by John van Wyhe
Spurzheim, Johann Gaspar, Phrenology: or the doctrine of the mental phenomena. Philadelphia, 1908.
DOCTRINE OF THE MENTAL PHENOMENA
J. G. SPURZHEIM, M.D.
OF THE UNIVERSITIES OF VIENNA AND PARIS, AND LICENTIATE OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS OF LONDONWITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
REVISED EDITION FROM THE SECOND AMERICAN EDITION, IN TWO VOLUMES, PUBLISHED IN BOSTON IN 1833
PHILADELPHIA & LONDON
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
PBINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS, PHILADELPHIA, U. S. A.
POWERS AND ORGANS OF THE MIND,
MAKKED ON THE FRONTISPIECE.
† Desire to live.
No. 1. Destructiveness.
No. 22. Individuality.
.25. Weight and Resistance.
Historical notice and general view................................. 33
It resides in the brain............................................ 47
The manifestations of the mind depend on the whole body, and the feelings on the viscera........................................ 52
The brain is the organ of the mind................................ 58
Diseases and wounds of the brain................................. 61
Ossified brains................................................... 76
Absolute size of the brain......................................... 81
Proportionate size of the brain to the body......................... 82
Facial angle of Camper.......................................... 85
Cerebral parts compared with one another......................... 88
Section IV.The brain is an aggregation of organs............................. 90
Objections ...................................................... 99
Means of determining the functions of the cerebral parts............ 109
Sir Everard Home's method...................................... 115
Dr. Gall's proceeding........................................... 1175
Cause of the form and size of the head 130
Possibility of distinguishing the size of the brain 141
Difficulty of distinguishing the size of certain parts of the brain 143
Impossibility of distinguishing the size of the brain. 146
Division of the faculties of the mind 148
Order in which the organs may be treated 154
Order I —Feelings 160
† Vitativeness 160
* Alimentiveness 161
Organ of Destructiveness 163
Self esteem 214
Order II —Intellectual Faculties 252
External senses 253
Functions erroneously attributed to the external senses 281
Sphere of activity of the external senses 293
Perceptive faculties ^
Organ of Individuality ^
Observations on various systems of mental philosophy 353
General view of mental philosophy 353
Particular views of philosophers 372
Consciousness and sensation 376
Desire and will 391
Phrenological description and classification of mental phenomena 398
Origin of the mental dispositions 402
All is innate in man 403
A few general faculties are innate and produce the particular dispositions 405
The external senses are the cause of mental activity 409
Of accidental circumstances as the cause oi mental phenomena 409
Misery . . 412
Of prepared circumstances or Education 414
Innateness of the mental dispositions 418
The brain is indispensable to the mental phenomena 424
Practical considerations 431
Modifications of the affective and intellectual phenomena 432
Difficulty of judging others 440
Explanation of philosophical expressions 444
Conclusion . . 459
The Second American Edition of Dr. J. G. Spurzheim's Phrenology was an improved version of the Third London Edition. It was issued in Boston in 1833, in two volumes, a physiological and a psychological part, and the present volume is a reprint, without change in the text, except the omission of the author's reflections upon the moral and religious constitution of man, his voluminous Latin notes and a controversy with George Combe.
Alfred Russel Wallace in his book on the last century, after giving a history of its achievements, recites its failures, intellectual, social, and moral, of which he gives the first place to the failure to recognize the substantial truth and vast importance of the Science of Phrenology.
This new science, which denned the mental faculties and showed specifically the connection of mind and brain, received serious attention duiing the first half of the last century, and, considering the progress it had made, and its acknowledgment by the distinguished men whom he names, Mr. Wallace says, " there seemed to be no reason why it should not take its place among the recognized sciences." Instead of this it began to decline until neglect of it is almost complete. Of this decline Mr. Wallace says, " the two main causes which discredited Phrenology appear to have been (1) the increase of itinerant lecturers, many of whom were uneducated, and some ignorant of the subject they professed to expound; (2) its association with mesmerism or hypnotism, which at that time was still more violently opposed."
Admitting the force of these reasons it would appear that they do not suffice, and a more potent cause may be found in the nature of the subject itself. The spirit of the time was and still is materialistic; it has a great variety of individual speculations, but no science of mind, and desires none. Caviar to the general, the mind is an unknown country which excites curiosity only in an occasional college professor who
makes excursions into it without a map or guide and brings back nothing of value.
