Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/685

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MATERIALISM AND ITS LESSONS.

smallest fractional part are the result of excessive intellectual effort; a somewhat larger number arise from structural disease; but the great majority of the insane who have committed or attempted to commit crimes have lost control of their reason because they habitually allowed passion, not reason, to control them. Therefore, we repeat, the greatest possible preventive of crime is to raise a race who shall know how to control their emotional natures through an enlightened will and the habitual exercise of a moral judgment.

 

MATERIALISM AND ITS LESSONS.
By Dr. HENRY MAUDSLEY.

IT is well known that from an early period of speculative thought two doctrines have been held with regard to the sort of connection which exists between a man's mind and his body. On the one hand, there are those who maintain that mind is an outcome and function of matter in a certain state of organization, coming with it, growing with it, decaying with it, inseparable from it: they are the so-called materialists. On the other hand, there are those who hold that mind is an independent spiritual essence which has entered into the body as its dwelling-place for a time, which makes use of it as its mortal instrument, and which will take on its independent life when the body, worn out by the operation of natural decay, returns to the earth of which it is made: they are the spiritualists. Without entering into a discussion as to which is the true doctrine, it will be sufficient in this article to accept, and proceed from the basis of, the generally admitted fact that all the manifestations of mind which we have to do with in this world are connected with organization, dependent upon it, whether as cause or instrument; that they are never met with apart from it any more than electricity or any other natural force is met with apart from matter, and that higher organization must go along with higher mental function. What is the state of things in another world—whether the disembodied or celestially embodied spirits of the countless myriads of the human race that have come and gone through countless ages are now living higher lives—I do not venture to inquire. One hope and one certitude in the matter every one may be allowed to have and to express—the hope that, if they are living now, it is a higher life than they lived upon earth; the certitude that, if they are living the higher life, most of them must have had a vast deal to unlearn.

Many persons who readily admit in general terms the dependence of mental function on cerebral structure are inclined, when brought to the particular test, to make an exception in favor of the moral feeling or