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ifying and dividing. Delicts, according to him, are either, 1. Private, or against one or a few individuals; 2. Reflective, or against the delinquent himself; 3. Semipublic, or against some particular class or description of persons; and, finally, Public, or against the whole community. Private delicts, again, relate either to the person, the property, the reputation or the condition; and they are distributed into complex and simple, principal and accessory, positive and negative, &c. &c. The chief evil of a crime is the alarm which it excites in the community; and the degree of this alarm, Mr. Bentham assumes, depends upon eight circumstances, the particular situation of the delinquent, his motives, his notoriety, his character, the difficulties or facilities of the attempt, &c. But here again, we see no sense in the enumeration; the plain fact being, that the alarm is increased by every thing which renders it probable that such acts may be frequently repeated. In one case, and one of considerable atrocity, there is no alarm at all; because the only beings who can be affected by it, are incapable of fear or suspicion-this is the case of infanticide: and Mr. Bentham ingeniously observes, that it is probably owing to this circumstance that the laws of many nations have been so extremely indifferent on that subject. In modern Europe, however, he conceives that they are barbarously severe. In the case of certain crimes against the community, such as misgovernment of all kin the dange again is always infinitely greater than the alarm. The remedies which law has provided against the mischief of crimes, Mr. Bentham says, are of four orders; preventive-repressive-compensatory-or simply penal. Upon the subject of compensation or satisfaction, Mr. Bentham is most copious and most original; and under the title of satisfaction in honour, he presents us with a very calm, acute, and judicious inquiry into the effects of duelling; which he represents as the only remedy which impolicy or impotence of our legislators has left for such offences. We do not think, however, that the same good sense prevails in what he subjoins, as to the means that might be employed to punish insults and attacks upon the honour of individuals. According to the enormity of the offence,
he is for making the delinquent pronounce a discourse of humiliation, either standing, or on his knees, before the offended party, and clothed in emblematical robes, with a mask of a characteristic nature on his head, &c. There possibly may be countries where such contrivances might answer; but, with us, they would not only be ineffectual, but ridiculous.
ALTHOUGH it is impossible to entertain greater respect for any names than we do for those that are united in the title of this work, we must be permitted to say, that there are many things with which we cannot agree, both in the system of Dr. Reid, and in Mr.
In the choice of punishments, Mr. Bentham wishes legislators to recollect, that punishment is itself an evil; and that it consists of five parts;-the evil of restraint-the evil of suffering-the evil of apprehension—the evil of groundless persecution—and the evils that extend to the innocent connections of the delinquent. For these reasons, he is anxious that no punishment should be inflicted without a real cause, or without being likely to influence the will; or where other remedies might have been employed; or in cases where the crime produces less evil than the punishment. These admonitions are all very proper, and, we dare say, sincere; but we cannot think that they are in any way recommended by their novelty.
In the section upon the indirect means of preventing crimes, there is a great deal of genius and strong reasoning; though there are many things set down in too rash and peremptory a manner, and some that are sup ported with a degree of flippancy not very suitable to the occasion. The five main sources of offence he thinks are, want of occupation, the angry passions, the passion of the sexes, the love of intoxication, and the love of gain. As society advances, all these lose a good deal of their mischievous tendency, excepting the last; against which, of course, the legisla ture should be more vigilant than ever. In the gradual predominance of the avaricious passions over all the rest, however, Mr. Bentham sees many topics of consolation; and concludes this part of his work with declar ing, that it should be the great object of the criminal lat to reduce all offences to that species which can be completely atoned for and repaired by payment of a sum of money. It is a part of his system, which we have forgotten to mention, that persons so injured should in all cases be entitled to reparation out of the public purse.
Account of the Life and Writings of Thomas Reid, D. D. F. R. S., Edinburgh, late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow. By DUGALD STEWART, F. R. S. Edinburgh: Read at different Meetings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 8vo. pp. 225. Edinburgh and London: 1803.
Stewart's elucidation and defence of it. That elucidation begins, indeed, with a remark, which we are not at all disposed to controvert; that the distinguishing feature of Dr. Reid's philosophy is the systematical steadiness with which he has adhered to the course
of correct observation, and the admirable self- complished by the star-gazers who precede command by which he has confined himself him; and the law of gravitation, which h to the clear statement of the facts he has col-afterwards applied to the planetary system lected: But then Mr. Stewart immediately was first calculated and ascertained by experi follows up this observation with a warm en- ments performed upon substances which were comium on the inductive philosophy of Lord entirely at his disposal. Bacon, and a copious and eloquent exposition of the vast advantage that may be expected from applying to the science of Mind those sound rules of experimental philosophy that have undoubtedly guided us to all the splendid improvements in modern physics. From the time indeed that Mr. Hume published his treatise of human nature, down to the latest speculations of Condorcet and Mr. Stewart himself, we have observed this to be a favourite topic with all metaphysical writers; and that those who have differed in almost every thing else, have agreed in magnifying the importance of such inquiries, and in predicting the approach of some striking improvement in the manner of conducting them.
