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The Philosophy of the Mind has grown up, like other sciences, from small beginnings. Many propositions, coming too, in many instances, from able writers, have been thrown aside ; truth has been sifted out from the mass of error, until at last a great number of important principles is ascertained. But while it is exceedingly necessary that our youth should be made acquainted with these principles, it is impossible that they should go through with all the complicated discussions which have been held in respect to them. Many of the books in which these discussions are contained have become exceedingly rare; and, if they were not so, no small number of students, who are now in the course of as thorough an education as our country affords, would not be able to purchase them. And besides, by placing before the student a mass of crude and conflicting statements, his mind becomes perplexed. To be able to resolve such a mass into its elements, and to separate truth from error, implies an acquaintance with the laws of the intellect, and a degree of mental discipline, which he is not yet supposed to have acquired; and hence, instead of obtaining much important knowledge, he becomes distrustful of everything.
Now these evils, saying nothing of the loss of time attendant on such a course, are to be remedied in the same way as in other sciences. In other departments of learning, ingenious men discuss points of difficulty; conflicting arguments are accumulated, until the preponderance on one side is such that the question in debate is considered
settled. Others employ themselves in collecting facts, in classifying them, and in deducing general principles; and when all this is done, the important truths of the science, collected from such a variety of sources, and suitably arranged and expressed, are laid before the student, in order that he may become acquainted with them. And this is what is attempted, to some extent, to be done in the present work, which is an abridgment of a larger work on the same subject. In the larger work, the principles of Eclecticism and Induction, which have just been referred to, are applied on a more extensive scale than in the present. I have been obliged necessarily to exclude from the abridgment many interesting and striking illustrations and facts, and some general philosophical views, which would have had a place if our limits had permitted. I indulge the hope, nevertheless, as the abridgment has been made with no small degree of care, that it will answer the purpose for which it is particularly designed ; viz., the assistance of those youth who need some knowledge of Mental Philosophy, but are not in a situation to prosecute the subject to any great extent.
THOMAS C. UPHAM.
Bowdoin College, May, 1840.
CON T E N T S.
CHAPTER III. S.
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