With respect to the place of the mind in the physical organization there were various conflicting theories which Dr. Spurzheim was obliged to discuss, but although the emotions are popularly supposed to reside in the heart, it is now generally acknowledged that the brain is the organ of the mind. If this is conceded, is it not clear that brain and mind should be studied together, that this is the only scientific method, that it is impossible to know one fully while ignorant of the other? Unfortunately, except by Doctors Gall and Spurzheim, they have not been studied together, for in what is called Physiological Psychology, separate studies —what one set of Scientists conjectures of the mind, and what another set has found in the brain—have been merely patched together. The mind belongs to the Psychologist, who as a Doctor of Philosophy knows nothing of the brain, while the brain is turned over to the Anatomist, a Doctor of Medicine, who knows nothing of the mind.
Here we see a further cause of the failure of Phrenology to secure acceptance as a science, which, as suggested by Mr. Wallace, happened about sixty years ago. This was a great calamity, for there is nothing to take its place. The Doctors of Philosophy and the Doctors of Medicine, working on their several lines, have made no progress in mental science, they have disclosed no undisputed fact, and they have evolved no consistent'or definite system. Indeed, there are as many conflicting systems as there are authors.
The failure of the Doctor of Medicine to discover the mental functions of the brain is easily accounted for. Anatomy reveals no function. The structure of the heart had been known to the medical profession for so long a period of time that it was comparatively but the other day when William Harvey discovered its function of circulating the blood. The announcement of this discovery had a prompt but only a partial acceptance, for it is said that no English physician, at that time above the age of forty years, gave his assent to it, while on the Continent it met with opposition
and ridicule. The doctor is preeminently and often exclusively a materialist; here was a purely material fact perpetually presented to him, which he failed to recognize, and it is useless to expect him to do something much more difficult, for which he has neither the desire nor the equipment— to find the spiritual functions of the brain. The doctor docs not regard himself as unfitted for this task, not at all,-—he thinks it is ridiculous. He knows himself to be a competent observer; the brain is a country he has thoroughly explored without ever encountering a native, and he is thoroughly convinced that it is uninhabited. A mental faculty does not carry a club and cannot make its presence known to him by whacking him over the head.
Along material lines the labors of the doctor have been fruitful in largely extending the sphere of useful knowledge. It was known that one system of the nerves transmitted sensations to the brain, in which alone consciousness resides, and that a different system of nerves bore from the brain commands of voluntary motion to the muscles of the body and controlled their execution, but recently a number of separate centers of sensation and of motion have been found in the brain. The definite location in the brain of nerve-centers of voluntary motion, and of other nerve-centers which regulate the activities of the visceral organs, whose functions are discharged, for the most part, without our knowledge or control, is an inestimable boon to surgery; when certain wires are dead, the surgeon knows the particular center in the brain which is out of order and just where to operate. An eminent Doctor of Medicine, in a recent magazine article, sets forth the Anatomy of the brain in connection with these new discoveries, with attractive lucidity, making it an occasion, however, for a fresh assault on Phrenology. In speaking of the location of brain centers, he says, " it was the early endeavor of Phrenologists to map out the homes of the mental faculties and give each its name. It seems scarcely worth the while to characterize the methods or results of these geographers of the brain." Of the thoroughly scientific and almost inconceivably painstaking method of
Doctors Gall and Spurzheim, this Author evidently knows nothing, and he also knows nothing of the System of Mental Philosophy which is its result. Continuing, he says, " to those who believe in them [these methods and results] we might seem harsh, and to those who do not believe in them consideration would be supererogation."
Descending to particulars the Doctor states an objection which appears to him to be conclusive. He says, " Phrenologists have constructed charts which define every bit of surface of the brain. These charts are rather popular. People love thoroughness and these charts seem of its essence. That they have found the homes of all the most ethereal functions and left no abiding place for the motor functions, the regions which enable our beautiful machinery to run, is unfortunate according to the point of view. As a commercial proposition—no. As a scientific exposition—yes."
In the motive centers and the nerves connecting with them, the Doctor has found only the apparatus of motion, merely inert matter apart from the psychical origin of motion—the will, inspired by the emotions and informed by the intelligence, which causes and directs all the innumerable purposed actions of the physical man. Must this spiritual agent which gives motion to the machinery and controls its operations have a place somewhere apart from it? Is it conceivable that the spiritual power and its material instrument must mutually exclude each other, or that the instrument may occupy so much space that there is no room for the power which operates it?
The brain is the business office of the mind—the spiritual man. It is the noblest structure in the world and stands in the noblest place. It is perfectly equipped for business purposes. It has an elaborate system of telegraph lines for the receipt and prompt distribution of intelligence, and another system of lines for transmitting orders to a multitude of active servants. It is an organized business with numerous departments, and that some of them should have central offices for the receipt of intelligence and its inter-communication, and others of them should have central offices for the
transmission of orders and control of their execution, is what a business man would naturally expect; but it would surprise him to be told that in the central offices the desks were all vacant, that there is nobody there, never had been and never would be, that the office apparatus took up so much material space that there was no room for a spiritual operator.
