Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

tract has no connection with the anterior lobes or in- to preserve his own. Destructiveness, accordingly, lies tellectual organs.

close to the two organs mentioned. He must not only Again, the sensory tract has a fibrous connection with devour the gentler animals, but must not be devoured the middle and posterior lobes of the brain, and with by the ferocious; hence his Cautiousness, Combativethe cerebellum, and most appropriately, for these are ness, and Secretiveness are all close neighbours of the the organs of the feelings. But as the feelings have three organs mentioned, and of each other. The accuinvoluntary motions when acting, these are provided mulation of surplus above his immediate wants, so for by a fibrous connection between the organs of the important to man's preservation, is prompted by Acfeelings and both the sensory and motory tracts. Yet, quisitiveness; while, without Constructiveness, he would as the motions consequent upon the energy of passion perish for want of shelter and clothing. Thus a cluster are not voluntary, but instinctive, we should expect a of no fewer than seven organs forms to man the selfseparate motory tract for instinctive motion, with preservative group of faculties. 2d, Man is commanded which, and not with the tract of voluntary motion, the to do more than subdue;' he is enjoined, by multiorgans of the feelings should be connected. This dis- plying his species, to replenish the earth. Behold, tinction, however, has only been conjectured; it is not then, another group of faculties for this purpose, which yet ascertained. Mr Combe farther adds— It is certain may be called the species-preservative, or domestic group that mental emotions exercise a powerful influence over - Amativeness, Philoprogenitiveness, Inhabitiveness, the organic functions: when the emotions are agreeable, and Adhesiveness. 3d, Designed for the society of his they stimulate these functions to healthy action; and fellow-men, man asserts his own rights and legitimate when painful, they depress their energies and produce power by Self-Esteem or Self-Love; while he is inliability to disease, Reciprocally, when the organic fluenced by the opinion of others to the proper regulafunctions, such as digestion, respiration, and secretion, tion of his conduct by Love of Approbation, or regard are disordered, an irritable and distressing state of the to character. Firmness aids Self-Esteem in asserting mental feelings is induced. The intimate relations right. The three organs located close to each other between the convolutions of the brain devoted to the form our rights and character-preservative group. 4th, mental emotions, and the sensory tract of the spinal The moral group, hy excellence, is formed by Consciencord, is in harmony with these facts. The habit of tiousness, Benevolence, and Veneration earth-directed. contending with intellectual difficulties, if unconnected 5th, The religious group is formed by Veneration heavenwith feeling, does not injure the organic functions so directed, Wonder, Hope, and Ideality; the last being severely as do strong and powerful emotions; but it claimed as a religious faculty by Sir George Mackenzie, weakens the locomotive powers. Sedulous students of as the love of the perfect. 6th, A bountiful Providence abstruse problems acquire a great aversion to locomo- has provided a rich fund of recreative pleasure for tion. These facts correspond with the arrangements man in what may be called the poetical or recreative of structure by which the convolutions of the anterior group of his faculties-namely, Imitation, Wonder, lobes, devoted to intellect, spring from the motory Ideality, Wit, Tune, and Time, all lying contiguous in tract, and are not connected with the sensory tract of the brain. Lastly, Turning to the intellectual powers, the spinal marrow.' We are not aware that anato- we have them in one splendid and god-like ''assemmical and physiological investigations have unfolded blage in the forehead of man, subdivided into three facts more interesting than those now detailed. groups, according to their uses. The lowest range, the

simply-perceptive group, gives the perception of objects Natural Language of the Faculties, or Pathognomical and and their qualities. Above it is placed the relativelyPhysiognomical Expression.

