Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]

far from any objection being founded on the admission of the modifying influences of circumstances and combinations, to ac“ count for the production of a given effect, it is perfectly under“ stood, that it is the study of the latter which forms the chief beauty « and utility of the science itself ; so it is here. In the oservation “ and explanation of the effects produced by the varied combina« tions of the simple powers, the science of Phrenology may be pro“ perly said to consist. The discovery of the powers themselves, as “ connected with and indicated by the presence of their respective

organs, is, no doubt, highly important, as constituting the foundation on which the superstructure rests. But this is allied rather “ to the department of natural history than to the philosophy of “ mind. It is the study of these diversified results, and iheir

practical application to the phenomena of human life, which “ should form the grand object of the moral and scientific inquirer ; " and without this the mere knowledge of the primitive powers, abstractedly considered, is of little comparative interest or import

66

ance.

After these and several other preliminary observations, Dr A. proceeds to treat of the particular organs, viz. Amativeness, Self-esteem, Benevolence, and Ideality, with a variety of their combinations. He'is in general correct in principle, elegant in composition, and also striking and felicitous in illustrations. Altogether we are gratified with the work, and recommend it as well worthy of perusal.

NOTICES. DR SPURZHEIM has left Paris with an intention of settling permanently in England. He has just concluded a course of lectures on Phrenology at Cambridge. In spring, 1827, he will lecture in Bath and Bristol ; in November following, he, by special engagement, will return to Cambridge and lecture; he will immediately thercafter proceed to Edinburgh, and lecture here in December 1827, and January 1828. At Cambridge, Dr S. has been received with distinguished respect. The use of one of the public lecturerooms of that University was granted to him by license from the Vice-Chancellor. His audience exceeded one hundred in number, and comprised men of the first name and influence in the University. He lectured on a dissection of the brain more than once in the lecture-room of the anatomical professor. “ He was feasted in “ college-halls (says an eminent scholar of Cambridge, in a letter “ to a friend in Edinburgh,) every day he was here. Our anato" mical, and, I believe, our medical professors, are amongst those “ most favourably disposed to his science. W's belief is becom

“ ing stronger ; Sis still a scoffer. · Combe's answer to Jeffrey « is here."

Contrasted with this highly-liberal conduct of Cambridge, we are mortified to record the following anecdote, which, with one or two honourable exceptions, is too much characteristic of the spirit of the professors of Scotland. A professor of moral philosophy in a northern university gave out “ Attention” as the subject of an essay to his class. One of the students, after citing the doctrine of Mr Dugald Stewart, stated objections to it, and ventured to give an extract from Mr Combe's Essays, as containing a more satisfactory and consistent view of that supposed faculty. The professor criticised this essay with great severity, told his class that Mr Combe, he understood, was a respectable man in his own profession, but utterly ignorant of metaphysics; he begged that no allusion might hereafter be made to his theories, and, in particular, warned his students against allowing themselves to be led astray by the monstrous absurdities of the phrenological doctrines !

The best apology that can be made for this exhibition is the kind of left-handed prudence which it displays. The moment the young men attending the universities become acquainted with Phrenology, it will be impossible for them to listen with respect to the vague, inconsistent, and useless generalities now taught to them as the philosophy of mind ; and the professor in question probably had a secret presentiment of this, which prompted him to avert the light as far and for as long a period as possible from the eyes of his students. We suspect, however, he will defeat his own object ; for knowledge that is interdicted is only the more ardently desired, and generally obtained.

COPENHAGEN.-We receive the most favourable accounts from Dr Otto. In our next, an extract of a letter from him and an article from the pen of Dr Hoppe shall appear. .

America.-We are prevented by the want of space from giving a long and interesting letter from Dr Caldwell of Lexington. It shall appear in our next.

LONDON.—The London Phrenological Society resumed its meetings in October. We shall give its proceedings in our next.

We have perused with much pleasure the “ Two Letters to a “ Friend in Oxford, in reply to the Strictures of the Edinburgh “ Review." We shall notice them in our next Number.

