« ZurückWeiter »
the power of manifesting particular mental faculties with the size of particular organs, he resembles a person who, to discover the mode of operation of a musical instrument, should examine narrowly its structure, and make it sound while he observed it.”
Amongst the organs which are considered as not fully established, is that of Concentrativeness. Drs. Gall and Spurzheim both stated this organ as conjectural; but Mr. Combe remarks, that,
“ From more enlarged observations, it now seems probable, that its function is to maintain two or more powers in simultaneous and combined activity, so that they may be directed towards one object; and it is, in consequence, named Concentrativeness.
“The first step in the discovery of this last function was the obser. vation, that certain individuals are naturally prone to sedentary habits, and find it painful to stir abroad without a special motive, and this, too, of considerable urgency. Other persons experience cqual difficulty in settling; their strongest desire is to engage in some active employment, in which their attention shall be carried, as it were, out of themselves, and occupied in external objects and occurrences. The former were perceived to possess this organ large, the latter small.
“Some patients, afflicted with nervous' debility, feel extreme aversion to active pursuits, in whom the organ may be found small; but these are cases of disease, and the observations now alluded to were made on jodividuals in the vigour of life and health.
“ The next step was the observation, that some persons possess a natural tendency to live, as it were, within themselves, whose minds seem habitually occupied with internal meditation; and of supporting a close and vigorous attention ; who, in short, have a natural facility of concentrating their thoughts, without the tendency to be distracted by the intrusion of feelings or ideas foreign to the main point under consideration. Such persons possess a command over their intellectual powers, so as to be able to apply them in their whole vigour to the pursuit which forms the object of their study for the time, and hence they produce the greatest possible results from the intellectual endow. ment which nature has bestowed on them. Other individuals, on the other hand, have been observed, who find their thoughts lost in dissipation, who are unable to keep the leading idea in its situation of becoming prominence, are distracted by accessories, and, in short, experience great difficulty in combining their whole powers to a single object. Thesë persons, even with considerable reflecting talents, fail to produce a corresponding general effect, and their mental produce tions are characterized by the intrusion of irrelevant ideas, and the unperceived omission of important particulars, arising from the disjointed action of their several faculties. The organ was perceived to be large in the former, and small in the latter.
“Probably it is by the exercise of a power resembling Concentrativeness, that animals, such as the chamois, who are fond of heights, are enabled to maintain in action all those faculties which are necessary to preserve their position while they brouse in difficult or
dangerous situations, and, at the same time, avoid the aim of the hunter. There appears, therefore, to be nothing in the limited observations of Dr. Gall, inconsistent with the more extensive views now taken of the functions of this faculty. Concentrativeness, however, is stated as only probable; and the function is open to elucidation from farther observations."
We present also the delineation of Combativeness, because the view which Phrenologists take of the functions of this organ, is, in a considerable degree, supported by several eminent writers on the Philosophy of the Mind; and whose remarks, in connexion with this subject, have not hitherto been noticed :
“ The faculty produces active courage, and, when energetic, the propensity to attack. A considerable endowment is indispensable to all great and magnanimous characters. It gives that boldness to the mind which enables it to look updauntedly on opposition, to meet, and, if possible, to overcome it. When very deficient, the individual cannot resist attacks, and is incapable of making his way where he must invade the prejudice or encounter the hostility of others. When too energetic, it inspires with the love of contention for its own sake; and pleasure may then be felt in disputation or in fighting.
“Dr. Reid and Mr. Stewart admit this propensity under the name of Sudden Resentment; and Dr. Thomas Brown speaks of a principle which gives us additional vigour, when assailed, and which, from the certainty of this additional vigour of resistance, renders attack formidable to the assailant.' And again, there is,' says he, "a principle in our mind, which is to us like a constant protector, which may slumber, indeed, but which slumbers only at seasons when its vigilance would be useless, which awakes, therefore, at the first appearance of unjust intention, and which becomes more watchful and more vigorous, iu proportion to the violence of the attack which it has to dread.'Vol. iii. p. 324. The chief difference betwixt these and the phrenological views is, that we regard the propensity as an active impulse, exerting an habitual influence on the mind, inspiring it, when the organ is large, with constitutional boldness, and prompting it to seek opportunities and situations in which the faculty may exercise itself, and occasioning, on the other hand, when the organ is small, a characteristic timidity and deficiency of spirit for active enterprise.