The medical profession has accorded little weight to " the evidence of things not seen." Mind cure is as well authenticated as medical cure, and it was and is the duty of the doctor as a professional healer, at least, to invoke its aid. His invincible materialism has prevented this. The acceptance of mind cure and its rational use would have given us pharmacy plus faith, instead of which there is a fight of Faith versus Pharmacy often exceedingly irrational, which is becoming world wide, and everywhere it is going against the defendant.
The loss of a prospective benefit may be more serious, but it is not as impressive as an immediate injury. Property, liberty, and life itself, are often at stake upon a question of testamentary, contractual, or criminal capacity, or some alleged mental aberration. Such matters are often decided by an ordinary doctor, and upon the certificate of two doctors a sane man may be imprisoned for life. In a big will case, or murder case, however, if the parties have money, that most grotesque and expensive creature, the professional Alienist, is put upon the witness stand, to pronounce a judgment of sanity or insanity, based upon a hypothetical question which it takes half an hour to read. His answer surprises no one, for it always siistains the theory of the party who called him, and there are other experts to corroborate him; but the other side has as many or more experts to swear directly to the contrary, the result being a mass of conflicting and unintelligible testimony, which is a hindrance to the administration of justice. To the professional witness, the opportunity to propound his theories to Court and Jury and a listening world, brings fame and profit. Happy is the expert, who can invent a new phase of mental disorder, and
give it a name, which has a run in the newspapers, and captivates the fancy of endmen in the minstrel shows. Fortunately, " the man in the street " is accepted by the Court as a competent witness, and juries having common sense give more weight to his testimony than to that of the professional witness.
Since the above mentioned failure of Phrenology, the Doctor of Medicine has made no intentional contribution to the progress of the science of mind. If there has been such progress, it is owing to the labors of the Psychologist, who has been very active. It is a matter of business with him and he must be always on the job. His time-honored method, which is held to be the only scientific method, is introspection; he explores his own consciousness, and a transcription of its records is his contribution to the science of Psychology. The method is easy, but the results are diverse and contradictory. John Fearne, an opponent of Bishop Berkeley, writing more than sixty years ago, heads his chapter iipon the scope and limits of inquiry proper to the philosophy of mind, " The Striking Inconsistency of the Views which have been taken of the Subject," and Herbert Spencer, after giving many pages of his Psychology to the search for a datum for his system, says, " the need for this preliminary inquiry is abundantly proved by the utter confusion of current opinion upon all fundamental questions." The science is in no better case than it was sixty years ago.
Definition of the distinctions of psychical life as cognitions, feelings, and conatives, goes back to Aristotle, and until lately has been generally accepted, but it is now taught that feeling is the only primordial element, all others being derivatives, a doctrine which is said by its opponents " to derive its plausibility from the vagueness of psychological terminology."
A recent and what should be regarded as authoritative statement, made by a professor of the science, is as follows: " The datum for a Psychology if it is to be a scientific Psychology is—Thought goes on, there are processes of thought in the world."
" The subject matter of Psychology is thought just as thought exists, thought looked at for its own sake and interest."
" The method of Psychology is introspection—in the physical sciences we look out upon a world that is shared by everyone alike, in Psychology we look within upon our personal world."
" The problem of Scientific Psychology is to bring order out of the chaos of immediate experience."
It is not proposed to change individual experience but out of its chaos to bring some orderly way of thinking about it— an impossible task, every effort to accomplish which results in confusion worse confounded. We are warned that Aristotle's basis of the Science is a quicksand and exploring it further we never come upon solid ground. There is no recognition of any innate propensity or power; faculties, capacities, and dispositions are expressly and indeed contemptuously denied, the mind is not an organization, but modes of motion, of which no two observers give a like report. We encounter endless and most abstruse disquisitions upon the patent and latent errors of Kant, Hume, Locke, Bain, Reid, Hamilton, Spencer, and other eminent authors, and a considerable part of every important work or essay upon Psychology consists of detailed and general dissent from all other authors.
That Psychology is a science is insisted upon by its professors and teachers, but the study of thought " just as thought exists, thought looked at for its own sake and interest," naturally has little interest for anybody except the looker-on, and it has no relation to character, conduct, or anything in the wide world except the making of a book about itself.