perceptive group, for perceiving the relations of objects What has been stated in the preceding section will and events; and, above all, the organs of the highest prepare the reader for the fact, that, by means of in- of man's faculties--namely, his reflecting powers, which voluntary motions, each organ of feeling produces perceive the relations of ideas, and reason upon them; movements, attitudes, and expressions peculiar to it or the reflective group. self. The chief aim of the dramatic actor and pantomimist is to study and represent these movements, CONTINUATION OF PHRENOLOGY AS A COMPLETE PHILOSOPHY attitudes, and expressions; and hence such of them as have studied phrenology, have declared that it affords The phrenologists have chiefly confined their attenthem the most valuable guidance. Dr Gall's “ Physio- tion to the organs of the brain, and the various faculties logy of the Brain, and Dr Spurzheim’s • Physiogno- of which these are the instruments. The former writers mical System,' enter fully into this curious subject, and on mind (Reid, Dugald Stewart, Brown, and others) have ascertained the laws which determine the natural gave, on the contrary, their chief care to the mental language of the faculties. It has been laid down as acts called Attention, Perception, Conception, &c. which the leading principle, that the instinctive motions are they considered as faculties. The phrenologist does always in the direction of the organs. Self-Esteem, for not overlook the importance of this department of menexample, throws the head high and slightly backwards, tal philosophy, but differs from the metaphysicians in Tulgarly called "turning up the nose' at anything. considering perception, conception, &c. as only modes in Firmness gives an erect stiffness to the person. Cau- which the real faculties above described act. This distiousness throws the head backwards and to the side. tinction is one of great importance. Veneration slowly forward ; hence the reverence and According to the phrenologists, the faculties are not bow, The involuntary motions extend to the features mere passive feelings; they all tend to action. When of the face; hence the dark and harsh expression of duly active, the actions they produce are proper or Destructiveness, and the smile of Benevolence and necessary; in excess or abuse, they are improper, viLove of Approbation. The countenance tends to take cious, or criminal. Small moral organs do not produce a permanent expression from the prevalence of parti- abuses; but they are unable to prevent the abuse of the cular feelings. It is this which renders the physiog- animal organs, as the larger tend to do; thus small nomy of phrenology scientifically trustworthy. Benevolence is not cruel, but it does not offer suffi

cient control to Destructiveness, which then impels to The Organs arranged in Groups.

cruelty. Large organs have the greatest, small the It is instructive to find the organs of such of the hu- least tendency to act-each faculty producing the feel. man faculties as have an affinity to each other, placed ing or idea peculiar to itself. Seeing that all the organs contiguously in the brain, and to observe that, by an tend to action, the Creator must have intended a legitiapparent sympathy, they stimulate each other to acti- mate sphere of action for them all. He could never vity. Ist, The supposed organs of the Love of Life and have created either bad or unnecessary faculties. Alimentiveness-the essentials of Self-Preservation- The PROPENSITIES and SENTIMENTS cannot be called lie contiguous in the brain. But man has a carnivo- into action by the will. We cannot fear, or pity, or love, rous stomach and teeth, and must destroy animal life or be angry, by willing it. But internal causes may sti

OF MIND.

