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America, Dr. Wm. Byrd Powell, has shown within a very limited region of the occipital bone, at the sides of the vertebral canal, what is more probably the true localization of the generative instinct.
The lines of demarcation made by phrenology upon the skull do not correspond to the natural anatomical divisions of the brain. Thus phrenology has been of no use to physiology in obtaining a knowledge of the cerebral functions. It has thrown no light upon the office of the corpora striata, the thalami, the insula, the vault, the nates and testes, the pineal gland, and many other parts of the brain.
On the chapter of pathological anatomy, M. Cubi, in answer to the numerous facts that one hemisphere of the brain having been injured the faculties have nevertheless persisted, maintains, with many physiologists, that either hemisphere may act vicariously for the other, its symmetrical counterpart. But he might have found in Mr. Longet's first volume on the Nervous System a much more embarrassing case; to wit, that of the complete destruction of both the anterior lobes of the brain, with absolute preservation of the intellectual faculties; and, on the contrary, the loss of the intelligence in connection with the preservation of the anterior lobes and destruction of the posterior lobes. How get out of such a difficulty as this? The fact is, that abolition of the memory, of intelligence, and of speech correspond to lesions of parts so diverse, that no physiologist can in the present state of science be sure that a certain part of the brain corresponds exactly to such or such a function. Thus in the mystery of the functions of the brain, Unity seems to be everywhere, and Variety is only in its acts.
Phrenology, dethroned from the physiological daïs where Gall had fondly placed it, is not, then, in a position to control Psychology, to judge Aristotle or St. Thomas. So much pretension ill suits a science that is struggling to assure its own existence. The head is all, it pretends: it is the master of the body, the compend of its faculties; and the head is the skull. All that it is, all that it can, all that it resumes, is translated by the conformation of its case, - and of this conformation phrenology is judge.
Let us not go so fast, not so far.
The brain is not, properly speaking, an instrument of the soul ; the soul is united with the body as form not as a motor to that which is moved, but as substantial compound, all whose acts hold at once to both of its components.
The soul resides in no special part of the body, but entire in each part, the variety of her acts in the different parts depending only upon
the necessity of having different organizations for the different organic functions. Thus the faculties, which are the powers of the soul, essentially differ from the functions, which are the acts of living organs. In the language of St. Thomas: “Substantial forms immerge the less in matter, as they are of a superior mechanical order; so that in man the soul overflows matter, and preserves a power beyond it."
Phrenology stands outside of Physiology, without exact relations to it; it is isolated, and unclasped among the sciences. This ambiguous position seems to cause no uneasiness to phrenology ; and its adepts, convinced of their results, say, We are a fact, and against a fact no argument holds good.
Here we enter into another order of ideas. No more metaphysics, philosophy or physiology ; nothing but to see, to measure and to weigh, and experience alone can decide. Certain minds there are whom the absurd repels, and who, considering phrenology as such, will refuse to it even the appeal to experiment. We shall not be 80 rigorous. If experiment assures as clearly the truth of phrenological deductions as it demonstrates the power of infinitesimal doses, why not accept the results? Do infinitesimal doses fail to act because their action is not to be imagined ? If phrenology is a fact which experience assures, we must submit and let reason make the most of it she can.
Those who are led by the authority of men will find large satisfaction in the work of M. Cubi, which the Emperor of France himself caused to be translated into French and published there, after be had had a long conference with the author.
Spurzheim, whose system is generally adopted, sensibly modified that of his predecessor. He increased the number of faculties recognized up to thirty-seven, he changed their denomination, and he classified them. Feeling acutely the justice of many censures on the denominations of Gall, he changed them in order to substitute for an appreciation too narrow and special, another more general and philosophical.
“ The acts of the soul proceed rarely from a single faculty, but very often from abuses of the faculties ; wherefore Gall's nomenclature has always appeared to me defective. No organ ought ever to be denominated by its action. The names theft and murder, given at first to two organs, have lent arms to our adversaries. There are, it is true, individuals who from their childhood steal, or who have a strong propensity to murder, and a certain region of the head is salient in these persons; but all who have this region salient are not robbers or assassins. Gluttony and drunkenness depend on some organic cause, but no one has spoken of these maladies. The abuses of physical love depend on a certain organic irritation, but it would be the height of absurdity to speak of an organ of adultery. Gall committed an error in adopting faculties for acts, and namizg them accordingly. It was necessary to modify this manner of considering phrenology. I shall try to specify the nature of the mental actions or manifestations of the soul, and to name the faculties abstracted or independent from all action and application, distinguishing completely what belongs to each faculty considered in itself, exclusively, from what is to be referred to the action of the same combined with other faculties.”
In proceeding to his classification, Spurzheim observes that all the faculties belong to either the affective or the intellectual group. Then he subdivides the affections into impulsive propensities and emotional sentiments, while his intellectual group comprises the perceptive faculties. This tabular arrangement and mapping is familiar to the public.