It is claimed that Psychology has made progress because it has taken on a new phase. It has become experimental and has laboratories equipped with delicate and elaborate apparatus. Registration of the action of nerve fluid or nerve force, in normal conditions, or under the influence of internal or external stimuli, is interesting, but it adds nothing to the
science of mind, nor would it do so even if it could give the length of an idea in millimetres and the weight of an emotion in milligrammes. Such an achievement of the New School of Psychology would have no more value than that of a professor of the Old School, who, without the aid of machinery, sets forth in detail the elements of the state of mind of a dog who has just finished his daily meal, carefully designating them by large and little letters of the alphabet.
For many reasons Herbert Spencer's system of Psychology should receive large consideration. He endeavors to extend the alleged causes and processes of the evolution of the body, to the evolution of mind, and to define mental phenomena in terms of matter and motion. Necessarily he dissents from pretty much everything that had been taught by other authors, his initial chapters furnishing the following examples: Reid, in his essay on The Intellectual Powers of Man, " beats the air, he assumes all that Scepticism calls in question; " " Sir William Hamilton's doctrines look tenable but some of his main propositions are open to objection, and, especially, his proposition on which depends the whole defense of Common Sense against Scepticism, is not only disputed, but if true, it would not help his side of the case; " the basic proposition of Descartes is condemned; and Mill's ideas are criticised at great length and dissented from; all of which is a preparatory clearing up of the ground on which to lay the corner stone of his own system of Psychology.
In his data of Psychology, Mr. Spencer declares himself to be " primarily concerned with psychological phenomena as phenomena of Evolution; and, under their objective aspect, these, reduced to their lowest terms, are incidents in the continuous re-distribution of Matter and Motion. Apart from any doctrine of Evoltition, true conclusions respecting psychical phenomena must be based on the facts exhibited throughout all nature; and that the above statement does literally nothing else than express these facts—expresses too, all that direct induction can tell us respecting these essential relations."
After discussing the Data of Psychology, the Scope of
Psychology, and giving a General Synthesis and a Special Synthesis, Mr. Spencer reaches this conclusion: " A succession of changes being thus the subject matter of Psychology, it is the business of Psychology to determine the law of their succession. That they follow one another in a particular way the existence of the intelligence itself testifies. The problem is to explain this order."
Definitions are dangerous and generalities often misleading, but it may be said that, posing as a Realist, Mr. Spencer is a Phenomenalist; he has a phenomenal mind in a phenomenal world, while Phrenology has a real mind in a real world. His system is a study of the evolution of mind and with this Phrenology has no concern. Phrenology defines the mental faculties and their special organs in the brain, without inquiring how they were made, and, with respect to faculties which are common to man and the animals, it holds that they have a corresponding location in the animal's brain. A mental faculty is a finished product, it never changes its nature nor does the organ change its place; the newly acquired bit of brain is always in a higher place, it is always the dwelling-place of a new and higher faculty, and, however it may have been acquired, it is never lost. The evolution of mind to its completion in man, is concurrent with development of brain, and thus its ascending steps are definitely and ineradicably marked, by the stages which are the final halting places of the less favored animals.
With Mr. Spencer neither mind nor brain is considered to have a quality of permanence, both are in a state of evolution and devolution; faculties are not simple qualities or powers, but responses to assemblages of phenomena, which assemblages may at first be casual, but if they become habitual, the response, beginning as an incipient emotion, becomes an established emotion, always subject, however, to change and degradation. The difference between the two systems is well brought out by Mr. Spencer's objections to, and his commendation of, Phrenology, which must be quoted in full. He says, " Among fundamental objections to their [the Phrenologists'] view, the first to be set down is, that they
are unwarranted in assuming precise demarcation of the faculties. The only localization which the necessities of the case imply, is one of a comparatively vague kind—one which does not impose specific limits, but a shading off. Moreover I believe the Phrenologists to be wrong, in assuming that there is something specific and unalterable in the nature of the various faculties. Responding, as faculties do, to particular assemblages of phenomena, they are only so far fixed and specific. A permanent alteration in one of these assemblages, would in time, established a modified feeling adapted to the modified assemblage. A habit say, of sitting in a particular place in a particular room, ending in being uncomfortable elsewhere, is nothing but an incipient emotion answering to that group of outer relations, and if all the successors of the person having this habit, were constantly placed in the same relation, the incipient emotion would become an established emotion. So little specific are the faculties, that no one of them is quite of the same quality in different persons, and they are variable to as great an extent as each feature is variable."
It is the purpose of Doctor Spurzheim's Phrenology to establish as absolute truth, not that " there is something specific and unalterable in the nature of the various faculties," but that they are absolutely specific and unalterable, and that there is a correspondingly specific and unalterable location of each faculty in the brain. The location of the faculties was mainly discovered by Doctor Gall, in a lifetime devoted to the search. Their philosophical definition is due to Doctor Spurzheim, and is set forth in this book. Confident appeal may be made to his method of determining whether a claimant to the distinction, is a simple, primitive, and innate faculty or not.