“The organ is generally large in persons who have murdered from the impulse of the moment."
In confirmation of Destructiveness, we are also referred to the following authority :
" Lord Kames, who has been censured by Mr. Stewart, for admitting, unnecessarily, too many instinctive principles, observes, that • there is a contrivance of Nature, no less simple than effectual, which engages men to bear with cheerfulness the fatigues of hunting, and the uncertainty of capture; and that is an appetite for hunting - It is an illustrious instance of providential care, the adapting the internal
constitution of man to his external circumstances. The appetite for hunting, though among us little necessary for food, is to this day remarkable in young men, high and low, rich and poor. Natural propensities may be rendered faint or obscure, but never are totally eradicated.'- Sketches, B. i. In point of fact, I have found the organ large in keen sportsmen without exception. It is also generally large in those who are fond of seeing public executions, floggings, and the infliction of pain in all its forms.”
By Dr. Gall's plates, it appears that the function of Conscientiousness had not at the time of his publication been ascertained, and Dr. Spurzheim held it às merely probable; but, from many observations, Mr. Combe considers it ascere tained.
“The faculty produces the feeling of obligation, incumbency, right and wrong, for which we have no single definite expression in the English language ; just as Ideality produces the sentiment of Beauty, Justice is the result of this sentiment, acting in combination with the intellectual powers.
The latter investigate the motives and consequences of actions ; but, after having done so, they, of themselves, experience no emotions. In surveying human conduct, however, as soon as the intellect has thoroughly penetrated into the springs from which it proceeds, a feeling of decided approval or condemnation, distinct from all other sentiments, and from pure intellection, arises in the mind; and this is produced by the faculty of Conscientiousness. A large endowment of it is of the highest importance in regulating the conduct. The individual is then disposed to act justly from the love of justice; he is delighted with the observance of right, and disgusted with the doing of wrong: he is inclinable to form equitable judgments of the motives and conduct of others; is scrupulous, and, when deserving of censure, is as ready to condemn hiniself as his neighbour. When the faculty, on the other hand, is weak, the power of experiencing the sentiment is feeble, and the individual, in consequence, is more prone to do an unprincipled action, if excited by interest or inclination. He experiences a difficulty both in perceiving the quality of justice itself, and in feeling the imperious obligations of duty, arising from its dictates. Such persons, taking their own minds as types of those of the human race, imagine that the rest of the world is carrying on a solemn farce, in believing in the immutable distinction of right and wrong, and trusting in the ultimate triumph of truth and justice over insolence and fraud; they regard as eminently weak, those individuals who adopt such views as practical maxims; and conceive themselves to have attained to an extraordinary depth of penetration, in discovering that those notions spring from senseless enthusiasm, and that selfishness, disguised occasionally by a show of generosity, is the real origin and object of human actions. To such men, Phrenologists, and all who espouse unfashionable opinions merely because they are true, and rely on their truth for their success, appear extremely deficient in practical sense and knowledge of the world. In point of fact, however, the pretensions to
superior sagacity, in such cases, are founded on a great moral imperfection; and indicate lamentable weakness in an important mental function, instead of depth and superior illumination. Remorse is a painful affection of this sentiment, occasioned by conduct in opposition to its dictates.
