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ifying and dividing. Delicts, according to he is for making the delinquent pronounce a him, are either, 1. Private, or against one or discourse of humiliation, either standing, or on a few individuals; 2. Reflective, or against the his knees, before the 'offended party, and delinquent himself; 3. Semipublic, or against clothed in emblematical robes, with a mask some particular class or description of per- of a characteristic nature on his head, &c. sons; and, finally, Public, or against the whole There possibly may be countries where such community. Private delicts, again, relate contrivances 'might answer; but, with us, either to the person, the property, the repu- they would not only be ineffectual, but ridictation or the condition; and they are distrib- ulous. uted into complex and simple, principal and In the choice of punishments, Mr. Bentham accessory, positive and negative, &c. &c. The wishes legislators to recollect, that punishchief evil of a crime is the alarm which it ment is itself an evil; and that it consists of excites in the community; and the degree of five parts;—the evil of restraint-the evil of this alarm, Mr. Bentham assumes, depends suffering—the evil of apprehension—the evil upon eight circumstances, the particular situa- of groundless persecution—and the evils that tion of the delinquent, his motives, his noto- extend to the innocent connections of the deriety, his character, the difficulties or facilities linquent. For these reasons, he is anxious that of the attempt, &c. But here again, we see no punishment should be inflicted without a no sense in the enumeration; the plain fact real cause, or without being likely to influence being, that the alarm is increased by every the will; or where other remedies might thing which renders it probable that such acts have been employed; or in cases where the may be frequently repeated. In one case, and crime produces less evil than the punishment. one of considerable atrocity, there is no alarm These admonitions are all very proper, and, at all; because the only beings who can be we dare say, sincere; but we cannot think affected by it, are incapable of fear or suspi- that they are in any way recommended by cion—this is the case of infanticide: and Mr. their novelty. Bentham ingeniously observes, that it is pro- In the section upon the indirect means of bably owing to this circumstance that the preventing crimes, there is a great deal of laws of many nations have been so extremely genius and strong reasoning; though there indifferent on that subject. In modern Eu- are many things set down in too rash and perrope, however, he conceives that they are emptory a manner, and some that are supbarbarously severe. In the case of certain ported with a degree of flippancy not very crimes against the community, such as mis- suitable to the occasion. The five main sources government of all ils, the danger again is of offence he thinks are, want of occupation, always infinitely greater than the alarm. the angry passions, the passion of the sexes,
The remedies which law has provided the love of intoxication, and the love of gain, against the mischief of crimes, Mr. Bentham | As society advances, all these lose a good says, are of four orders; preventive---repress deal of their mischievous tendency, excepting sive-compensatory—or simply penal. Upon the last ; against which, of course, the legislathe subject of compensation or satisfaction, ture should be more vigilant than ever. In Mr. Bentham is most copious and most origi- the gradual predominance of the avaricious nal; and under the title of satisfaction in passions over all the rest, however, Mr. Benhonour, he presents us with a very calm, iham sees many topics of consolation ; and acute, and judicious inquiry into the effects concludes this part of his work with declarof duelling; which he represents as the only ing, that it should be the great object of the remedy which the impolicy or impotence of criminal law to reduce all offences to that our legislators has left for such offences. We species which can be completely atoned for do not think, however, that the same good and repaired by payment of a sum of money. sense prevails in what he subjuins, as to the It is a part of his system, which we have formeans that might be employed to punish in- gotten to mention, that persons so injured sults and attacks upon the honour of individu- should in all cases be entitled to reparation als. According to the enormity of the offence, 1 out of the public purse.
(I an uar y, 1804.) 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.