It will scarcely be denied, either, that it is almost exclusively to this department of proper Experiment, that Lord Bacon has directed the attention of his followers. His fundamental maxim is, that knowledge is power; and the great problem which he constantly aims at resolving is, in what manner the nature of any substance or quality may, by experiment, be so detected and ascertained as to enable us to manage it at our pleasure. The greater part of the Novum Organum accordingly is taken up with rules and examples for contriving and conducting experiments; and the chief advantage which he seems to have expected from the progress of those inquiries, appears to be centered in the enlargement of man's dominion over the material universe which he inhabits. To the mere Observer, therefore, his laws of philosophising, except where they are prohibitory laws, have but little application; and to such an inquirer, the rewards of his philosophy scarcely appear to have been promised. It is evident indeed that no direct utility can result from the most accurate observation of occurrences which we cannot control; and that for the uses to which such observations may afterwards be turned, we are indebted not so much to the observer, as to the person who discovered the application. It also appears to be pretty evident that in the art of observation itself, no very great or fundamental improvement can be expected. Vigilance and attention are all that can ever be required in an observer; and though a talent for methodical arrangement may facilitate to others the study of the facts that have been collected, it does not appear how our actual knowledge of those facts can be increased by any new method of describing them. Facts that we are unable to modify or direct, in short, can only be the objects of observation; and observation can only inform us that they exist, and that their succession appears to be governed by certain general laws.
Now, in these speculations we cannot help suspecting that those philosophers have been misled in a considerable degree by a false analogy; and that their zeal for the promotion of their favourite studies has led them to form expectations somewhat sanguine and extravagant, both as to their substantial utility and as to the possibility of their ultimate improvement. In reality, does not appear to us that any great advancement in the knowledge of the operations of mind is to be expected from any improvement in the plan of investigation; or that the condition of mankind is likely to derive any great benefit from the cultivation of this interesting but abstracted study.
Inductive philosophy, or that which proceeds upon the careful observation of facts, may be applied to two different classes of phenomena. The first are those that can be made the subject of proper Experiment: where the substances are actually in our power, and the judgment and artifice of the inquirer can be effectually employed to arrange and combine them in such a way as to disclose their most hidden properties and relations. The other class of phenomena are those that occur in substances that are placed altogether beyond our reach; the order and succession of which we are generally unable to control; and as to which we can do little more than collect and record the laws by which they appear to be governed. Those substances are not the subject of Experiment, but of Observation; and the knowledge we may obtain, by carefully watching their variations, is of a kind that does not directly increase the power which we might otherwise have had over them. It seems evident, however, that it is principally in the former of these departments, or the strict experimental philosophy, that those splendid improvements have been made, which have erected so vast a trophy to the prospective genius of Bacon. The astronomy of Sir Isaac Newton is no exception to this general remark: All that mere Observation could do to determine the movements of the heavenly bodies, had been ac
In the proper Experimental philosophy, every acquisition of knowledge is an increase of power; because the knowledge is necessarily derived from some intentional disposition of materials which we may always command in the same manner. In the philosophy of observation, it is merely a gratification of our curiosity. By experiment, too, we generally acquire a pretty correct knowledge of the causes of the phenomena we produce; as we ourselves have distributed and arranged the circumstances upon which they depend; while, in matters of mere observation, the assignment of causes must always be in a good degree conjectural, inasmuch as we have no means of separating the preceding phenomena, or deciding otherwise than by analogy, to which of them the succeeding event is to be attributed.