mulate the organs, and then, whether we will or not, deavoured to discover laws by which, in every mind, their emotions will be felt. Again, these feelings are this succession is regulated. The uniform associating called into action in spite of the will, by the presenta- powers, according to them, are resemblance, contiguity in tion of their external objects-Cautiousness by objects time and place, and contrast. The phrenological view is, of terror, Love by beauty, and so on. The force of that the predominant faculties in each mind create the the feelings, whether excited from within or without, associations. Association is a very important principle in will be in proportion to the activity of the tempera- mental science. There is a mutual influence of the orment. Excessive action of the affective faculties, organs which produces associations; a natural association the removal of their object, causes pain. Excessive between certain external objects and certain faculties; rage is painful to Destructiveness; and the death of an and artificial associations may be formed between obinfant pains the Pbiloprogenitiveness of the mother. jects and faculties. For example, long exercise of a Insanity is a frequent result of over-activity of the particular organ or organs in performing certain acts, affective feelings. An affective faculty may be dis- renders those acts easy, by the rapid association of the eased, and yet the intellect sound. The converse is ideas necessary to their performance. Professional skill, also true. When the organ is small, its feeling cannot in all its varieties, is thus accounted for. Mutual acbe adequately experienced. Hence the frauds of those tion of the faculties arises from the beautiful arrangewith small Conscientiousness and large Secretiveness ment or grouping which we have already described. and Acquisitiveness. The will can indirectly excite the Passion is any faculty in excess. Thus there are as affective feelings, by setting the intellect to work to find many passions as faculties. Love is the passion of Amaexternally, or conceive internally, the proper objects. tiveness in union with Veneration; avarice of AcquiThis accounts for different turns and pursuits. Lastly, sitiveness; rage of Destructiveness. the affective faculties do not form ideas, but simply PLEASURE and Pain also belong to each faculty, acfeel; and therefore have no memory, conception, or cording as it is agreeably or disagreeably affected. imagination. They have Sensation only; in other PATIENCE and IMPATIENCE are respectively the results words, they feel; hence Sensation belongs to all the of certain combinations of faculties. Thus Benevolence, faculties which feel, and to the external senses and Veneration, Hope, Conscientiousness, and Firmness, nervous system in general. Sensation, therefore, is a with moderate Self-Esteem, produce a quiet, meek, restate or condition, not a faculty, as is held by the signed, and patient spirit. Apathy is quite different, metaphysicians.

although often confounded with Patience; it arises from The Knowing and REFLECTING FACULTIES, or Intellect, lymphatic temperament or deficient brain. On the other form ideas, perceive relations, and are subject to, or hand, Self-Esteem, Combativeness, and Destructiveness, rather constitute, the Will; and minister to the affec- when larger than Benevolence, Conscientiousness, and tive faculties. They may be excited by external objects, Veneration, will be impatient of contradiction. Large and by internal causes. When excited by the presenta- Time and Tune give impatience of bad music. tion of external objects, these objects are perceived, and Joy and Grief arise from agreeable and disagree. this act is called PERCEPTION. It is the lowest degree of able affections of the faculties by causes of consideractivity of the intellectual faculties; and those who are able power. Wealth, power, and praise gire joy to deficient in a faculty cannot perceive its object. Acquisitiveness, Self-Esteem, and Love of Approba.

Conception is also a mode of action of the faculties, tion; while, on the other hand, the death of a beloved not a faculty itself. It is the activity of the faculties relative affects Adhesiveness with grief. from internal causes, either willed, or involuntary from SYMPATHY, as its name (from the Greek) signifies, is natural activity. IMAGINATION is Conception carried to feeling with another, or partaking of his emotions. The a high pitch of rivacity. Thus Perception is the lowest laws which regulate the activity of the faculties show degree of activity of any of the intellectual faculties, the nature of this affection and the circumstances in Conception the second, and Imagination the highest. which it occurs. Two individuals of similar constitu.

MEMORY, too, is not a faculty, but a mode of action. tion of mind naturally feel alike. This is the sympathy It necessarily follows that there can be no such thing felt in the theatre, listening to eloquence, or witnessing as the general memory of the metaphysicians, but every distress and suffering. But there is another kind of faculty must have its own memory: Memory belongs, sympathy --- namely, that which is called up by the however, only to the intellectual faculties. It differs activity of a particular feeling in another's mind, mafrom Conception and Imagination in this, that it recol. nifested by the natural language of the active faculty; lects reul objects or events which it has actually pera thus the baughty air of Self-Esteem instantly calls ceived, and adds the consciousness of time elapsed since up a defensive Self-Esteem in those who witness it, if they were perceired. The other named modes of action the faculty be powerful in them. On the other hand, do not require realities or time.