ALTHOUGH it is impossible to entertain, Stewart's elucidation and defence of it. That greater respect for any names than we do for elucidation begins, indeed, with a remark, ihose that are united in the title of this work, which we are not at all disposed to contiowe must be permitted to say, that there are vert; that the distinguishing feature of Dr. many things with which we cannot agree, Reid's philosophy is the systematical steadiboth in the system of Dr. Reid, and in Mr. Iness with which he has adhered to the course
of correct observation, and the admirable self- complished by the star-gazers who preceded command by which he has confined himself him; and the law of gravitation, which he 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 experifollows 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 It will scarcely be denied, either, that it is of the vast advantage that may be expected almost exclusively to this department of profrom applying to the science of Mind those per Experiment, that Lord Bacon has directed sound rules of experimental philosophy that the attention of his followers. His fundahave undoubtedly guided us to all the splen- mental maxim is, that knowledge is power; did improvements in modern physics. From and the great problem which he constantly the time indeed that Mr. Hume published his aims at resolving is, in what manner the natreatise of human nature, down to the latest ture of any substance or quality may, by exspeculations of Condorcet and Mr. Stewart periment, be so detected and ascertained as himself, we have observed this to be a favour to enable us to manage it at our pleasure. ite topic with all metaphysical writers; and The greater part of the Novum Organum acthat those who have differed in almost every cordingly is taken up with rules and examples thing else, have agreed in magnifying the im- for contriving and conducting experiments; portance of such inquiries, and in predicting and the chief advantage which he seems to the approach of some striking improvement in have expected from the progress of those inthe manner of conducting them.
quiries, appears to be centered in the enlargeNow, in these speculations we cannot help ment of man's dominion over the material suspecting that those philosophers have been universe which he inhabits. To the mere misled in a considerable degree by a false Observer, therefore, his laws of philosophising, analogy; and that their zeal for the promotion except where they are prohibitory laws, have of their favourite studies has led them to form but little application; and to such an inquirer, expectations somewhat sanguine and extrava- the rewards of his philosophy scarcely appear gant, both as to their substantial utility and to have been promised. It is evident indeed as to the possibility of their ultimate improve that no direct utility can result from the most ment. In reality, it does not appear to us accurate observation of occurrences which we that any great advancement in the knowledge cannot control; and that for the uses to which of the operations of mind is to be expected such observations may afterwards be turned, from any improvement in the plan of investi- we are indebted not so much to the observer, gation; or that the condition of mankind is as to the person who discovered the applicalikely to derive any great benefit from the tion. It also appears to be pretty evident cultivation of this interesting but abstracted that in the art of observation itself, no very study.
great or fundamental improvement can be Inductive philosophy, or that which pro- expected. Vigilance and attention are all that ceeds upon the careful observation of facts, can ever be required in an observer; and may be applied to two different classes of though a talent for methodical arrangement phenomena. The first are those that can be may facilitate to others the study of the facts made the subject of proper Experiment: that have been collected, it does not appear where the substances are actually in our how our actual knowledge of those facts can power, and the judgment and artifice of the be increased by any new method of describing inquirer can be effectually employed to ar- them. Facts that we are unable to modify or range and combine them in such a way as to direct, in short, can only be the objects of obdisclose their most hidden properties and reservation; and observation can only inform lations. The other class of phenomena are us that they exist, and that their succession those that occur in substances that are placed appears to be governed by certain general altogether beyond our reach; the order and laws. succession of which we are generally unable In the proper Experimental philosophy, to control; and as to which we can do little every acquisition of knowledge is an increase more than collect and record the laws by of power; because the knowledge is neceswhich they appear to be governed. Those sarily derived from some intentional disposisubstances are not the subject of Experiment, tion of materials which we may always combut of Observation ; and the knowledge we mand in the same manner. În the philosomay obtain, by carefully watching their varia- phy of observation, it is merely a gratification tions, is of a kind that does not directly in- of our curiosity. By experiment, too, we crease the power which we might otherwise generally acquire a pretty correct knowledge have had over them. It seems evident, how. of the causes of the phenomena we produce; ever, that it is principally in the former of as we ourselves have distributed and arranged these departments, or the strict experimental the circumstances upon which they depend; philosophy, that those splendid improvements while, in matters of mere observation, the have been made, which have erected so vast assignment of causes must always be in a a trophy to the prospective genius of Bacon. good degree conjectural, inasmuch as we have The astronomy of Sir Isaac Newton is no ex- no means of separating the preceding phenoception to this general remark: All that mere mena, or deciding otherwise than by analogy, Observation could do to determine the move- to which of them the succeeding event is to ments of the heavenly bodies, had been ac- l be attributed.