Now, it appears to us to be pretty evident that the phenomena of the Human Mind are almost all of the latter description. We feel, and perceive, and remember, without any purpose or contrivance of ours, and have evidently no power over the mechanism by which those functions are performed. We may observe and distinguish those operations of mind, indeed, with more or less attention or exactness; but we cannot subject them to experiment, or alter their nature by any process of investigation. We cannot decompose our perceptions in a crucible, nor divide our sensations with a prism; nor can we, by art and contrivance, produce any combination of thoughts or emotions, besides those with which all men have been provided by nature. No metaphysician expects by analysis to discover a new power, or to excite new sensation in the mind, as a chemist discovers a new earth or a new metal; nor can he hope, by any process of synthesis, to exhibit a mental combination different from any that nature has produced in the minds of other persons. The science of metaphysics, therefore, depends upon observation, and not upon experiment: And all reasonings upon mind proceed accordingly upon a reference to that general observation which all men are supposed to have made, and not to any particular experiments, which are known only to the inventor. -The province of philosophy in this department, therefore, is the province of observation only; and in this department the greater part of that code of laws which Bacon has provided for the regulation of experimental induction is plainly without authority. In metaphysics, certainly, knowledge is not power; and instead of producing new phenomena to elucidate the old, by well-contrived and wellconducted experiments, the most diligent inquirer can do no more than register and arrange the appearances, which he can neither account for nor control.
and accounts for his forgetfulness, by acknowledging that he had paid no attention. A groom, who never heard of the association of ideas, feeds the young war-horse to the sound of a drum; and the unphilosophical artists who tame elephants and train dancing dogs, proceed upon the same obvious and admitted principle. The truth is, that as we only know the existence of mind by the exercise of its functions according to certain laws, it is impossible that any one should ever discover or bring to light any functions or any laws of which men would admit the existence, unless they were previously convinced of their operation on themselves. A philosopher may be the first to state these laws, and to describe their operation distinctly in words; but men must be already familiarly acquainted with them in reality, before they can assent to the justice of his descriptions.
For these reasons, we cannot help thinking that the labours of the metaphysician, instead of being assimilated to those of the chemist or experimental philosopher, might, with less impropriety, be compared to those of the grammarian who arranges into technical order the words of a language which is spoken familiarly by all his readers; or of the artist who exhibits to them a correct map of a district with every part of which they were previously acquainted. We acquire a perfect knowledge of our own minds without study or exertion, just as we acquire a perfect knowledge of our native language or our native parish; yet we cannot, without much study and reflection, compose a grammar of the one, or a map of the other. To arrange in correct order all the particulars of our practical knowledge, and to set down, without omission and without distortion, every thing that we actually know upon a subject, requires a power of abstraction, recollection, and disposition, that falls to the lot of but few. In the science of mind, perhaps, more of those qualities are required than in any other; but it is not the less true of this, than of all the rest, that the materials of the description must always be derived from a previous acquaintance with the subject-that nothing can be set down technically that was not practically known-and that no substantial addition is made to our knowledge by a scientific distribution of its particulars. After such a systematic arrangement has been introduced, and a correct nomenclature applied, we may indeed conceive more clearly, and will certainly describe more justly, the nature and extent of our information; but our information itself is not really increased, and the consciousness by which we are supplied with all the materials of our reflections, does not become more productive, by this disposition of its contributions.
But though our power can in no case be directly increased by the most vigilant and correct observation alone, our knowledge may often be very greatly extended by it. In the science of mind, however, we are inclined to suspect that this is not the case. From the very nature of the subject, it seems necessarily to follow, that all men must be practically familiar with all the functions and qualities of their minds; and with almost all the laws by which they appear to be governed. Every one knows exactly what it is to perceive and to feel, to remember, imagine, and believe; and though he may not always apply the words that denote these operations with perfect propriety, it is not possible to suppose that any one is ignorant of the things. Even those laws of thought, or connections of mental operation, that are not so commonly stated in words, appear to be universally known; and are found to regulate the practice of those who never thought of enouncing them in pre-of metaphysical speculations, we would by cise or abstract propositions. A man who no means be understood as having asserted never heard it asserted that memory depends that these studies are absolutely without upon attention, yet attends with uncommon interest or importance. With regard to Percare to any thing that he wishes to remember; ception, indeed, and some of the other primary
But though we have been induced in this way to express our scepticism, both as to the probable improvement and practical utility
functions of mind, it seems now to be admit- | stated the perceptible improvement that has ted, that philosophy can be of no use to us, lately taken place in the method of considerand that the profoundest reasonings lead us ing those intellectual phenomena, he conback to the creed, and the ignorance, of the cludes with the following judicious and elovulgar. As to the laws of Association, how- quent observations:ever, the case is somewhat different. Instances of the application of such laws are indeed familiar to every one, and there are few who do not of themselves arrive at some imperfect conception of their general limits and application: But that they are sooner learned, and may be more steadily and extensively applied, when our observations are assisted by the lessons of a judicious instructor, seems scarcely to admit of doubt; and though there are no errors of opinion perhaps that may not be corrected without the help I must be allowed to observe, that the most disof metaphysical principles, it cannot be distinguished pre-eminence in them does not necessarily imply a capacity of collected and abstracted reflection; or an understanding superior to the prejudices of early association, and the illusions of popular language. I will not go so far as Cicero, when he ascribes to those who possess these advantages, a more than ordinary vigour of intellect : Magni est ingenii revocare mentem a sensibus, et cogitationem a consuetudine abducere.' I would only claim for them, the merit of patient and cautious research; and would exact from their antagonists the same qualifications."-pp. 110, 111.
