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Sound Mind or, Contributions to the natural history and physiology of the human intellect   By: (1764-1844)

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First Page:

SOUND MIND;

OR,

CONTRIBUTIONS

TO THE

NATURAL HISTORY AND PHYSIOLOGY

OF THE

HUMAN INTELLECT.

By JOHN HASLAM, M.D.

LATE OF PEMBROKE HALL, CAMBRIDGE: FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL MEDICAL, NATURAL HISTORY, AND CHEMICAL SOCIETIES OF EDINBURGH.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN, PATERNOSTER ROW. 1819.

Printed by Strahan and Spottiswoode, Printers Street, London.

TO

SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH, M.P.

DEAR SIR,

The privilege of long acquaintance, and a sufficient experience of the kindness of your disposition, might be an adequate inducement to dedicate the following pages to your notice. To this offering, I am however impelled by motives, which boast a higher descent, and more enlightened character: an admiration of your superior talents, and the adaptation of those excellent endowments, to the advancement and happiness of the human race, and by which you have been enabled

"The applause of listening senates to command."

The subjects to which I now solicit the permission of prefixing your name, were once your favourite study; and I am induced to consider your profound researches into the nature and constitution of the human intellect, as the basis of that high reputation, you now so deservedly maintain among the wise and dignified of your contemporaries.

I am, Dear Sir, with respect, esteem, and the kindest feelings, Your very obedient servant, JOHN HASLAM.

PREFACE.

The indulgence of the public has been already extended to several works which I have submitted to its decision on the subject of INSANITY; and the same favourable interpretation is now solicited for the present performance, which attempts the more difficult investigation of SOUND MIND. In treating of Mental Derangement, I became very early sensible, that a competent knowledge of the faculties and operations of the Intellect in its healthy state, was indispensably necessary to him, who professed to describe its disorders: that in order to define the aberrations, the standard should be fixed. There was indeed no lack of theories and systems of Metaphysic; and although they essentially differed, many possessed the highest reputation. Amidst this distraction of conflicting opinions, which no mediator could adequately reconcile, without daring to contend with a host of discrepancies, or presuming to demolish the lofty edifices which scholastic Pneumatology had reared, I determined to throw off the shackles of authority, and think for myself. For it was evident, on the freehold ground of literature, that there is "ample room and verge enough" for every man to build his own tenement; and the present construction is too lowly to intercept another's prospect, and without those ornaments that might provoke the jealousy, or challenge the rivalship of surrounding inhabitants.

The mind of every rational person may be considered as an elaboratory, wherein he may conduct psychological experiments: he is enabled to analyze his own acquirement, and if he be sufficiently attentive, he may note its formation and progress in his children: and thus trace the accumulation of knowledge, from the dawn of infancy to the meridian of manhood. The prosecution of these means, according to my own views, will qualify the diligent observer, to become the Natural Historian and Physiologist of the Human Mind.

In the comparative survey of the capacities of Man, and the intelligence of animals, the contrast has appeared so striking, that it was impossible wholly to abstain from the inference of his future destination: notwithstanding very different conclusions had been extorted by some modern physiologists. It has been often remarked, that the practitioners of the healing art, have been very moderately impressed with a solicitude for the future. This observation, in some late instances, has been unhappily confirmed: but it would be unjust to visit the whole tribe with a sweeping and acrimonious censure, for the transgressions of a few... Continue reading book >>




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