Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/40

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turning, he has been enlarging on that "expectancy" and "prepossession" which have been so perverting the vision of many in their observation of facts. He will not be offended with me if I hint that it is just possible that he himself may unconsciously be under the influence of these, when, on finding how much can be explained by physiological processes, he imagines he can account in the same way for purely mental operations.

On some points Dr. Carpenter has been vigorously opposing the materialism of the day: "In reducing the thinking man to the level of a puppet, that moves according as its strings are pulled, the materialistic philosopher places himself in complete antagonism to the positive conviction, which, like that of the existence of an external world, is felt by every right-minded man, who does not trouble himself by speculating upon the matter, that he really does possess a self-determining power, which can rise above all the promptings of suggestion, and can, within certain limits, mould external circumstances to its own requirements instead of being completely subjugated by them."—("Mental Physiology," § 5.) By such utterances, worthy of the son of Lant Carpenter, of Bristol, he has gained the confidence of a number of anti-materialistic and religious men, who may find, however, that he is conducting them into a place between two armies where they are exposed to the fire of both. At this point he has been abandoned by the disciples of Bain, Huxley, and Tyndall, by M. Ribot, and the writers in the Revue Scientifique, the organ of the school in France who wonder that he should stop where he has. For, if material agency can generate so much, can account for imagination and genius generally, can explain our higher intellectual efforts of judgment and reasoning, can fashion conscience and gender the obligation of duty and the sense of guilt, and our reverence for the unseen and the sublime, why may it not also produce will, an operation evidently so swayed by causes? They who follow Dr. Carpenter will soon find that they have very insecure footing, and must either go forward and identify will, as they do intelligence, with material agency, or retreat so far back as to hold that there are many other operations, such as the discernment of higher truth and higher goodness, which cannot be derived from atoms. If there be such an agent as will—and I agree with Dr. Carpenter in thinking that consciousness testifies in its behalf—then we must provide a compartment for it, and we may place there reason and our ideas of the good, the infinite, and the perfect.

Dr. Carpenter's views of the attributes of the mind seem to me to be very inadequate. They were formed about the time when Hartley's "Observations on Man" and James Mill's "Analysis of the Human Mind" were reckoned the highest authorities among the Unitarians who felt Priestley's influence. Dr. Carpenter evidently looks upon the operations of the mind as composed of sensations and ideations. His view of both these is very insufficient. In all sense-per-