In this nomenclature, memory is suppressed — every faculty, as Spurzheim teaches, having its own memory. Remarkable fact ! The first observation of Gall is considered as false ; the first step of phrenology is regarded by the phrenologists as an error! This is not the first lesson the sciences have taken from the game of blind man's buff.
Cox censures the distinction into propensitive and motor, observing that every faculty is an inclination. But we will not stop at Cox, nor at Combe, nor at Caldwell, still less at the Fowlers, et id genus omne, but come at once to .M. Cubi, who forms another school.
M. Cubi objects to Spurzheim's classification, not only because the sentiments are inclinations, but also because all the faculties are essentially both affective and intellectual, and all possess memory and attention. He does not accept, like Gall and Spurzheim, the independence of the faculties ; he considers them as harmonizing together in mutual excitement and alliance, and even in their oppositions. Finally, he admits an abstract reason superior to them all and presiding over them. This reason he isolates from the will, which he associates with the faculty of comparison. He admits forty-seven faculties, arranged in four classes :
1. Faculties and organs of internal contact, corresponding to the five senses.
2. Of external knowledge, corresponding to language, form, extent or surface, individuality, locality, weight, color, order, number, movement, direction, tone.
The fourth group comprises the faculties and organs of universal relation — comparison, causality, and deduction. The third group he calls the group
of faculties and organs of perception and of moral action ; corresponding to procreation, conservation, nourishment, destruction, conflict, conjugality, love of offspring, constructiveness, acquisitiveness, secretiveness or strategy, precaution, adhesiveness, love of home and country, mirthfulness, reform or improvement, sublimity, approbativeness, concentration, suavity, imitation, marvellousness, effectiveness, rectitude, superiority, benevolence, inferiority, continuation.
Whether there be in this nomenclature a little more or less method than in that of Spurzheim, it is not worth while to discuss : we can not find in either a rational classification of the faculties of the soul.
We agree with M. Cubi in his first statement. All the faculties are passional, the intellectual as well as the social, and it is chiefly the discipline of each individual subject which differentrates them in their capacity as motors of conduct, recipients of feeling, more or less abstract or concrete and practical. Either metaphysics or anatomy, for example, is perfectly capable of forming the nucleus of a ruling passion, to which men will sacrifice fortune and life. The intellect has here become the sphere of all passional evolution.
Before making our own classification, let us glance at the statements of scholastic philosophy, the classic formulas, which innovators would do well to study.
In the Philosophia divi Thome, which M. Roux Lavergne has recently reëdited, three orders of faculties are indicated, the vegetative, animal, and intellectual. The last is purely spiritual, the two former only are subjects of phrenology. The vegetative faculties comprise the acts and the appetites. The acts, which are nutrition and generation, are localized in the organs which execute them, and phrenology does not trouble itself about digestion, hæmatosis, the secretions, the ovular or the spermatic formations. The vegetative appetite which gives impulsion to nutrition and to generation is only evidenced in man by the sensible concupiscences which it occasions in the animal faculties. Not only do the vegetative and the spiritual, but some of the animal faculties escape the grasp of phrenology. Such is the case with irritability, which is a faculty localized in the tissues; the sensibility and reflex motion which respond to it, are localized in the spinal cord, and equally escape phrenology, -as does contractibility, manifested in the circulation and respiration. The external senses and motor powers come but very imperfectly under the cognizance of phrenology.
The internal seitses and animal propensities certainly fall within the domain of cerebral, if not always of cranial, explorations.
The internal senses, says classic Philosophy, comprise the common sense, memory, imagination, and estimation or judgment. What has phrenology done with these? Does she not know them ? Can she not find them ?
We come to the appetitive faculties. Appetitụs sensitivus est veluti quidam vitalis impulsus, quo animal se movet ex iis quæ per sensum apprehendit, ad fugiendum, vel prosequendum objecta."'*
It is this appetite that the vegetative reëchoes; for it exist the two concupiscibles of nutrition and generation. To the concupiscible sensible belong the inclinations and instincts towards society, friendship, the family, the home, common to man with many animals. From it proceed those impulsions which respond to the desire of knowing, under all its forms, to the need of acquiring, of combat, defence, of precaution, and of speech. To know, to act, to speak, all derive their impulsion from the sensible appetency, whether for its own satisfaction, or in responding to the need of the vegetative appetite, or to those of the intellect. Many of the faculties, so called, of phrenology, are but different forms of this impulsion, whether the internal senses or the external senses be employed.
Practical psychology, like practical physiology, is less a science of statics than of fluxions and dynamics, and experience teaches that the most remarkable developments of a faculty-specified, for example, as Concentration may be produced and sustained under one combination of motives and circumstances ; while under others its deficiency is equally notable. This reminds us that Dr. Gratiolet, in dissecting the brains of Aztec children, found a great
* The sensitive appetite is, as it were, a vital impulse whereby the animal is moved from those things which it apprehends through the sense, to seek or to shun certain objects.