Benevolence, with its kind natural language, excites JUDGMENT, in its proper sense, is the perception of the same feeling in another. Wonder, too, spreads adaptation, fitness, and necessary consequence; and is rapidly; and so on. a mode of action of the reflecting powers. In a certain Habit may be defined as the power of doing anything seuse, the Knowing Faculties may each be said to pos- well by frequently doing it. But before it can be done sess judgment; as Colouring judges of colours, Form at all, there must be the faculty to do it, however awkof forins, Tune of music. When, however, we use the wardly. Habit, then, is the acquired strength of the word judgment, we mean right reasoning, sound decid- faculty by its repeated exercise. ing. To this a proper balance of the affective faculties is Taste was held by Mr Stewart to be a faculty, and essential. There can be no sound judgment where any acquired by habit. Phrenology holds that good taste of the feelings are excessive.

is the result of a harmonious action of all the facul. CONSCIOUSNESS is the knowledge which the mind bas ties. Bad taste is evinced when particular faculties, of its own existence and operations, whether these last especially the propensities, break out beyond due are affectire or intellectual; but as it does not reveal limits. Social converse is injured by bad taste in va. the existence or nature of the powers themselves which rious ways--by displays of vanity, disputatiousness, &c. think and feel, it was an error in some of the meta- Bad morality is bad taste; but it is more, it is turpiphysicians to attempt to discover these powers by tude. A standard of taste, about which so much has merely reflecting on their own consciousness.

been written, is not a decision of certain objects or ATTENTION is not a faculty, but the application, or qualities of objects as beautiful or perfect to all men, tension, of any or all of the intellectual faculties. This were a vain attempt; but it may be approximated

Association is that succession of ideas in the mind, by appealing to the taste of individuals of very farour. each seeming to call up that which succeeds; 80 that, able and harmonious organisation, which has received in our waking hours, the mind is nerer without an idea the highest possible culture. It cannot fail to strike passing through it. This is a state or condition of the that good taste, sound judgment, and good morals all faculties, not a faculty. The metaphysicians hare en- require well-balanced faculties,

[blocks in formation]

OBJECTS OF THE SCIENCE,

:

that will always occur, from such as may fail at the

very time when we trust to them. TRUTH is commonly held to be the great and proper If nature furnishes conjunctions of events, or comobject of human curiosity-the end of all inquiries, panion circumstances, enabling us, on finding one, to the indispensable attribute of everything we call know- make sure of the presence of a second which may be ledge, and one of the greatest achievements and most hidden from the immediate view, it is important that glorious possessions of man.

we should know them all; for they will serve to expand Now all these phrases point to something not always our vision, and will give us the means of acting on what possessed, not obvious, and it may be hard to acquire; concerns us, although not before us. The discovery of and yet there are things correctly called true which all these natural conjunctions, called Laws of Nature, are not of this description. It is true that I write, is the discovery of Truth, and the reducing of them to that the walls of a room surround me, that I walked their most naked and simple form, is Science; the conin the streets yesterday; and the personal experience ceptions of which approach more closely than any others and conscious history of each individual will furnish to the deepest and clearest possible insight into the him or her with an unlimited number of the same scheme and mechanism of the universe. kind of truths ; but there is neither labour, nor Language, or speech, originally contrived for the anxiety, nor a very great feeling of exultation accom- communication of meaning, thought, and emotion or panying them. It cannot, therefore, be this sort of feelings, has become a great and indispensable instrutruth that is so highly extolled.

ment in the discovery of the laws of things, or the These facts of personal experience, however, are not natural conjunctions, and united events established in the whole of truth or knowledge; they are only a very the world. This instrumentality is not absolutely limited portion of the things known and believed in. essential to our gaining of knowledge by Inference, We receive many events as true on the experience of any more than it is to knowledge by Intuition: the others; we can acquire a conviction of the reality of once whipped dog knows that if it do a certain act anoccurrences that have taken place in former ages, or in other whipping will follow, and this knowledge comes remote countries. Moreover, in respect to what is yet from a pre-established connection of events, which future, we have often the same certainty as if we actu- enables the animal to draw the inference. But it is ally experienced it. And it is our having to find out, found that we cannot advance far in tracing out the with accuracy and precision, things existing only in actual conjunctions of nature, nor in deducing conclu. the experience of others, and things past, distant, and sions from them in the applications to life, without the future, that renders the discovery of truth frequently help of language or speech, together with certain classes arduous, as well as worthy of being achieved.