"The authors who form the most conspicuous exceptions to this gradual progress, consist chiefly of men, whose errors may be easily accounted for, by the prejudices connected with their circumscribed habits of observation and inquiry;-of Physiolohuman frame, which the knife of the Anatomist gists, accustomed to attend to that part alone of the can lay open; or of Chemists, who enter on the analysis of Thought, fresh from the decompositions of the laboratory; carrying into the Theory of Mind itself (what Bacon expressly calls) the smoke and Of the value of such purtarnish of the furnace.' suits, none can think more highly than myself; but
puted, that an habitual acquaintance with those principles leads us more directly to the source of such errors, and enables us more readily to explain and correct some of the most formidable aberrations of the human understanding. After all, perhaps, the chief value of such speculations will be found to consist in the wholesome exercise which they afford to the faculties, and the delight which is produced by the consciousness of intellectual exertion. Upon this subject, we gladly borrow from Mr. Stewart the following admirable quotations :
"An author well qualified to judge, from his own experience, of whatever conduces to invigorate or to embellish the understanding, has beautifully remarked, that, by turning the soul inward on itself, its forces are concentrated, and are fitted for stronger and bolder flights of science; and that, in such pursuits, whether we take, or whether we lose the game, the Chase is certainly of service.' In this respect, the philosophy of the mind (abstracting entirely from that pre-eminence which belongs to it in consequence of its practical applications) may claim a distinguished rank among those preparatory disciplines, which another writer of equal talents has happily compared to the crops which are raised, not for the sake of the harvest, but to be ploughed in as a dressing to the land.'"' pp. 166, 167. In following out his observations on the scope and spirit of Dr. Reid's philosophy, Mr. Stewart does not present his readers with any general outline or summary of the peculiar doctrines by which it is principally distinguished. This part of the book indeed appears to be addressed almost exclusively to those who are in some degree initiated in the studies of which it treats, and consists of a vindication of Dr. Reid's philosophy from the most important objections that had been made to it by his antagonists. The first is proposed by the materialist, and is directed against the gratuitous assumption of the existence of mind. To this Mr. Stewart answers with irresistible force, that the philosophy of Dr. Reid has in reality no concern with the theories that may be formed as to the causes of our mental operations, but is entirely confined to the investigation of those phenomena which are known to us by internal consciousness, and not by external perception. On the theory of Materialism itself, he makes some admirable observations: and, after having
The second great objection that has been made to the doctrines of Dr. Reid, is, that they tend to damp the ardour of philosophical curiosity, by stating as ultimate facts many phenomena which might be resolved into simpler principles; and perplex the science of mind with an unnecessary multitude of internal and unaccountable properties. As to the first of these objections, we agree entirely with Mr. Stewart. It is certainly better to damp the ardour of philosophers, by exposing their errors and convincing them of their ignorance, than to gratify it by subscribing to their blunders. It is one step towards a true explanation of any phenomenon, to expose the fallacy of an erroneons one; and though the contemplation of such errors may render us more diffident of our own success, it will probably teach us some lessons that are far from diminishing our chance of obtaining it. But to the charge of multiplying unnecessarily the original and instinctive principles of our nature, Mr. Stewart, we think, has not made by any means so satisfactory an answer. The greater part of what he says indeed upon this subject, is rather an apology for Dr. Reid, than a complete justification of him. In his classification of the active powers, he admits that Dr. Reid has multiplied, without necessity, the number of our original affections; and that, in the other parts of his doctrine, he has manifested a leaning to the same extreme. It would have been better if he had rested the defence of his author upon those concessions; and upon the general reasoning with which they are very skilfully associated, to prove the superior safety and prudence of a tardiness to generalise and assimilate: For, with all our deference for the talents of the author, we find it impossible to agree with him in those particular instances in which he has endeav
