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his acknowledged abilities, his professional eminence, and the benevolence and candour which distinguish his character, have long rescued assumptions
wholly gratuitous from the contempt of all men of science. There can be no doubt that Dr. Spurzheim was actuated by a genuine and not unintelligent enthusiasm; and he thought that he had collected facts sufficient to warrant the inferences he deduced from them. We give him full credit for believing that he had new and important information to communicate relative to the nature of man; and we wholly acquit him of any insidious intention. Between the doctrine of knobs or bumps and an atheistic Materialism, there is no more necessary connexion than between the physiognomical speculations of the amiable and pious Lavater, and the doctrine of a mechanical Necessity. We admit with Mr. Abernethy, that much mischief might arise from a persuasion on the part of an individual, that he had such and such protuberances, which rendered certain tendencies irresistible. But Dr. Spurzheim nío where maintains that physical tendencies are irresistible. A more rational line of conduct on the part of the believer in Craniology, who should discover in himself any knobs of bad omen, would be, to direct all his efforts to the watchful and sedulous counteraction of that organic propensity. Again, Mr. Abernethy objects, that
• If an unbenevolent and inconsiderate man who had never studied human nature, were at once to decide from the form of the head, and suspect or believe all those who happen to be broad across the temples, of being covetous or crafty, he would surely injuriously mistake the character of many persons.'
But this objection would equally apply to physiognomy. A man's misapplying its rules, does not prove that those rules have no foundation in nature, but only that they are liable to misapplication. Since, however, it is native tendencies only, which either the lines of the face or the inequalities on the surface of the "cranium are supposed to indicate, the man who should peremptorily decide on another's character, (that character which is the complex result of temperament, education, social habits, and moral discipline,) from the physical propensities of the individual merely, leaving all the other circumstances out of consideration, would but discover a craniological deficiency, not to say, a moral defect, in himself.
Leaving the doctrines of Lavater and of Spurzheim out of the question, the existence of certain intellectual and animal propensities in different individuals, cannot, we think, be råtionally questioned. In what part of the organization these propensities reside, or by what, if by any, external signs they are That they
indicated, is à question for after-consideration. exist in the brute, is a familiar fact: in them they assume the shape of a salutary and often astonishing instinct. And man, in common with the animal creation, is the subject of various modifications of what, in him also, we recognize as instinct. The love of a mother for her infant, and the principle of imitation in children, are unequivocal exhibitions of instinctive propensity. And these propensities, though common to the species, yet exist in different individuals, in various degrees. They operate without the influence of reason; (for this is our notion of instinct ;) yet, in man, they are susceptible of being regulated by reason; a circumstance which sufficiently discriminates the rational subject of such propensities from the brute animal. Now, there is nothing irrational, nothing necessarily derogatory to either the dignity or the free agency of man, in the supposition, that he may possess other instinctive and urgent propensities in common with the brutes, besides those to which we have adverted ; for instance, a strong propensity to construct things, and an aptitude for such employment, a propensity to combat--or to hoard ; that he may possess partial or individual propensities besides those which are common to human nature. Such predispositions make their appearance very early, and we call them turns of mind. We have seen infant mechanics, infant arithmeticians, infant heroes. The marks of hereditary temper and disposition also are discernible in the earliest stage of mental development. Whether these things are indicated by knobs or lines, or not, they exist, and may soon be detected.
The causes which determine the instinctive propensities of the brute, are not less mysterious than those which originate similar constitutional tendencies in man. There seems no reason to doubt that organization has much to do with them. Organization is at least a collateral cause, as it is adapted to the peculiar instincts of different animals, Yet, Mr. Abernethy justly remarks that, as in the instance of the propensity to construct in birds and insects, • the occasional, perhaps annual recurrence of this propensity, tenders it probable that it is not organization merely which creates it, but that it arises from temporary actions occurring in peculiarly organized parts ; and the rare occurrence of this instinct shews how long such actions may be suspended so as to render organization of no effect.
• Admitting (then) that man, like animals, possesses in various degrees a natural propensity and talent for construction, yet, no blind impulse regulates his labours; he constructs what his reason directs, or his fancy suggests; he forms previous plans or designs, and alters them till the whole seems to accord with his intentions, and yet, none of his works areso unalterably perfect as are those produced by blind instinct operating according to the ordinances of overruling Intelligence.'
That organization is only one of the causes which create or determine the qualities of the brute, is manifest; because animals are seen to be capable of acquired habits not common to the species --capable of a sort of education, in which both rewards and punishments have their efficacy. So true is it, that did even the actions of men take place under a mechanical necessity similar to that which prompts the impulses of the brute, there would still be scope for a moral discipline, though not for moral probation; still a reason for the law which apportions reward and punishment to good or evil actions. If organization, then, is one of the causes which determine the tendencies of the animal, there can be no danger in admitting that it is one of the causes of predisposition in the human being. Regarding the brain as an instrument, (which is the
idea of an organ,) we might expect to find a difference of adaptation in the organ, in relation to different intellectual processes; and a difference of adaptation must be considered as amounting to a predisposing cause. • If we find the head more produced in
parts peculiar to man, it is reasonable then,' as Mr. Abernethy remarks, to suppose
that he will possess more of the intellectual character; and if in those parts common also to brutes, that he will possess more of those propensities in which he participates with the brute creation? We are all naturally physiognomists; and almost every observant person has remarked the amplitude of this part of the head to be indicative of intellectual power.'