of marks and symbols that are not employed in ordinary There are thus two distinct kinds of truth and know- conversation, although somewhat of the nature of lanledge: the one furnished by personal experience, com- guage. This necessity is owing to the abstruse and monly termed Intuitive, which is of narrow limits, but hidden character of the greatest and most comprehenof the highest possible certainty; the other not obtained sive uniformities of nature; for if these lay all on the from personal experience, and extending over the whole surface, like the coincidence of sunrise with daylight, world, and into past and future time. To arrive at a our mere notion of the two connected things, derived knowledge of this last class of truths, and to acquire through one or more of the senses, would be quite certainty regarding them, is an operation of labour and enough to put us in possession of the laws. care, and must be gone through in a particular way, Logic (derived from the Greek word logos, which which it is possible distinctly to point out.

literally signifies speech or discourse) is the science The class of things not ascertainable by direct expe- that treats of the methods for assisting and guiding rience become known by being connected with known the human faculties in the discovery of the true natuthings by a bond that direct experience has ascertained. ral conjunctions of the world (which are the subjectWhen we see a flash of lightning, we have a direct matter of the various sciences), and in the verification experience of a luminous appearance, and we further of all alleged conjunctions, and everything that can be know that a noise of thunder will follow; that is, we a matter of belief or disbelief. It is the science of can anticipate and believe in what has not yet been discovery and proof; it gives the rules for sifting and actually perceived. In this case every one is aware testing everything we call evidence. By investigating that the grounds of the anticipation are, that we have to the bottom the grounds of certainty in all cases of formerly had experience of both events, and that the affirmation or denial, it enables us to arrive at what is one has been found to follow the other. And when, the truth in instances where the human faculties, un. on observing that five seconds have elapsed between assisted by its methods, would entirely fail. the flash and the noise, we believe that the place of the thundery agitation is a mile off, it is because the previous experience of the travelling of sound has shown As the truths of which Logic takes cognisance are all it to be at the rate of one-fifth of a mile per second. mixed up with Language, it is essential at the very So, having observed that flame is usually accompanied outset to give an account of the various classes of with heat, we are ready at any time, when we see a names that are involved in affirmations and denials, fame, to believe that heat is given forth, though we or that serve to embody the conjunctions found in should not actually feel it. What nature seems to nature. associate together in the world, we come to associate The invention of names has been determined by the in our minds, and we need only to be directly cognisant character of the objects to which they are applied, or of one part of the combination to realise all the rest. at least by the conceptions formed of those objects. This kind of knowledge is called knowledge by Infe- This has been illustrated in a preceding paper (No. 52, rence; and it will be obvious that it is derived through Vol. II.) on LANGUAGE. The classification of names for our previous experience of the occurrence of united our present purpose will be somewhat different from events. But as it is not every case of two things hap- the order of their invention, although coinciding with pening together which will enable us to feel gure that it in several points. For logical purposes, there are two they will in all future time happen together, we require great classes of names of objects, apart from the rerb to have some means of discriminating the conjunctions which serves for affirmation. No. 73.