Now, it appears to us to be pretty evident and accounts for his forgetfulness, by acknowthat the phenomena of the Human Mind are ledging that he had paid no attention. A almost all of the latter description. We feel, groom, who never heard of the association of and perceive, and remember, without any ideas, feeds the young war-horse to the sound purpose or contrivance of ours, and have evi- of a drum; and the unphilosophical artists dently no power over the mechanism by which who tame elephants and train dancing dogs those functions are performed. We may ob- proceed upon the same obvious and admitted serve and distinguish those operations of principle. The truth is, that as we only know mind, indeed, with more or less attention or the existence of mind by the exercise of its exactness; but we cannot subject them to functions according to certain laws, it is imexperiment, or alter their nature by any pro- possible that any one should ever discover or cess of investigation. We cannot decompose bring to light any functions or any laws of our perceptions in a crucible, nor divide our which men would admit the existence, unless sensations with a prism; nor can we, by art they were previously convinced of their operand contrivance, produce any combination of ation on themselves. A philosopher may be thoughts or emotions, besides those with which the first to state these laws, and to describe all men have been provided by nature. No their operation distinctly in words; but men metaphysician expects by analysis to discover must be already familiarly acquainted with a new power, or to excite a new sensation in them in reality, before they can assent to the the mind; as á chemist discovers a new earth justice of his descriptions. or a new metal; nor can he hope, by any For these reasons, we cannot help thinking process of synthesis, to exhibit a mental com- that the labours of the metaphysician, instead bination different from any that nature has of being assimilated to those of the chemist produced in the minds of other persons. The or experimental philosopher, might, with less science of metaphysics, therefore, depends impropriety, be compared to those of the gramupon observation, and not upon experiment: marian who arranges into technical order the And all reasonings upon mind proceed ac- words of a language which is spoken famil. cordingly upon a reference to that general iarly by all his readers ; or of the artist who exobservation which all men are supposed to hibits to them a correct map of a district with have made, and not to any particular experi- every part of which they were previously ments, which are known only to the inventor. acquainted. We acquire a perfect knowledge — The province of philosophy in this depart- of our own minds without study or exertion, ment, therefore, is the province of observation just as we acquire a perfect knowledge of our only; and in this department the greater part native language or our native parish; yet we of that code of laws which Bacon has pro- cannot, without much study and reflection, vided for the regulation of experimental in- compose a grammar of the one, or a map of duction is plainly without authority. In meta- the other. To arrange in correct order all the physics, certainly, knowledge is not power; particulars of our practical knowledge, and to and instead of producing new phenomena to set down, without omission and wiihout diselucidate the old, by well-contrived and well- tortion, every thing that we actually know conducted experiments, the most diligent in- upon a subject, requires a power of abstracquirer can do no more than register and arrange tion, recollection, and disposition, that falls to the appearances, which he can neither account the lot of but few. In the science of mind, for nor control.
perhaps, more of those qualities are required But though our power can in no case be than in any other; but it is not the less true directly increased by the most vigilant and of this, than of all the rest, that the materials correct observation alone, our knowledge may of the description must always be derived often be very greatly extended by it. In the from a previous acquaintance with the subscience of mind, however, we are inclined to ject-that nothing can be set down technically suspect that this is not the case. From the that was not practically known—and that no very nature of the subject, it seems necessa- substantial addition is made to our knowledge rily to follow, that all men must be practically by a scientific distribution of its particulars. familiar with all the functions and qualities After such a systematic arrangement has been of their minds; and with almost all the laws introduced, and a correct nomenclature apby which they appear to be governed. Every plied, we may indeed conceive more clearly, one knows exactly what it is to perceive and and will certainly describe more justly, the to feel, to remember, imagine, and believe; nature and extent of our information; but our and though he may not always apply the information itself is not really increased, and words that denote these operations withi per- the consciousness by which we are supplied fect propriety, it is not possible to suppose that with all the materials of our reflections, does any one is ignorant of the things. Even those not become more productive, by this dispolaws of thought, or connections of mental sition of its contributions. operation, that are not so commonly stated in But though we have been induced in this words, appear to be universally knownı; and way to express our scepticism, both as to the are found to regulate the practice of those probable improvement and practical utility 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; Iception, indeed, and some of the other primary
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 ihose 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. In
