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INVESTIGATION OF TRUTH.
BY JOHN ABERCROMBIE, M. D. F.R.S.
Physician to His Majesty in Scotland.
WITH ADDITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS TO ADAPT THE WORK TO THE
USE OF SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES,
BY JACOB ABBOTT.
The text of the following work, strictly speaking, is Dr. Abercrombie's treatise on the Human Mind, entire. In connection with this treatise, however, the original edition has two articles attached to it by the author, for the sole benefit of the class whom he was addressing, viz. a class of medical students. The first to which we refer is a history of the science of Intellectual Philosophy, prefixed to the work; the second, an admirable set of directions, to guide medical students in their professional inquiries. These treatises do not of necessity constitute a part of a treatise on the Philosophy of Mind. They are accordingly omitted in this edition. What, in the editor's opinion, constitutes the treatise itself, is published entire, without alterations or omissions, the editor holding his author's language sacred. The additions which have been made are intended, not to supply any supposed deficiencies in the original, but simply to adapt it to a purpose for which the book is, in the main, admirably suited: they are intended as nearly as was possible to be such additional explanations as the editor conceived the author would himself have made, had he have had in view, whilst preparing the book, the purpose to which it is now applied.
The practice of studying such a work as this by formal questions, the answer to which pupils commit to memory, annot be too severely censured. There seemed, however
to be something necessary as a guide to the contents of the page, both for the pupil in reviewing the lesson, and for the teacher at the recitation. That minute and familiar acquaintance, not only with the doctrines taught in the lesson, but with the particular contents of every page and paragraph, so essential in enabling the teacher to ask his questions with fluency, very few teachers have the time to secure. The editor has accordingly added an analysis of the page in the margin. This analysis is given sometimes in questions, and sometimes in topics or titles, which can easily be put by the teacher into the form of questions if he pleases; or, what will perhaps be better, they can, at the recitation, be given to the pupil as topics, on which he is to state in substance the sentiments of the author.
In regard to the value of Dr. Abercrombie's treatise, there is, and there can be, but one opinion. Its useful tendency is most decided, both in making the pupil acquainted with his powers, and in guiding him to the most efficient and successful use of them. The effect of a proper study of this work must be highly salutary upon every mind brought under its influence; and it is a kind of effect which is ex actly suited to guard against the peculiar dangers of the age.
Boston, September, 1833.
2. Ability to appreciate the Thoughts
3. Willingness to make the proper effort .
sophical Inquiry .
sence independent of the Body, and will survive it.
ing the Immateriality of the Thinking Principle, and rests on