353

[ocr errors]

NAMES AND ASSERTIONS.

rent things, it is of the highest advantage to man to The Different kinds of Names.

detect this similarity; and when once detected, it can
The first class of names includes individual and be declared and published by the use of a common
proper names, or the names of single objects--as Eng- name without any formal intimation. Thus instead
land, the Nile, Mont Blanc, Niagara, Napoleon; they of having ten proper names for the ten rivers above
are the marks or designations of certain individual supposed, and of publishing declarations abroad that
things or existences, whether natural objects or indi- each has been found to resemble each, which would
vidual men or animals. They serve merely the purpose amount to a most voluminous mass of statements, all
of marking out some one thing from among the multi- that is requisite in common discourse is to apply the
tude of things at large, exactly as would be done by one name to them all. The fact of similarity is thus
pointing to it with the finger, or in any way indicating insinuated and conveyed by every instance of the use of
it to another person. They give no information, and the common name. When a great discovery of identi-
involve no assertion, nor any matter of belief or dis- fication has been made, like Franklin's discovery of
belief; neither do they in general make any compa- the resemblance of thunder and lightning to the phe-
rison between the object and other objects. These nomena of a common electrical machine, it is pub-
names serve the bare purpose of communication, and lished to the world most effectually by henceforth
they are the only names which are of themselves desti- using the same name for both things; as when the
tute of all logical function.

newspaper accounts of thunder-storms use the phrases
The second class of pames includes general names, electricity and electric' as part of the description.
which are of various sorts, but have áll a common cha- General names have thus a high and important func-
racter as distinguished from the foregoing. It being tion in respect to our knowledge of the world, and it
found that, notwithstanding the variety presented by is essential that they should be properly and guardedly
nature, there is a great extent of similarities, or many used. Since they assert identities of objects, they may
instances of likeness between objects, this likeness strik mislead us by å mere pretended identity; in which
ing the human mind has led to the application of a case our whole procedure respecting the objects would
common name to the individuals of each resembling be perverted. It is therefore one part of the business
group. Thus supposing Nile were the proper name of of Logic to state the precautions necessary for the use
the first river which came under the notice of a people, of common or general names,
and that they afterwards met in with a second river, To understand fully the different species of general
the similarity of the two objects would strike them at names, we must consider a process that takes place
once, and the name Nile would be used as the mark of subsequent to the operations of identifying different
the second as well as of the first. The same process objects and imposing a common name, and to the
would be applied to a third, and fourth, and so on, till general use of this name to indicate their similarity,
it became the common name of rivers in general. It as well as to serve for their designating mark. This
would now cease to be the exclusive mark of one process is what is termed abstraction, and is often a
object, and would denote one of a class of objects pos- process of nice and delicate analysis, and of subtle
sessing common features. To serve the purpose of invention. When we have found that several objects
pointing out a specific individual, some second name make nearly the same impression on our minds, with-
would have to be superadded, or some device used, for out its being altogether the same, we desire to divide
showing which one of the group was referred to; the our conception of each into two parts--the one being
first would answer its original purpose of a proper the coinciding portion, and the other the differing por-
name only by being coupled, or qualified, as gramma- tion--and to give a name or description of each, so as
rians term it, by a second name having reference to to keep them apart in our own minds and in the minds
one individual of the class, and to no other.