That men should be born with brains of different capacity, with different degrees of intellectual capability, or with different animal propensities, is no more to be objected against, than that they should possess different powers of mind, be born in circumstances so immensely dissimilar, and grow up to maturity under such widely varying "moral advantages and disadvantages. The supposed physical or mechanical necessity in the one case, is not more real or absolute than the moral necessity in the other.
There is, on either view, a limiting, but not a necessitating cause; an inequality in the distribution of good, which runs through the whole economy of Nature, but no overruling determination of the will. An organization precluding the highest" intellectual attainments, cannot at all events be the cause which prevents the development of the intellect up to that point of organic limitation; and till cultivation has done its utmost, it is impossible to say what the organic structure will admit of. In the case of the Negro, a configuration supposed to be unfavourable to the intellectual
character, has been found to admit of far higher attainments
than was suspected. A more perfect organization may be considered as a great physical advantage; but it will not be pretended that there are many instances in which the development of intellect has been carried as far as the physical structure would allow. Yet, till that point is reached," organization cannot be justly said to have come into operation as even a limiting cause.
Again, the mere existence of predisposition cannot account for the predominance of predisposition over those faculties and sentiments which, according even to Spurzheim's, view of human nature, are designed, and are adequate to control those propensities.
Though the possession of original dispositions, faculties, and sentiments, may create a tendency to certain actions, yet Gall and Spurzheim admit, that it is education which produces knowledge and character: it is the disposition and ability to do what has been repeatedly done, and with progressive improvement, that gives us talents and habits of ihinking, feeling, and acting in a particular manner. It is repetition, or education, by which, also, motives are rendered so predominant that we feel the indispensable necessity of implicit and energetic obedience to their commands, which is called enthusiasm, and which has given rise to glorious deeds, dignifying and exalting human nature far above animal existence. Religious sentiment, conscientious justice, patriotism, and even personal honour, have induced mankind to bear the greatest evils, without betraying any of the unworthy propensities of our nature.
. Even facts and opinions may, by repetition, acquire a preponderance and value that did not originally belong to them. Questionable assertions may by degrees obtain the authority and power of established facts; and opinions, which at first were doubtful, may in like manner acquire a delusive influence over his mind. On the other hand, we may suppress and bring into disuse, propensities and sentiments which may have been naturally strong, till they become inert and inoperative, No better proof of this can be required, or needs be adduced, than the complete change of character or conduct which is caused by the imitation of others, and by habits acquired from those with whom we associate ; a change so generally known and recognised, that its effects have become proverbial. " Don't tell me," says Sancho Panza, " by whom you were bred, but with whom you are fed.")
Nothing, then, can evince a more perverted judgement, than to represent man as the creature of organization, whatever view we take of the physiological question, when it is so obvious and undeniable, that he is almost infinitely more the creature of habit; the moral cause being every day seen to triumph over the predisposing physical cause, and either to suspend or to annihilate its influence. How completely must professional studies have warped the mind of the man who imagines that he sees in any external signs of predisposition, a necessitating cause, or even an index to the future character ! Yet, it is in these absurd inferences from the Craniologica doctrine of Gall and Spurzheim, that all the mischief lies while, no doubt, what has rendered the doctrine attractive to many persons is, the supposed aid which it gives to the mischievous dogmas of the Physiological Necessitarian. In point of fact, it yields them no countenance or support; and therefore, the system may be allowed to stand or fall according to its intrinsic merits.
Mr. Abernethy has no hesitation in admitting the proposition that the brain of animals ought to be regarded as the
organization by which their percipient principle becomes
variously affected :' he assigns the following reasons for his opinions.
• 1st, Because, in the senses of sight, hearing, and smelling, I see distinct organs for the production of each sensation. 2. Because the brain is larger and more complicated in proportion as the variety of affections of the percipient principle is increased.' 3. Because diseases and injuries disturb or anmul particular faculties and affections without influencing others. 4. Because it seems to me more reasonable to suppose that whatever is perceptive may be variously affected by means of vital actions transmitted through a diversity of organization, than to suppose that such variety depends upon original differences in the nature of the percipient principle.'
But, that reason and the nobler sentiments of our nature arise from organization or mere vital actions, and that the organs themselves are perceptive,-are notions which he deems it impassible for any rational being seriously to entertain. It is an unanswerable objection to the supposition of the Materialist, that it militates against the unity of that which is perceptive, rational, and intelligent.
The perceptive and intellectual phenomena cannot be rationally ac counted for upon the supposition that the brain is an assemblage of organs, each possessing its own perceptiveness, intelligence, and will. There must be a common centre, as I may express it, to which all the vital actions tend, and from which all attention, ratiocination, decision, and volition proceed. Our attention may be so inactive or absent, so occupied by our own imaginations and thoughts, or abstracted, that we are scarcely conscious there is any thing surrounding us. Though we poskess extensive perceptions by means of vital actions, yet we attend to but one subject at a time. We can direct our attention to any of our various sensations and feelings, to the operation of any of our faculties and sentiments; and, therefore, if Gall and Spurzheim's opinions of the structure of the brain be itrue, that which is attentive must have communication with all parts of the vegan