OPPOSITION TO PHRENOLOGY.—The opponents pretty generally admit, that Mr Jeffrey has not been successful in his attack on Phrenology; but many of them add, that, unfortunately, he took up wrong grounds, and did not urge the strongest objections against it, implying thereby, that the individual who states this is in possession of arguments that would have demolished the fabric entirely. The fact however is, that no opponent either has or can have a wellfounded objection to Phrenology, because, it being true, and all truth being consistent, no solid argument against it can possibly exist; but every one has his particular prejudice, which to his own mind appears an insuperable objection; and because the prejudice of one man differs from thai of another, he imagines, as long as his own has not been refuted, that the science has never been assailed with the most effectual weapons. Dr Roget stated his prejudices, and they were answered; Dr Barclay stated his, and they were refuted; then Mr Jeffrey favoured the world with his, and they have been replied to. But, as if these great men had been mere blunderers, forth comes Dr Milligan for the second or third time with his prepossessions, and flourishes them off as if they were something quite superior to those of his predecessors. They appear so to him because they are his own, and because they possess the novelty of being done up in the form of an algebraic proposition. We cannot afford time and space to refute the absurdities of every man who chooses to put his prejudices in print; and we have answered Roget, Barclay, and Jeffrey, only because their authority might have misled others, if their errors had not been pointed out. From the nature of Dr Milligan's prejudices, however, so little danger is to be apprehended, that we not only leave him in entire possession of the field, but hereby give notice to all who desire to see an algebraic refutation of our science, that they will tind one in the 5th Number of the Edinburgh Journal of Medical Science, just published, and another in the notes appended to the second edition of Dr Milligan's translation of Magendie's Physiology; both stated to be from the pen of Dr Milligan himself.

THE

PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL.

No XIV.

ARTICLE I.

ON THE INFLUENCE OF ORGANIC SIZE ON ENERGY OF FUNC. TION, PARTICULARLY AS APPLIED TO THE ORGANS OF THE EXTERNAL SENSES AND BRAIN.

(Read to the Phrenological Society on 30th November, 1826, by

Dr ANDREW COMBE.)

To an individual unacquainted with physiology, and whose attention has never before been directed to the observation of the mutual connexion of mind and matter, and who is not aware of the actual extent to which the mental manifestations are affected by every change in the condition of the brain, no part of the phrenological doctrines seems at first sight so

inherently absurd” and destitute of foundation, as that fundamental principle which affirms power or energy of function to be always, ceteris paribus, in exact relation to the size of the organ; and yet so far is this from being “trary to the analogy of all our known organs, generally supposed by the unthinking, and taught even by men of no mean reputation, that it is in reality a general law of nature, pervading all created objects, animate and inanimate, and, consequently, affecting the brain in common with every other part of the body. As this, however, is a cardinal

con

as is

Edinburgh Review, No 88, p. 301.
VOL. IV.No XIV.

[ocr errors]

point, in regard to which much confusion and misapprehension prevail, it may not be amiss to dedicate a few pages to its elucidation.

The principle of Size, as maintained and demonstrated by the Phrenologists, it may be proper to repeat, is, not that organic Size is the only, but that it is one condition, and a most important one, in producing energy of function ; and that hence, WHERE ALL OTHER CONDITIONS ARE EQUAL, there increase of Size will invariably indicate increased intensity of function. Now, it is no small presumption in favour of the inherent truth of this proposition, that no opponent has yet ventured either to deny or to dispute it, without having first mis-stated or misrepresented its meaning. For, instead of fairly grappling with it, as laid down in all the phrenological writings, those of our opponents who have ever attacked it, and Mr Jeffrey among the number, have chosen uniformly to represent it as affirming, that organic size is the only and exclusive condition of energy of function, and have brought wit, fact, and argument into play, to upset, not our statement, but this their own absurd misrepresentation ; and having succeeded in this very easy attempt, they have done their best to make the world believe that they had actually withdrawn the prop which alone supported the phrenological edifice, and that of course the latter was fast crumbling to its fall. How much they have erred in thus proceeding, and how little of consistency and of truth is to be found in such statements and opinions, as, in support of their cause, they have hazarded in regard to the organs of sense and external nature in general, will presently appear, when we shall have shown that the principle in dispute, instead of being contrary to, is in reality in strict harmony with, “the analogy of all “ our known organs."

In physics, the relation between Size and Power is univer. sally acknowledged, and is susceptible of mathematical demonstration, for it is nearly synonimous with the hitherto undisputed axiom of a whole being greater than a part. Every

« ПредишнаНапред »