of others. This splitting up of a complex conception,
At first sight this may seem a cumbersome and with the view of fixing and describing it, is sometimes
clumsy process, since it ends in requiring that each very easy, and sometimes one of the most difficult
object should have two names instead of one. But, operations of the human understanding. If we see
in fact, several very important steps have been gone two knives exactly the same in the blade, but differing
through, in their nature quite different from the mere in the handle, we can easily state and describe both
affair of giving names for distinguishing individual the agreement and the difference. A mechanical di-
things from one another. There is, in the first place, vision of each into two parts, and the giving of one
a series of discoveries as to a number of natural objects. name to the common blade, and two distinct names
It has been found out that certain distinct things situ- to the differing handles, and pointing out what we
ated apart from each other in the world, are, never- mean by each, would be sufficient. We should thus
theless, to a certain degree like one another. Now the be able to state why we used one name for both, and
discovery of a likeness in two things is not only an also why the common name would not always be
agreeable satisfaction to the human intellect, which enough to point out each. But if we take the general
would otherwise have to acquire an entirely distinct group named 'houses,' which have common properties
notion of each, but it shortens and facilitates human as well as a common name, we cannot divide the con-
labour in many ways. For so far as the likeness holds, ception so easily. The thing common to all houses
the things will serve the same practical purposes, and could not be cut off from one of them, leaving exactly
may be indiscriminately applied according to conve- the points of its distinction from all the rest; neither
nience: it does not require a separate investigation to can we point to any portion of the object as the thing
see what each is good for, but the conclusions from the common to all. We must bring in extraneous matter
one can be instantly adopted for the other, thus dimi-into this case, and state the common attributes of
nishing the trouble of inquiry; and if we wish to make | houses by a reference to other objects besides them-
known their appearance and character to our fellows, selves; we must say, what is common to a house is its
it will suffice to call attention to one of them, so that affording shelter, accommodation, and protection to
we also lessen the toil of the acquisition of knowledge. human beings, or their valuables. But this is not an
Moreover, if we make any new discoveries about one, effort of mere analysis : it involves a complicated refer-
they are made at once for both, as certainly as if we ence and a complicated description; it is, nevertheless,
had gone through the operation for each. If ten ob- the only way of pointing out to ourselves, or to others,
jects receiving the common name river,' were once what that common thing is which enables a common
completely identified, and if the characters of water, term to be used for this class of objects, and a constant
and the origin and movements and termination of a assertion of similarity to be made through that com.
single river were found out, a great deal of knowledge mon term. And when once we know the agreeing part
would be gained concerning all the ten without the of the objects, we can find the non-agreeing part by
labour of detailed inspection.

what remains; or we can see that houses differ in size, Wherever nature furnishes similarity between diffe- / form, colour, material, &c.; so that when one has to be

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

specified from all the rest, if it has not a proper name &c. Bodies acting on the sense of hearing, in addition (such as St Paul's, St Peter's), language must be found to the other senses, are conceived apart and designated to describe exactly what are the features wherein it apart from their audible impression without any diffi. differs from other houses, or from houses in general. culty. There are also objects that agree not in any The common attribute, once distinguished and repre- impression on the senses, but in some deeper impressented to the mind, is called the abstract idea of the sion on the more inward emotions--as things grand, objects, because it is supposed to be withdrawn or cut terrible, beautiful, &c.—which effects can be separated away from the total mass as existing in nature. In by the intellect from the other effects, although the the case of two knives of the kind we supposed, the causes of them are inseparably joined with other causes abstract part is a material portion of the thing; in the or properties. In all such cases the formation of what case of the house, it is not a material portion, but a is called an abstract conception may be made clear and complicated description of relations with other objects. intelligible; and the subsequent processes of naming In thus going through the wide range of -classes, or and describing this conception, so as to make it an identified groups, we will find the greatest variety in object of communication and common understanding, the nature of the common parts of each class, and in will be intelligible also; as in like manner the applicathe mode that must be had recourse to in order to tion of this common designation as a name of the whole state it. We shall here present a few examples of group of objects that are found to produce on our minds these varieties:

the agreeing impression. The case of mechanical division of the agreeing from A still higher and very numerous class of abstracthe differing part is of frequent occurrence, but requires tions are those exemplified in the previously-quoted no farther exemplification. A case somewhat more case of houses, where the objects do not produce an complex is when different objects contain a common identical impression except in company with other reingredient mixed up or diffused through them-as in lated objects. The process, however, is still essentially the case of wet bodies (which agree in containing the same. The coinciding part of the various individuals water), salt bodies, sugary substances, and the like. makes an impression of its own, which may or may not The process of abstraction in this case would consist in be separable in the immediate sense from other things separating the common ingredient, or determining what where the individuals differ, but which is separable by it is, and giving it a name; or if it has a name already, the devices known to the intellect--namely, verbal then the common designation of the class of objects description, or pictorial or other representation; which would be derived from this name. Thus ores contain-description or representation is the abstract term and ing iron as their chief ingredient, are called iron ores; common handle of the conception, enabling it to be so we speak of siliceous minerals, clayey soils, &c. considered by the mind, and made known from one