" The authors who form the most conspicuous stances of the application of such laws are exceptions to this gradual progress, consist chiefly indeed familiar to every one, and there are of men, whose errors may be easily accounted for, few who do not of themselves arrive at some by the prejudices connected with their circumscribed imperfect conception of their general limits habits of observation and inquiry ;-of Physiolo. and application. But that they are sooner human frame, which the knife of the Anatomist
gists, accustomed to attend to that part alone of the learned, and may be more steadily and ex
can lay open ; or of Chemists, who enter on the tensively applied, when our observations are analysis of Thought, fresh from the decompositions assisted by the lessons of a judicious instruc- of the laboratory; carrying into the Theory of Mind tor, seems scarcely to admit of doubt; and itself (what Bacon expressly calls) the smoke and though there are no errors of opinion perhaps tarnish of the furnace. of the value of such purthat may not be corrected without the help suits, none can think more highly than myself; but of metaphysical principles, it cannot be dis- . must be allowed to observe, that the most dis
tinguished pre-eminence in them does not necesputed, that an habitual acquaintance with sarily imply a capacity of collected and abstracted those principles leads us more directly to the reflection ; or an understanding superior to the presource of such errors, and enables us more judices of early association, and the illusions of readily to explain and correct some of the popular language. I will not go so far as Cicero, most formidable aberrations of the human when he ascribes to those who possess these ad' understanding. After all, perhaps, the chief wages a more than ordinary vigour of intellect :
Magni est ingenii revocare mentem a sensibus, et value of such speculations will be found to cogitationem à consuetudine abducere.' I would consist in the wholesome exercise which only claim for them, the merit of patient and cauthey afford to the faculties, and the delight tous research ; and would exact from their anwhich is produced by the consciousness of tagonists the same qualifications.”—pp. 110, 111. intellectual exertion. Upon this subject, we The second great objection that has been gladly borrow from Mr. Stewart the following made to the doctrines of Dr. Reid, is, that admirable quotations :
they tend to damp the ardour of philosophical “ An author well qualified to judge, from his curiosity, by stating as ultimate facts many own experience, of whatever conduces to invigo- phenomena which might be resolved into rate or to embellish the understanding, has beauti; simpler principles; and perplex the science sully remarked, chat, ‘by turning the soul inward of mind with an unnecessary multitude of on itself, its forces are concentrated, and are fitted internal and unaccountable properties. As for stronger and bolder flights of science; and that, in such pursuits, whether we take, or whether we
to the first of these objections, we agree enlose the game, the Chase is certainly of service.' tirely with Mr. Stewart. It is certainly betIn this respect, the philosophy of the mind (abstract- ter to damp the ardour of philosophers, by ing entirely from that pre-eminence which belongs exposing their errors and convincing them of to it in consequence of its practical applications) their ignorance, than to gratify it by subparatory disciplines, which another writer of equal scribing to their blunders. It is one step toialents has happily compared to the crops which wards a true explanation of any phenomenon, are raised, not for the sake of the harvest, but to to expose the fallacy of an erroneons one; be ploughed in as a dressing to the land.'” and though the contemplation of such errors
pp. 166, 167.
may render us more diffident of our own sucIn following out his observations on the cess
, it will probably teach us some lessons scope and spirit of Dr. Reid's philosophy, Mr. that are far from diminishing our chance of Stewart does not present his readers with any obtaining it. But to the charge of multiply- ' general outline or summary of the peculiar ing unnecessarily the original and instinctive doctrines by which it is principally distin- principles of our nature, Mr. Stewart, we guished. This part of the book indeed ap- think, has not made by any means so satispears to be addressed almost exclusively to factory an answer. The greater part of what ihose who are in some degree initiated in the he says indeed upon this subject, is rather an studies of which it treats, and consists of a apology for Dr. Reid, than a complete justifivindication of Dr. Reid's philosophy from the cation of him. In his classification of the most important objections that had been made active powers, he admits that Dr. Reid has to it by his antagonists. The first is proposed multiplied, without necessity, the number of by the materialist, and is directed against the our original affections; and that, in the other gratuitous assumption of the existence of parts of his doctrine, he has manifested a mind. To this Mr. Stewart answers with leaning to the same extreme. It would have irresistible force, that the philosophy of Dr. been better if he had rested the defence of Reid has in reality no concern with the theo- his author upon those concessions; and upon ries that may be formed as to the causes of the general reasoning with which they are our mental operations, but is entirely confined very skilfully associated, to prove the supeto the investigation of those phenomena which rior safety and prudence of a tardiness to are known to us by internal consciousness, generalise and assimilate : For, with all our and not by external perception. On the deference for the talents of the author, we theory of Materialism itself, he makes some find it impossible to agree with him in those admirable observations: and, after having particular instances in which he has endeavonred to expose the injustice of the accusa. objection to Dr. Reid's philosophy, the alleged tion. After all that Mr. Stewart has said, we tendency of his doctrines on the subject of can still see no reason for admitting a prin- common sense, to sanction an appeal from the ciple of credulity, or a principle of veracity, decisions of the learned to the voice of the in human nature; nor can we discover any multitude. Mr. Stewart, with greal candour, sort of evidence for the existence of an in- admits that the phrase was unluckily chosen; stinctive power of interpreting natural signs. and that it has not always been employed with
