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medical aid, admit the existence of organic laws: And fne sciences of government, legislation, education, indeed our whole train of conduct through life, proceed upon the admission of laws in morals. Accordingly, the laws of nature have formed an interesting subject of inquiry to philosophers of all ages; but, so far as I am aware, no author has hitherto attempted to point out, in a combined and systematic form, the relations between these laws and the constitution of Man; which must, nevertheless, be done, before our knowledge of them can be beneficially applied nor has any preceding author unfolded the independent operation of the several natural laws, and the practical consequences which follow from this fact. The great object of the following Essay is to exhibit these relations and consequences with a view to the improvement of education, and the regulation of individual and national conduct
But although my purpose is practical, a theory of Mind forms an essential element in the execution of the plan. Without it, no comparison can be instituted between the natural constitution of man and external objects. Phre'nology appears to me to be the clearest, most complete, and best supported system of Human Nature, which has hitherto been taught; and I have assumed it as the basis of this Essay. But the practical value of the views now to be unfolded does not depend entirely on Phrenology. The latter, as a theory of Mind, is itself valuable, only in so' far as it is a just exposition of what previously existed in human nature. We are physical, organic, and moral beings, acting under the sanction of general laws, whether the connection of different mental qualities with particular portions of the brain, as taught by Phrenology, be admitted or denied. Individuals, under the impulse of passion, or by the direction of intellect, will hope, fear, wonder, perceive, and act, whether the degree in which they habitually do so. be ascertainable by the means which it points out or not In so far, therefore, as this Essay
treats of the known qualities of Man, it may be instructive even to those who contemn Phrenology as unfounded; while it can prove useful to none, if the doctrines which it unfolds shall be found not to be in accordance with the principles of human nature, by whatever system these may be expounded.
Some individuals object to all mental philosophy as useless, and argue, that, as Mathematics, Chemistry, and Botany, have become great sciences, without the least reference to the faculties by means of which they are cultivated, so Morals, Religion, Legislation and Political Economy have existed, been improved, and may continue to advance with equal success, without any help from the philosophy of mind. Such objectors, however, should consider that lines, circles, and triangles,-earths, alkalis and acids,—and also corollas, stamens, pistils and stigmas, are objects which exist independently of the mind, and may be investigated by the application of the mental powers, in ignorance of the constitution of the faculties themselves;-just as we may practise archery without studying the anatomy of the hand; whereas the objects of moral and political philosophy are the qualities and actions of the mind itself: These objects have no existence independently of mind; and they can no more be systematically or scientifically understood without the knowledge of mental philosophy, than optics can be cultivated as a science in ignorance of the structure and modes of action of the eye
I have endeavored to avoid all religious controversy. "The object of Moral Philosophy,' says Mr. Stewart, 'is to ascertain the general rules of a wise and virtuous condict in life, in so far as these rules may be discovered by the unassisted light of nature; that is, by an examination of the principles of the human constitution, and of the circumstances in which Man is placed.'* By following this method of inquiry, Dr. Hutcheson, Dr. Adam Smith,
*Outlines of Moral Philosophy, p. 1.
Dr Reid, Mr. Stewart, and Dr. Thomas Brown, have, in succession, produced highly interesting and instructive works on Moral Science; and the present Essay is a humble attempt to pursue the same plan, with the aid of the new lights afforded by Phrenology. I confine my observations exclusively to man as he exists in the present world, and beg that, in perusing the subsequent pages, this explanation may be constantly kept in view. In consequence of forgetting it, my language has occasionally been misapprehended, and my objects misrepresented When I speak of man's 'highest interest,' for example, as on page 7, and in other places, I uniformly refer to man as he exists in this world; but as the same God presides over both the temporal and the eternal interests of the human race, it seems to me demonstrably certain, that what is conducive to the one, will in no instance impede the other, but will in general be favorable to it also. This work, however, does not directly embrace the interests of eternity. These belong to the department of theology, and demand a different line of investigation; I confine myself exclusively to philosophy.
Since the first Edition of this work appeared, on 9th June 1828, additional attention has been paid to the study of the laws of Nature, and their importance has been more generally recognised. In 'A Discourse on the Studies of the University, by Adam Sedgwick, M. A., &c.' of which a third edition was published at Cambridge in 1834, the author remarks, that we are justified in saying, that, in the moral as in the physical world, God seems to govern by general laws.' 'I am not now,' says he,
'contending for the doctrine of moral necessity; but I do affirm, that the moral government of God is by general laws, and that it is our bounden duty to study these laws, and, as far as we can, to turn them to account.' 'If there be a superintending Providence, and if his will be manifested by general laws operating both on the physical and moral world, then must a violation of these laws be a violation of his will, and be pregnant with inevitable misery.' Nothing, can, in the end, be expedient for man, except it be subordinate to those laws the Author of Nature has thought fit to impress on his moral and physical creation.' . In the end, high principle and sound policy will be found in the strictest harmony with each other.
These are precisely the views which it is the object of che present work to enforce; and it is gratifying to me to see them so ably and eloquently recommended to the attention of the students of the University of Cambridge
23 Charlotte Square, Ediaburgh, 31st March 1835.
TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
In presenting the present edition of The Constitution of Man' to the American public, I beg leave to return my warmest acknowledgments for the favor with which they have received both this and my other works. There is so much vigorous thinking, practical sense, and bold enterprise in the general public of the United States, that their approbation of the views which I have from time to time offered for their consideration, has increased not a little my own reliance on the truth and utility of my opinions; and in preparing the present edition for the press, I have been animated throughout by the desire to render it worthy of the approbation of my transatlantic friends. I have not found it necessary to alter any essential principle adopted in the first edition. On the contrary, seven years of additional observation, discussion, and reflection, have tended only to accumulate new evidence in favor of the propositions maintained. I have, however, corrected as far as possible the style of the work, inserted new proofs and illustrations, and added three chapters entirely new—those on 'Punishment as inflicted under the Natural Laws,' on “the Influence of the Natur 1 Laws on Individual Happiness,' and on the Relation between Science and Scripture.' I believe the people of the United States to have advanced farther towa ds the practical application of the principles developed a the following work, than any other nation; and if it shall in any degree serve to animate and direct them in their future progress towards happiness and virtue, the highest object of my ambition will be gained.
23 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 31st March 1835