“Some metaphysical writers admit this sentiment, and others deny it, apparently just as it was strong or weak in their own minds. Dr. Thomas Brown maintains its existence with great eloquence and success, and his views accord, in a remarkable degree, with those brought to light by Phrenological observations. The only point in which his knowledge appears to have been defective, is, that it is possessed, in very different degrees of strength, by different individuals, according as the organ is large or small."*
In the section on Language, we have the following important distinctions:
“This faculty may enable us to learn and remember the word Melody; but if we do not possess the faculty of Tune, we can never appreciate the meaning attached to that word by those who possess that faculty in a high degree. This principle removes an apparent difficulty that sometimes presents itself. A person with a moderate organ of Language will sometimes learn songs, poetry, or particular speeches by heart, with considerable facility and pleasure ; but in all such cases,
the passages so committed to memory will be found highly to interest his other powers, such as Ideality, Causality, Tune, Veneration, Combativeness, Adhesiveness; and that the study and recollection of pure vocables is to bim difficult and disagreeable. To a person, on the other hand, in whom the organ is decidedly large, pure words are interesting, and he can learn them without caring much about their meaning. Hence, also, a person with a moderate organ
of language, and good reflecting organs, may, by perseverance, learn
* I embrace this opportunity of paying a humble tribute to the talents of the late Dr. Thomas Brown. The acuteness, depth, and comprehensiveness of intellect displayed in his works on the Mind, place him in the highest rank of philosophical authors; and these great qualities are equalled by the purity and vividness of his moral perceptions. His powers of analysis are unrivalled and his eloquence is frequently splendid. His “ Lectures” will remain a monument of what the human mind was capable of accomplishing, in investigating its own constitution by an imperfect method. In proportion as Phrenology becomes known, the admiration of his genius will increase; for it is the highest praise to say, that, in regard to many points of great difficulty and importance in the Philosophy of Mind, he has arrived, by his own reflections, at conclusions harmonizing with those obtained by Phrenological observation. Of this, his doctrine on the moral emotion discussed in the text, is a striking instance. Sometimes, indeed, his arguments are subtle, his distinctions too refined ; and his style is circuitous; but the Phrenologist will pass lightly over these imperfections, for they occur only occasionally, and arise from mere excess of the faculties of Secretiveness, Comparison, Causality, and Wit; on a great endowment of which, along with Concentrativeness, his penetration and comprehensiveness depended. In fact, he possessed the organs of these powers largely developed, and they afford a key to his genius.
languages, and attain to proficiency as a scholar; but he will not display copiousness, fluency, and richness of expression in bis style, either in his own or in a foreign tongue.”
In treating of the functions of Individuality, an obvious objection appears to be satisfactorily removed :
“In the preceding pages, it is stated, that the faculty of Form perceives the forms of objects ;-Colouring their colour; Size their dimensions ;-and that Individuality takes cognizance of existences and events in general. The question naturally occurs, if the minor knowing powers apprehend all the separate qualities of external objects, what
purpose does Individuality serve in the mental economy? Its function is to form a single intellectual conception out of the different items of information communicated by the other knowing faculties. In perceiving a tree, the object apprehended by the mind is not colour, form, and size, as separate qualities; but a single thing or being, named a tree. The mind having, by means of Individuality, obtained the idea of a tree, as an individual existence, may analyse it, and resolve it into its constituent parts of form, colour, magnitude; but the contemplation of it in this manner is at once felt to be widely different from the conception attached to the word Tree as a whole. The function of Individuality, therefore, is to embody the separate elements furnished by the other knowing faculties into one, and to produce out of them conceptions of aggregate objects as a whole; which objects are afterwards viewed by the mind as individual existences, and are remembered and spoken of as such, without thinking of their constituent parts.
“It is interesting to observe the Pbrenological System, which at first sight appears rude and unphilosophical, harmonizing thus simply and beautifully with Nature. Had it been constructed by imagination or reflection alone, it is more than probable that the objection of the minor knowing faculties rendering Individuality superfluous, would have appeared so strong and unsurmountable, as to have insured the exclusion of one or the other as unnecessary; and yet, until both were discovered and admitted, the function of such terms as these we have considered, was altogether inexplicable.”
We have thus adverted to what has struck us as the most generally interesting and novel, in the statement of the nature of the organs; and we proceed now to lay before our readers, some important extracts upon the modes of activity of the faculties, and upon the size and combinations of the organs, accompanied by practical directions for the study and application of the system.
“All the faculties, when active in a due degree, produce actions good-proper-or necessary. It is excess of activity which produces abuses ; and it is probable that Phrenology has been discovered only in consequence of some individuals, in whom particular orgaus were very largely developed, yielding to the strongest propensities of their nature. The smallness of a particular organ is not the cause of a faculty produciug abuses. Thus, though the organ of Benevolence