Dr. Reid's only reason for maintaining that perfect accuracy, either by Dr. Reid or his the belief we commonly give to the testimo- followers: But he maintains, that the greater ny of others is not derived from reasoning part of the truths which Dr. Reid has referred and experience, is, that this credulity is more to this authority, are in reality originally and apparent and excessive in children, than in unaccountably impressed on the human unthose whose experience and reason is mature. derstanding, and are necessarily implied in Now, to this it seems obvious to answer, that the greater part of its operations. These, he the experience of children, though not exten- says, may be better denominated, “Fundasive, is almost always entirely uniform in fa- mental laws of belief;" and he exemplifies vour of the veracity of those about them. them by such propositions as the following: There can scarcely be any temptation to utter “I am the same person to-day that I was serious falsehood to an infant; and even if yesterday.—The material world has a real that should happen, they have seldom such a existence. The future course of nature will degree of memory or attention as would be resemble the past." We shall have occasion necessary for its detection. In all cases, be- immediately to offer a few observations on sides, it is admitted that children learn the some of those propositions. general rule, before they begin to attend to With these observations Mr. Stewart conthe exceptions; and it will not be denied that cludes his defence of Dr. Reid's philosophy: the general rule is, that there is a connection but we cannot help thinking that there was between the assertions of mankind and the room for a farther vindication, and that some realities of which they are speaking. False- objections may be stated to the system in hood is like those irregularities in the con question, as formidable as any of those which struction of a language, which children always Mr. Stewart has endeavoured to obviate. We overlook for the sake of the general analogy. shall allude very shortly to those that appear
The principle of veracity is in the same the most obvious and important. Dr. Reid's situation. Men speak and assert, in order to great achievement was undoubtedly the subaccomplish some purpose: But if they did not version of the Ideal system, or the confutation generally speak truth, their assertions would of that hypothesis which represents the imanswer no purpose at all—not even that of mediate objects of the mind in perception, as deception. To speak falsehood, too, even if certain images or pictures of external objects we could suppose it to be done without a conveyed by the senses to the sensorium. motive, requires a certain exercise of imagi- This part of his task, it is now generally adnation and of the inventive faculties, which is mitted that he has performed with exemplary not without labour: While truth is suggested diligence and complete success: But we are spontaneously—not by the principle of veraci- by no means so entirely satisfied with the ty, but by our consciousness and memory. uses he has attempted to make of his victory. Even if we were not rational creatures, there. After considering the subject with some attenfore, but spoke merely as a consequence of tion, we must confess that we have not been our sensations, we would speak truth much able to perceive how the destruction of the oftener than falsehood; but being rational, and Ideal theory can be held as a demonstration addressing ourselves to other beings with a of the real existence of matter, or a confutaview of influencing their conduct or opinions, tion of the most ingenious reasonings which it follows, as a matter of necessity, that we have brought into question the popular faith must almost always speak truth : Even the upon this subject. The theory of images and principle of credulity would not otherwise be pictures, in fact, was in its original state more sufficient to render it worth while for us to closely connected with the supposition of a speak at all.
real material prototype, than the theory of With regard to the principle by which we direct perception; and the sceptical doubts are enabled to interpret the natural signs of that have since been suggested, appear to us the passions, and of other connected events, to be by no means exclusively applicable to we cannot help entertaining a similar scepti- the former hypothesis. He who believes that cism. There is no evidence, we think, for the certain forms or images are actually transmitexistence of such a principle; and all the ted through the organs of sense to the mind, phenomena may be solved with the help of must believe, at least, in the reality of the memory and the association of ideas. The organs and the images, and probably in their “inductive principle” is very nearly in the origin from real external existences. He who same predicament; though the full discussion is contented with stating that he is conscious of the argument that might be maintained of certain sensations and perceptions, by no upon that subject would occupy more room means assumes the independent existence of than we can now spare.
matter, and gives a safer account of the pheAfter some very excellent observations on nomena than the idealist. the nature and the functions of instinct, Mr. Dr. Reid's sole argument for the real exist.
irt proceeds to consider, as the last great lence of a material world, is founded on the