oured to expose the injustice of the accusation. After all that Mr. Stewart has said, we can still see no reason for admitting a principle of credulity, or principle of veracity, in human nature; nor can we discover any sort of evidence for the existence of an instinctive power of interpreting natural signs. Dr. Reid's only reason for maintaining that the belief we commonly give to the testimony of others is not derived from reasoning and experience, is, that this credulity is more apparent and excessive in children, than in those whose experience and reason is mature. Now, to this it seems obvious to answer, that the experience of children, though not extensive, is almost always entirely uniform in favour of the veracity of those about them. There can scarcely be any temptation to utter serious falsehood to an infant; and even if that should happen, they have seldom such a degree of memory or attention as would be necessary for its detection. In all cases, besides, it is admitted that children learn the general rule, before they begin to attend to the exceptions; and it will not be denied that the general rule is, that there is a connection between the assertions of mankind and the realities of which they are speaking. Falsehood is like those irregularities in the construction of a language, which children always overlook for the sake of the general analogy. The principle of veracity is in the same situation. Men speak and assert, in order to accomplish some purpose: But if they did not generally speak truth, their assertions would answer no purpose at all-not even that of deception. To speak falsehood, too, even if we could suppose it to be done without a motive, requires a certain exercise of imagination and of the inventive faculties, which is not without labour: While truth is suggested spontaneously-not by the principle of veracity, but by our consciousness and memory. Even if we were not rational creatures, therefore, but spoke merely as a consequence of our sensations, we would speak truth much oftener than falsehood; but being rational, and addressing ourselves to other beings with a view of influencing their conduct or opinions, it follows, as a matter of necessity, that we must almost always speak truth: Even the principle of credulity would not otherwise be sufficient to render it worth while for us to speak at all.
With regard to the principle by which we are enabled to interpret the natural signs of the passions, and of other connected events, we cannot help entertaining a similar scepticism. There is no evidence, we think, for the existence of such a principle; and all the phenomena may be solved with the help of memory and the association of ideas. The "inductive principle" is very nearly in the same predicament; though the full discussion of the argument that might be maintained upon that subject would occupy more room than we can now spare.
After some very excellent observations on the nature and the functions of instinct, Mr. art proceeds to consider, as the last great
objection to Dr. Reid's philosophy, the alleged tendency of his doctrines on the subject of common sense, to sanction an appeal from the decisions of the learned to the voice of the multitude. Mr. Stewart, with great candour, admits that the phrase was unluckily chosen; and that it has not always been employed with perfect accuracy, either by Dr. Reid or his followers: But he maintains, that the greater part of the truths which Dr. Reid has referred to this authority, are in reality originally and unaccountably impressed on the human understanding, and are necessarily implied in the greater part of its operations. These, he says, may be better denominated, "Fundamental laws of belief;" and he exemplifies them by such propositions as the following: "I am the same person to-day that I was yesterday.-The material world has a real existence.-The future course of nature will resemble the past." We shall have occasion immediately to offer a few observations on some of those propositions.
With these observations Mr. Stewart concludes his defence of Dr. Reid's philosophy: but we cannot help thinking that there was room for a farther vindication, and that some objections may be stated to the system in question, as formidable as any of those which Mr. Stewart has endeavoured to obviate. We shall allude very shortly to those that appear the most obvious and important. Dr. Reid's great achievement was undoubtedly the subversion of the Ideal system, or the confutation of that hypothesis which represents the immediate objects of the mind in perception, as certain images or pictures of external objects conveyed by the senses to the sensorium. This part of his task, it is now generally ad mitted that he has performed with exemplary diligence and complete success: But we are by no means so entirely satisfied with the uses he has attempted to make of his victory. After considering the subject with some atten tion, we must confess that we have not been able to perceive how the destruction of the Ideal theory can be held as a demonstration of the real existence of matter, or a confutation of the most ingenious reasonings which have brought into question the popular faith upon this subject. The theory of images and pictures, in fact, was in its original state more closely connected with the supposition of a real material prototype, than the theory of direct perception; and the sceptical doubts that have since been suggested, appear to us to be by no means exclusively applicable to the former hypothesis. He who believes that certain forms or images are actually transmit ted through the organs of sense to the mind, must believe, at least, in the reality of the organs and the images, and probably in their origin from real external existences. He who is contented with stating that he is conscious of certain sensations and perceptions, by no means assumes the independent existence of matter, and gives a safer account of the phe nomena than the idealist.
Dr. Reid's sole argument for the real exist ence of a material world, is founded on the