position might be adduced. It used to be inferred very generally, that a boy who evinced great arithmetical abilities, would necessarily make a good mathematician. The experiment has been tried many times, and issued in the most complete failure. Thus, a mind that could realize the result of a complicated arithmetical proposition, after toiling over an ordinary problem in geometry, found itself incapable of recalling the reasoning in the latter process. If memory, then, be a faculty independent of the capacities of the mind for perception, how is it possible to account for its strength as to some things, and its weakness as to others, in the same mind ? and that such differences exist, is undoubted, whether Phrenology be true or false. If, however, it be granted, that Phrenology is true, as the science of mind, the difficulty at once vanishes.
Man is intended for two spheres of action the terrestrial and the celestial. Both have their peculiarities; and beings who are intended for these several states possess those peculiarities. Thus it is evident that a being, constituted as man now is, could not exist on the planet Mercury. If he were destined to be transplanted thither, he would be adapted to the peculiarities of that planet. But would the alteration in him be in his spiritual essence or in his corporeal part ? Doubtless in the latter. It is so then in reference to his present dwelling-place-the earth. The earth was first formed, then man. In the constitution of the earth, there are endless diversities; so is it in the constitution of men. But are these diversities ili the essence of the mind, or in the material vehicle ? In the latter, no doubt ; if not, they must be inseparable from the man, and he would carry them into a world, where, in all probability, they would be useless to him ; for they would be useless in any sphere unlike that in which he now lives. The differences then being purely physical, Phrenology accounts for them and no other system does. Phrenology shows that certain peculiarities of mental constitution are always found linked to certain peculiarities of cerebral conformation ; and these being invariable, the phrenologist fairly infers that the connexion is that of cause and effect.
There are many objections arged against Phrenology. From the character of these arguments, however, three only will be noticed. The first is that, on the principles of Phrenology, there can be no progression in mental power. The physical organ being given to a man, he cannot alter it in any way; it has an assigned capacity, a fixed limit, and beyond that limit it is impossible to advance. The second objection is, that as there are no diversities on the brain corresponding to those on the skull, and as there are no sections on the brain itself comformable to the phrenological chart, the skull, on the one hand, cannot be taken as an index of the brain ; and the brain, on the other, affords no data for concluding a difference betwixt one part and another. The third is, that Phrenology leads to materialism.
In reference to the first objection, we reply that the limit to the progress of the mind lies not in itself, nor in its physical organ; but in that upon which the mind exercises itself. If the subject be mathematics, and the physical organ be suitably constructed, so long as there is a problem to be solved, the physical organ being healthy, presents no obstruction to progress. There is an original difference in individuals, as we have before intimated, which gives one an advantage one way, and another in some other way; and this advantage may always be preserved. But so far from this being an impassable barrier to the acquisition of mental power, of a kind for which there is not a natural ability, the individual with the superior faculty may, by a disuse of it, be outstripped by another of inferior power, who spares no means to improve it. The strength of the faculty, education, temperament, and circumstances being equal, is in the ratio of the size of the organ ; and the size of the organ may be greatly increased by discipline and constant exercise. To some this may appear incredible ; but a glance at one or two facts will convince them of the reasonableness of this position. In the ordinary avocations of life it will be found that the size of any bodily member as the eye, the hand, or the foot, is in the proportion of its exercise. Thus the hand and arm of the sailor and smith are large and muscular ; the eye of the optician and watchmaker is large and intense, that is, the eye which is mostly used; and the foot of the gardener and miner is large and hard. But it will be replied, that the physical causes here are apparent; the contact betwixt these members and the materials on which they operate produces the difference. This does not however invalidate the analogy; for these facts prove, beyond all dispute, that constant exercise is the efficient cause. But yet more in point. Let any one observe the ampleness and smoothness of forehead in the man of letters after a life of hard study, compared with the forehead of one who has for years performed a monotonous round of simple duties, and he cannot fail to attribute the difference to the intensity, in the one case, and the mildness, in the other, of the exercise of the brain.
The second objection is, that there is no correspondence betwixt the shape of the brain, and the figure of the skull; and that there is no indication on the brain of a division into parts, like the phrenological chart. Our reply to the first part of this objection is, that it is a mere assumption, unsustained by the slightest proof; for the brain, in a state of life and activity, is beyond the reach of observation. The only condition under which the brain can be examined, is when detached from the head ; and, being soft and heavy, it falls into any shape, rather than that which it assumed in the skull. But there is a stronger proof of the impossibility of forming a just conclusion as to its exact shape when in a state of activity. The cessation of mental ex
citement, caused by the withdrawal of vitality, would leave the brain, but for its solidity, much in the same state as a balloon exhausted of its aeriform contents, collapsed. With regard to the second part of the objection, we reply that it is not necessary to indicate the outlines of the several organs by some perceptible marks on the brain ; for so long as a certain faculty is always found in connexion with a certain external developement, and that developement is caused by a corresponding protuberance in the brain itself, the exact outline on the brain could serve no useful purpose, since, as before remarked, it is beyond our observation. But the opponents of Phrenology, we are inclined to think, have concluded too hastily on this point; for it is more than probable that an actual division of the brain by a very subtle membrane does exist. More than one eminent anatomist has hinted at this, and a more exact examination may demonstrate it.
The last objection is, that this science favours materialism. Why? Is it inimical to the doctrine of a spiritual immortal mind ? Certainly not. It is impossible to conceive of a mass of matter like the brain, whether it acts as a whole in each phenomenon, or partially, according to the phenomenon, as the source of its own activity. The brain, like any other matter, is subject to certain laws. Apart from the directing and moving mind, it is inert. But in connexion with the spiritual mind, it is a beautiful and pow. erful instrument. Indeed, so far from Phrenology favouring materialism, it is only on the principle of the existence of a governing spiritual power that the individual possesses the means, by close application and discipline, to improve any organ; otherwise, he must be regarded as a creature of necessity, and his mind, such as it is, would be a congeries of unequal powers and propensities-broken, irregular, destitute of unity. Phrenology has countenanced materialism in no respect than this, for which it is not responsible, viz., that whilst the old system of mental philosophy confined itself to the mind in its ideal state, as independent of the brain, Phrenology, grappling with the error, devoted all its attention to the instrument of the mind, demonstrating that no system can be perfect which does not fully develope the part which it fills in the economy of mental science.
In conclusion, it must not be forgotten, as a direct advantage derived from Phrenology, that it has given the most symmetrical and perfect nomenclature of the mental faculties which we possess. By the aid of this all discussion on the subject of mind is greatly facilitated. Under the old system almost every thing was vague. There were comparatively few explicit terms. The names of many of the faculties varied with the fancy of the writer. Reason, understanding, memory, mental states, and such like, were the names commonly used, and more definiteness was impossible under such a system. Another, but a collateral advantage, that has resulted from the study of phrenology, is a more complete anatomy; and, by consequence, a better knowledge of the diseases of the brain, which, perhaps, is a gain to the medical profession, rather than to mental philosophy. Yet to the latter it possesses this advantage, that as the brain is the instrument of the mind, it cannot but be desirable to know every thing that interferes with its healthful and vigorous action.