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or Genius, as he chose to call them, as a thing that, when once existing, might be directed any way. Newton, he thought, might have been a Shakespear. For, said he, a man who can run fifty miles to the south, can run fifty miles to the north. The fallacy of the simile needs no detection.
But though the notion of Helvetius is offensive to our best feelings, it will be objected that the opposite doctrine which Gall lays down, and which is to be developed in these sheets, is not less repulsive. That conciousness of moral liberty which, in spight of the metaphysician's attacks, attends us perpetually, and which seems to be essential to our most important moral principles, (it will be said) is equally hostile to the theories of Gall and Helvetius. The one represents us as enslaved by the things which surround us, the other as determined by the fixed dispositions and tendencies of our frame.
The genuine student of nature will never be deterred from his pursuit by any objection drawn from either metaphysics or morals ; he is sensible that the field of research which lies open before him merits his attention; and having faith in the ultimate harmony
of the universe, he is not anxious to remove apparent doubts or difficulties. This
answer is sufficient for the better kind, but not for the greater number of enquirers. It is incumbent on him who is introducing a new object of attention, to remove all obstacles to its being impartially received and attended to. There is one plain answer to the objections taken from the notion of the freedom of the human will: That the idea of ORGAN is that of an instrument by which a thing may be done, not that of an impulse which necessitates the action. Organs of certain powers and capacities do not suppose the exercise of such power ; hence there is still room left for the introduction of another principle if there be a necessity and a reason for it. It
be further said, that Dr. Gall's Organic Theory does not introduce a greater necessity than the popular opinion supposes : The undefined fact is already admitted, in the notion that the brain is the organ of thought. Gall does but go into the detail, and shews how that in fact exists which the other opinion only supposes. Equally
Equally unfounded would be the objection to Gall's Theory, as favouring materialism., G. very judiciously declines all metaphysical researches : it is indifferent to him, as it is to all whose object is the sensible world within the confined limits of external nature ; what our opinion may be as to the meta-physical properties of man, the nature and relations of matter and spirit. These he holds to be irrelevent enquiries. It is enough for him, that the life of man is dependent on his sensible formation, and that there is a connection (tho' mystical and incomprehensible) between his intellectual and sensible qualities. He does not determine that the one is the cause of the other, but contents himself with observing as closely as he can, the concomitancy of the effect. He is employed in analysing the dust of the earth of which man is formed, not the breath of life which was breathed into his nostrils.
It is most obvious that if a particular doctrine concerning the physical nature of man is not to be invalidated by general theories drawn from metaphysics and morals, neither can any such doctrine arise from such theories. Hence Gall has been very anxious to shew how his opinions have always been grounded in particular observations; but whether the analogies by which he has generalised his particular observations have been drawn with sufficient caution, may be fairly doubted,
OF THE BRAIN AS THE ORGAN OF THE SOUL.
IN asserting that the brain is the organ of the soul, mind, or whatever we may please to call it, it is hardly necessary, now, to caution the reader against supposing that the brain is the postive principle of the mind
It is but the instrument, or condition, without which the active principle, whatever it be, is inefficient. It is that part of the body on which the mind in a certain active state operates, and which must have a predisposed fitness to be acted upon.
That the proper function of the brain is not the mere support of the lowest degree of organic and sensitive life, is sufficiently proved by the existence of imperfect beings, children which have been born without head, (ane Qumes) and which have yet fulfilled for a short time the more essential functions of ani. mal life ; but such ane Daenor have never betrayed the least symptom of an higher intellectual life.
That however the brain is the organ of mere intellectual existence is not to be proved diffusely here, as this is the common notion, and not peculiar to the doctrine to be here stated. It is, however, evident, as well by the study of comparative anatomy, according to which it appears that the brain of animals increases in proportion to their advances towards mind or intellect. (And this assertion Dr. G. professes to confirm by a collection of wax preparations illustrating this progression :) as by the cases which so frequently occur in the practice of medicine, of wounds, blows, &c. by which the mind also is injured.
Sömmering * first affirmed that the relation which is found between intellect and brain, lies in the quantity of brain compared with the size of the animal; but this is incorrect, for the canary bird has in proportion more brain than man. Then he qualified his position, and asserted, the dignity of the ani
* An anatomist of high repnite for many years at Mayence ; within a few
he has been invited to Munich as member of the (now) royal Gerinan society, established there by the king of Bavaria. D 3