There is no " shading off " or gradual mutation by which a faculty changes its nature and location. Destructiveness, which lies at the base of the brain, did not gradually change its nature until cruelty became kindness. During a long period of time Nature was " red in every tooth and claw," the law of life was to kill or be killed—and then Benevolence
was born. This new bit of brain did not appear at its base, but high up and far away upon its crown. The organ of Destructiveness remains where it always was and its function has never changed. It differs widely in its development and force as may be seen in the head of a savage as compared with that of a gentle dog, and an intelligent jockey can point out the particular difference in brain development which makes the difference between a kind and a vicous horse. He puts his finger on the organ of Benevolence though he does not know it by that name.
Largely developed and forcible in one person, and but little developed and feeble in another, the quality of Destructiveness is always the same, but as a factor in character and in its manifestation in conduct it has just such a sphere of influence as the other faculties will allow. With disuse a faculty decays, and under the control of Benevolence and the other faculties proper to man, Destructiveness has lost much of its power; but its nature has not changed, its primitive quality as it was in the animals of the Jurassic period and in the Baresark rage, is shown in the homicidal mania of persons otherwise sane, in poisoners and other murderers without motive other than delight in destroying life, and in outbursts of savagery in a mob of lynchers who enjoy the torture of a victim burned at the stake.
To-day the civilized countries train their citizens in the art of killing—in some an apprenticeship to this art is compulsory. The professional killer is most largely esteemed and rewarded with place and power, and peoples are impoverished by the enormous outlay of their governments for weapons and ships of war, each striving for something more deadly than what is possessed by the others. Destructiveness shows no sign of " shading off." Comparing man with the animals of the Jurassic period, who were innocently obeying the law of their life, it is justly said :
" Monsters of the prime, That tare each other in the slime, Were mellow music matched with him."
Phrenology does not concern itself about the origin of a new bit of brain without which a new perception or emotion cannot be manifested. From the time when it first appeared in a recognizable form in the lower animals, the brain has been safely housed within a bony covering, its visible environment, alone with its tenant, the mind, and the causes said to account for the evolution of the body can have no place. There is no struggle for existence, no natural selection or sexual selection, no accidental variations, for all variations have a cause and serve a purpose, and it has itself made all the changes that have gone forward in the evolution of its visible environment.
What has been said about Destructiveness may be said as positively and forcibly about every emotional and every perceptive faculty, and, especially with respect to the perceptive faculties—Form, Size, Number, Order, Color, Locality, etc., the theory of " shading off " and handy-dandy mutations, is a palpable absurdity.
As a further objection to Phrenology, Mr. Spencer says, " the current impressions of Phrenologists seems to be that the different parts of the cerebrum in which they locate different faculties, are of themselves competent to produce the manifestations of the names they bear. The portion of the brain marked ' acquisitiveness ' is supposed to be alone concerned in producing the desire of possession. But," he objects, " the desire includes a number of minor desires elsewhere located. As every more complex aggregation of psychical states is evolved by the union of similar aggregations previously established—results from the consolidation and co-ordination of these, it follows that that which becomes more specifically the seat of this more complete aggregation or higher feeling, is simply the center of co-ordination, by which all these simpler aggregations are brought into relation." Mr. Spencer's statement of the current impressions of Phrenologists is obscure. There are innumerable different manifestations of the desire of possession. Acquisitiveness is one of thirty-five innate faculties, neither originated by nor dependent upon aggregations of external phenomena, but
having innate activity, each of them having many different degrees of development; the whole of them being capable of infinitely more varied combinations than the twenty-six letters of our alphabet, or all the letters and word-signs of all languages.
The unvarying quality of Acquisitiveness is the desire to possess, but its manifestations are inspired, directed, or repressed, by other faculties, among which are Mr. Spencer's " desires elsewhere located." The simplest manifestation of Acquisitiveness is in the Magpie, the Miser, and other collectors of objects which are neither useful nor beautiful. In the philanthropist, Acquisitiveness yields to Benevolence, for to him there is less pleasure in having than in giving away. The function of Acquisitiveness may be best stated as the innate propensity to acquire, a faculty common to man and such of the other animals as make hoards and have the sense of ownership. Nature attaches pleasure to every propensity that is for the preservation of the species, and this faculty is undoubtedly of such quality; without the hoarding instinct some animals could not survive, and in man it serves to redress the balance of waste and to make progress on many lines continuously possible.
Acquisitiveness and the other innate propensities are not aggregations of anything, they are never consolidated and there are no agencies in the brain for their correlation. Their unvarying quality and persistency are undeniable; the conflict between the animal propensities and the faculties proper to man goes on incessantly from the cradle to the grave, and in its throes, the Apostle Paul cries out, " 0 wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!"