A more subtle case of analytical abstraction is pre- person to another; it will also serve as the general sented by objects which agree in things that cannot exist name of the things possessing the common attribute. apart from the objects themselves, and whose designa- Most of the abstractions of science are of this complex tions therefore must not be such as to suppose a sepa- kind-as, for example, force, affinity, pressure, magrate existence. Thus colour is generally such a com- netism, analysis, vitality, virtue, imagination, governmon attribute ; likewise form, hardness or softness, ment, security, civilisation, &c. In all these a complisolidity or fluidity, taste, smell, are of the same cha- cated group of material objects has to be involved; and racter. No substance can exist having one of these sometimes one class of conceptions, direct from the effects alone in the absence of all other effects. Matter material world, has to be wrought up with another ia so constituted as commonly to act upon the human like class, and these again refined upon until the reorgans in two or three ways at once; and we can dis- sulting conception is many removes from the actual criminate the effects in our minds, although we cannot things existing in nature which were at the base of the separate the properties causing them into different in- whole. For instance, the mathematical idea of intedividual substances. Thus an orange may act upon gration, and the chemical idea of double decomposition, the touch, on the sense of form, on the sight, on the are the results of a series of conceptions elaborated out taste, and on the smell, and we may have conceptions of one another, although having their first commenceof each effect in some measure apart from all the other ment in the impressions of the objects of the material effects. We may smell it without receiving any other world. In them the purely intellectual operations of impression; the only impressions apparently insepa- naming, describing, and combining greatly predominate rable are the sight and the form. But although these over the operations of comparing sensible impressions. are not easily separated in the action upon the sense, An important distinction among general names they are felt to be a joint, although co-existing effect; and is brought out in the use of the phrases generic and the intellect can effect a separation by giving a name specific names. In natural-history classifications these and description to each, according to the feeling of the are constantly employed. Certain objects are called part of the impression that each produces. Thus we species in reference to certain others called genera, and recognise an identity in all objects having the round the one is usually said to be included into the other. form, whatever the colour may be; and although this Thus Man is a species, and the class of two-handed form is always of some colour, we separate the form animals is a genus, including the species Man along from the colour intellectually in two ways -- the one, with others. Iron is a species, the metals are a genus. by giving

name that shall express the impression of A species must be a class of objects agreeing in all the form to the exclusion of an impression of colour; the properties common to the genus, and in some other other, by making a round form with a thin outline, or properties not belonging to the whole genus. Thus with the smallest possible amount of coloured or ma- iron has all the characters of the class of metals, and terial surface to indicate that we wish to confine our certain others not belonging to the class. But the consideration to the form by itself. Both methods are class .metals’ itself might be the species to a more adopted in the study of forms in geometry: names are comprehensive genus— simple bodies, and this might given to them apart from substance and colour; and be a species in a still more comprehensive genus—mafine outlines are made so as to exclude as much as terial bodies;' just as two-handed' might be a species possible these other impressions from the view of the compared with animal, and animal a species compared mind. In the more complex case, therefore, of inse- with living bodies, which include both vegetables and parable material attributes, it is still possible to recog- animals; so that genus and species are correlative nise identity in the midst of differences; to have a dis- terms, being both connotative general names; but the tinct conception of the agreeing portion of the objects; one connoting fewer attributes than the other, is on and to give a name, a description, or a diagram to the that account less exclusive or more comprehensive. common part which may be adopted as the general But there is one particular and important applicaname of the group so agreeing. Thus we have things tion of the term 'species, founded upon the existence bitter, sweet, hard, rough, red, white, round, square, of a marked and distinguishable class of natural ob

« ElőzőTovább »