by John van Wyhe
George Combe's A System of Phrenology, 5th edn, 2 vols. 1853.
Vol. 1: [front
matter], Intro, Nervous
system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division
of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love
of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].
DIVISION OF THE FACULTIES.
Dr Spurzheim divides the faculties into two orders, feelings and intellect, or affective and Intellectual faculties. The feelings are subdivided by him into two genera, denominated propensities and sentiments. He applies the name propensities to indicate internal impulses, which invite only to certain actions ; and sentiments to designate other feelings, not limited to inclination alone, but which have an emotion of a peculiar kind superadded. Acquisitiveness, for example, is a mere impulse to acquire ; Veneration gives a tendency to worship, accompanied by a particular emotion, which latter quality is the reason of its being denominated a sentiment.
The second order of faculties make us acquainted with objects which exist, and their qualities and relations ; they are called intellectual. These are subdivided by Dr Spurzheim into four genera. The first includes the external senses and voluntary motion ; the second, those internal powers which perceive existence, or make man and animals acquainted with external objects and their physical qualities : and the third, the powers which perceive the relations of external objects. These three genera are named perceptive faculties. The fourth genus comprises the faculties which act on all the other powerswhich compare, judge, and discriminate : these are named reflective faculties.
DIVISION OF THE FACULTIES. 181
The names of the faculties employed in this work are, with few exceptions, those suggested by Dr Spurzheim. To designate propensity, he adds to a root or fundamental word the termination ive, as indicating the quality of producing / the termination ness, denotes the abstract state, as Destructiveness. The termination ous characterizes a sentiment; as cautious, conscientious. To these is added ness, to express the abstract quality, as Cautiousness, Conscientiousness. The names of the intellectual faculties are easily understood, and do not here require any particular explanation.
Considerable difficulty attends the arrangement of the faculties and organs. In the first and second editions of this work, they were arranged and numbered according to the order adopted in Dr Spurzheim's Physiognomical System, published in 1815. In that arrangement, the organs common to man and the lower animals were treated of first, beginning with the lowest, and ascending. Next came the organs of the sentiments peculiar to man ; and, lastly, the organs of intellect. Since 1815, the great divisions of this classification have been retained, but repeated alterations have been made by Dr Spurzheim in the arrangement of the details. It appears impossible to arrive at a correct classification until all the organs, and also the primitive faculty or ultimate function of each shall be definitely ascertained, which is not at present the case. Till this end shall be accomplished, every interim arrangement will be in danger of being overturned by subsequent discoveries. In the mean time, however, for the sake of uniformity, I shall adopt the arrangement followed by Dr Spurzheim in the third edition of his Phrenology> published in 1825*. During his visit to Edinburgh in 1828, he demonstrated the anatomy of the brain, and traced out the connection between the organs, in a manner so clear and satisfactory, that the basis of his arrangement appeared founded in nature. Dr Gall seems not to have adopted any philosophical principle of classification ; but it is proper that
1 See objections to Dr Spurzheim's classification of the faculties, and suggestions for improved arrangements, in the Appendix, No. IL
182 NATURAL LANGUAGE OF THE FACULTIES.
his names and order should be known. I shall, therefore, add a table of these to the present work.1
In the case of many of the organs, observations have been made to such an extent, that the functions are held to be ascertained; and in regard to others, where the observations have been fewer, the functions are stated as probable. There is little or no difference of opinion among phrenologists in regard to the kind of manifestations which accompany the organs set down as established ; their differences touch only the result of the metaphysical analysis of the feelings and intellectual powers, and the order of their arrangement.
I shall notice briefly the history of the discovery of each organ, and state a few cases in illustration of its function : but the reader is respectfully informed, that I do not pretend to bring forward all the evidence on which Phrenology is founded. I beg leave to refer those readers who are fond of perusing cases, to Dr Gall's work, in six volumes, entitled, Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, &c. ; to Dr Spurzheim's work, Phrenology ; the Transactions of the Phrenological Society ; The Phrenological Journal ; the Journal de la Société Phrênologique de Paris ; and The American Phrenological Journal. Those persons who desire philosophical conviction, are requested to resort directly to nature, which is always within their reach ; for well-grounded conviction can be OBTAINED ONLY BY PERSONAL OBSERVATION.
Drs Gall and Spurzheim have investigated the laws which determine the natural language of the individual faculties, and their exposition of them is highly interesting and instructive.2 The leading principle is, that the motions are always in the direction of the seat of the organs. Self-Esteem, for instance, produces an attitude in which the head and body are
1 Appendix, No. III.
2 See Gall Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, v. 440, and Spurzheim's Physiognomical System, Lond. 1815, p. 398.
held high, and reclining backwards ; Firmness gives erectness and stiffness to the person ; Cautiousness carries the head backward and to the side, Veneration upward and forward, and so on. Each organ, when predominantly powerful and active, produces these motions and attitudes. It also gives a peculiar expression to the voice and features : thus Destructiveness communicates to the voice a hard ringing quality, and to the countenance a dark harsh expression ; while Love of Approbation gives a flattering and pleasing tone to the voice, and gracious smiles to the face. The modes of expression attached to each faculty, being natural, are universal, and are understood in all countries and all ages. They are the foundations of pantomime, and also of expression in painting and sculpture. The knowledge of them renders Physiognomy scientific ; without this knowledge, it is a mere empirical art, leading as often to erroneous as to sound conclusions.
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