Turning from the ungracious task of answering criticism, it is a pleasure to quote Mr. Spencer's approval of the essential basis of Phrenology, though he would push its mental faculties from their stools, and install his aggregated responses to particular assemblages of phenomena in their stead. Ilis argument for specialization of the faculties and their specific location in the brain is apparently unanswerable,
for his peculiar theory as to the way faculties are formed does not impair the philosophical soundness of the principles which he establishes.
Mr. Spencer says, " Every emotion implies some portion of nervous structure by which its various elements are united, which is large and powerful as these elements are many and varied, and which in virtue of its co-ordinating function is more especially the seat of the emotion.
" That in the antagonism to the unscientific reasoning of the phrenologists, the physiologists have gone to the extent of denying or ignoring any localization of function in the cerebrum, is perhaps not to be wondered at; it is in harmony with the course of controversies in general.
" The physiologist who calmly considers the question in connection with the general truths of his science, can long resist the conviction that different parts of the cerebrum subserve different kinds of mental action. Localization of function is the law of all organization whatever. Separate-ness of duty is universally accompanied with separateness of structure, and it would be marvelous were an exception to exist in the cerebral hemispheres. Let it be granted that the cerebral hemispheres are the seat of the higher psychical activities; let it be granted that among these higher psychical activities there are distinctions of kind, which, though not definite, are yet practically recognizable; and it cannot be denied, without going in direct opposition to established psychological principles, that these more or less distinct kinds of psychical activities must be carried on in more or less distinct parts of the cerebral hemispheres.
" To question this is not only to ignore the truths of physiology as a whole; but especially those of the physiology of the nervous system. It is proved experimentally that every bundle of nerve fibres and every ganglion has a special duty; and that each part of every such bundle and every such ganglion has a duty still more special. Can it be then that in the great hemispherical ganglion alone, the specialization of duty does not hold? If it be urged that there are no marked divisions among the fibres of the
cerebrum, I reply—neither are there among those contained in one of the bundles proceeding from the spinal cord to any part of the body; yet each of these fibres in such bundle has a function more or less special, though a function included in that of the bundle considered as a whole. And this is just the kind of specialization which may be presumed to exist in different parts of the cerebrum. Just as there are aggregated together in a sciatic nerve, a great number of nerve fibres, each of which has a particular office referring to some one part of the leg, but all of which have for their joint duty the management of the leg as a whole, so in any one region of the cerebrum each nerve fibre may be concluded to have some particular office, which in common with the particular offices of thousands of neighboring fibres, is merged in some general office which that region of the cerebrum fulfils. Indeed any other hypothesis seems to me, in the face of it, untenable. Either there is some arrangement, some organism in the cerebrum, or there is none. If there is no organization, the cerebrum is a chaotic mass of fibres, incapable of performing any orderly action. If there is some organization, it must consist in that same physiological " division of labor," in which all organization consists; and there is no division of labor physiological or other, of which we have any example or can form any conception, but what involves the concentration of special kinds of activity in special places."
For this masterly exposition of an essential truth Mr. Spencer is entitled to thanks. The question must now be asked, does not the fact that the brain is an organization the different parts of which subserve some special psychological function, imply, or indeed make it absolutely necessary, that there should be a corresponding organization of the mind? Mr. Spencer's protest against a conception of the cerebrum as " a chaotic mass of fibres incapable of performing any orderly action," would apply as fully to a denial of organization to the mind.
In effect Mr. Spencer denies such organization. His shifting Agglomerations of mental motions, which he calls faculties, are not parts and members of an organized whole,
the individual Being which is not something vague, but the real, definite, and persistent man. Mr. Spencer avoids recognition of this man, or any organized whole; his Aggregations would leave the mind in a state of chaos, " unable to perform any orderly action " were it not for his hypothetical agencies for consolidation and co-operation. There is the useless creation of an incredible difficulty rendering necessary the creation of a like incredible remedy.
If Mr. Spencer had not been under the blinding influence of a pre-conceived theory, he would have admitted organization of the brain to be conclusive proof of organization of the mind, and that the one must furnish clues to the other.
Doctor Spurzheim's Phrenology, to a new edition of which this is a preface, has been out of print in England for sixty years. Mr. Spencer probably never saw it, and he may have derived his knowledge of the science from teachers whose " unscientific reasoning " may be owing to their ignorance of the subject they profess to expound, and of whom " sen-sativeness to criticism " would naturally be expected. Dr. Spurzheim does not " put forth the body of his doctrine as a complete system of Psychology." Referring to the authoritative definition of this science in the four propositions heretofore quoted, it is clear that Phrenology makes no claim to any part of the science of Psychology—its " Datum," " Subject," " Method," and " Problem," are unknown to Phrenology, and the two sciences differ as widely as the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems of the universe.
With the mass of matters presented in Mr. Spencer's complete system of Psychology, Phrenology has no concern whatever. In his voluminous treatise there are four short chapters upon " Instinct," " Memory," " Reason," and " The Feelings," which from his treatment of them he must regard as trivial matters, and of these things Phrenology has somewhat to say.
Mr. Spencer is in accord with the School of Mental Philosophy which hold that there is nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses, that the mind at birth is
an empty house that becomes transiently tenanted by long continued knocking on the doors. In accordance with his theory of Evolution everything in the mind originates in and depends upon the environment. On the contrary, Phrenology holds that the innate mental faculties are living things, having alike in man and in the lower animals, instinctive promptings to action, which will not be denied, and which cannot be thwarted by environment.
The dividing line between man and the other animals is not drawn between instinct and reason. Instinct belongs to both, and the lower animals have, to a limited extent, knowledge of the relations of cause and effect in the world around them, and have, to a limited extent, the intuitions belonging to the reasoning faculties—that nothing happens without a cause, and that like causes will produce like effects.
Reason, and The Feelings, defined as Propensities common to man and the animals and Sentiments proper to man, are fully treated of by Doctor Spurzheim in this book.
Mr. Spencer, like all other professional Psychologists, regards Perception, Memory, and Judgment, as general powers of the mind. They are not general powers, they are special functions of the special intellectual faculties. When one is said to be a man of quick perception, or of good memory, or sound judgment, we must ask—of what? He may be a Judge with Causality and Comparison well developed, and he is therefore quick to perceive the principle involved or decided in a case, but lacking Humor, he is unable to see a joke. Men of good judgment—of a horse race, are not likely to be good judges of an oratorical contest. Managers of a National Industrial Exhibition must have as many different Boards of Judges as there are classes of objects shown, and for each special class they select men who have just the special Judgment required. The idea that one Board could perform the duty of another or all the others is entertained by nobody.
In oral argument, one Lawyer, having Language and Locality well developed, cites a case by title, book, and page,
and quotes the language used, but has no clear perception of the principle involved; another Lawyer without such memory, but having Causality and Comparison well developed, can state the principle decided in the case with perfect accuracy. One Artist, having Form largely developed and Color small, is a fine draftsman but a poor colorist; another, with Color large and Form small, is a fine colorist but a poor draftsman. A man who perceives the least deviation of a line from the horizontal or perpendicular, having no organ of Tune, is unable to perceive the difference between Yankee Doodle and Old Hundred. A great chess player, with Locality largely developed, remembers, while blindfolded, the changing position of chessmen, as he plays half a dozen simultaneous games, but is not noted for memory of anything else. Blind Tom, an idiotic negro, had Tune so marvelously developed, that when an intricate piece of music he had never heard before, was played, he could play it over again without missing a note. He also had the organ of Number largely developed and remembered difficult mathematical problems, solving them with rapidity. This organ is generally small in the animals, but there has been a recent case of its extraordinary development in a German horse. A multitude of like illustrations might be made, but it should be needless, for the truth they teach is a matter of common knowledge.
While the perceptive faculties have innate activity, they are aroused and their actions sustained and directed by the Propensities and Sentiments which they serve. Eeverence inspires Language to the memory of a hymn; Amativeness inspires it to the memory of an obscene joke. To the Perceptions aroused and directed by Cautiousness, indications of danger appear, which under the influence of Combativeness are invisible.
Ideality, in John Euskin, inspired his perception of the forms of majesty and beauty, which, upon a summer noon, nature painted in clouds upon the sky, and it inspired his language to describe the spectacle in words that have no parallel in English speech. Thousands of other men to
whom this wonderful spectacle was visible saw nothing of it, they had no perception of clouds that did not threaten rain. Under the influence of a dominant emotion, only objects to which it relates are perceived, all others included in vision are as if non-existent, and are added to the unrecognized things stored in the subconsciousness. The philosophy of the subject is found alike in Shakspeare's " lunatic, lover, and poet," and in Mother Goose's Melodies—
" ' Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been? ' ' I've been to London to look at the Queen.' ' Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you see there? ' 'I saw a little mouse run under a chair.' "
Mr. Spencer's effort to bring the mind into harmony with his theories of evolution, and to state all mental phenomena in terms of matter and motion, has merely injected a new element of antagonism into the alleged science of Psychology, which is a whirling confusion of collisions and contradictions, of which words fail to give an adequate idea. An attempt of a sane mind to comprehend this science of mind is maddening.
A man who is not a professor, but of something more than average scholarship and intelligence, whose business is the compiling of useful books, had an experience which he narrates as follows: " I conceived the idea of making a hand-book of Psychology, presenting it in a concise shape suitable for a Popular Science Series, fancying that I could make it so attractive that everybody would want it and even children would cry for it. I tried my best, but had to give it up. It got on my nerves; the effort caused such bewilderment of mind that it troubled my sleep and culminated in a phantastic dream.
" I found, or thought I found myself in an unfamiliar street, and, attracted by the announcement of Continuous Vaudeville, I entered a Theatre and was the only spectator of a shadow show—the performers being All-Star psychic actors whom I recognized without the least difficulty.
" Behind the curtain there was a perpetual coming and going, as difficult to follow as the performances in a three ringed circus, and I could take in but a part of the exhibition, which was vast in extent. A brilliant troupe of agile Percepts swiftly did their stunts, and changing into something else were followed by Concepts and Cognitions in a stately dance ending in contortions and ground and lofty tumbling; a swarm of Ideas and Notions balanced, swung, threw somersaults and jumped down each others throats; veteran Categories that marched and wheeled, dissolved and reformed, never presenting the same appearance from moment to moment, and apparently regarding themselves as the whole show, attacked a company of youthful Aggregations, driving them from the stage, and dim and formless Hypothetical Relations and Fictitious Relations made a cloudy background to the scene. It was apparently essential that everything should be perpetually in motion, and if this slackened for a moment, Simple Suggestions popped up through trap-doors and poked the performers into renewed activity. There was an Orchestra, led by a venerable shade, undoubtedly Aristotle, each of the musicians playing a different tune, but in the horrible discord I could recognize the boom of German trombones, the tootling of American fifes, and a multitude of bag-pipes making a thundering drone. It seemed that the show might go on forever, and having enough of it and starting to go out, I encountered one of a small army of door-keepers, a scholarly looking man wearing spectacles, and asked him what his exhibition represented. 'It is a Presentation of the Science of Psychology, the greatest show on earth/ he replied, and then he insisted on my buying his up-to-date Book of the Play, hot off of the griddle, price two dollars and a half. I did not want to buy the book, but could not well refuse, and was about handing out the money, when fortunately I awoke."
The foregoing examination of the status of Mental Science shows that there is apparently a good reason for making a new edition of this book. Ignorance of Phrenology as a
system of mental philosophy is general. The works of the Psychologists are rarely without mistaken and often silly assaults upon it, and even such a large and fair-minded man as Mr. Spencer attributes to Phrenology doctrines which it does not profess, and " unscientific reasoning " which certainly does not appear in this book made by its founder. An accessible authoritative statement of the principles of Phrenology is needed, and will be found in the following treatise, which is as simple, clear, and logical as any elementary work in any other science. It was an unparalleled achievement for Dr. Spurzheim to take up a multitude of noted and recorded observations of character and conduct in which a particular Propensity or Sentiment is an ever varying factor, and, penetrating through all entanglements, to find and define its unvarying quality and give it a name. This work of the first great mental philosopher, defining as it does the constitution of mind in man and in the lower animals, would prove its truthfulness and retain its inestimable value, if the full phrenological reading of heads, always difficult, had now become impossible.
The antagonism to Phrenology is simply that which is encountered by every new truth, its violence being always in proportion to the importance of the truth. There has been a real advance in mental science, made, not by the professional Psychologists, but by such men as the naturalist Wallace, the chemist Crookes, and the astronomer Flammarion, whose discovery of abnormal mental powers in the phenomena of spiritualism, corroborated by the experiments of other eminent scientists in many countries, was received with general and persistent derision; but the pioneer explorers and their few devoted followers resolutely continued and broadened their investigations with the result that psychical research is now altogether reputable, and mental science has been enriched with knowledge of hypnotism, telepathy, and the domain of subconsciousness. When men of like scientific ability and devotion to truth take up the cause of Phrenology, Mr. Wallace's prediction in regard to it will be
fulfilled. It is a confident prediction, with which he ends his discussion of the subject as follows :
" In the coming century Phrenology will assuredly attain general acceptance. It will prove itself to be the true science of mind. Its practical uses in education, in self-discipline, in the reformatory treatment of criminals, and in the remedial treatment of the insane, will give it one of the highest places in the hierarchy of the sciences: and its persistent neglect and obloquy during the last sixty years will be referred to as an example of the almost inconceivable narrowness and prejudice which prevailed among men of science at the very time they were making such splendid advances in other fields of thought and discovery."
Cyrus Elder. Philadelphia, Pa., June, 1908.
Text digitized by John van Wyhe.
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