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Vol. XI. - JANUARY, 1871. — No. 57.
UPHAM'S NEW MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.*
BOWDOIN COLLEGE has been honorably distinguished in former years in the authorship of text-books for college studies. The late Prof. Parker Cleveland, LL.D., published the first American book on Mineralogy, and the late Prof. S. P. Newman, D.D., the first on Rhetoric. Prof. William Smith, D.D., recently deceased, one of the noblest of men, was one of our earliest authors on Algebra, Trigonometry, etc., and Prof. A. S. Packard, D.D., the only remaining member of the Faculty of so many years, was one of our first editorial annotators of Xenophon's Memorabilia. Prof. H. W. Longfellow began the production of American books on the study of Modern Languages while a Bowdoin professor, and before he was known as a poet. Dr. Thomas C. Uphain for a long period occupied the chair of metaphysical instruction, with great advantage to the chief college in Maine, and to the philosophical and reli. gious authorship of the time, and with equal honor to himself as a thinker and writer. A generation ago—it surprises one to think it is so long since -- he produced a pioneer work on the Philosophy of Mind, which, for a goodly period, was the only American text-book for higher institutions of learning possessing anything like completeness of survey, breadth, minuteness, and accuracy of scholarship, precise and exhaustive criticism, and well-balanced views of the subjects treated. It may be said to have established among us the three-fold analysis and grouping of the mental faculties into Intellect, Sensibilities and Will. It gave the moral faculty a coördinate place with other faculties, and showed how its exercise precedes that of volition, and succeeds that of intellect, as does that of natural sensibility also. It invested this whole class of subjects and course of discussion with eminent interest, derived from abundant and felicitous illustrations, gathered from what was then an unusually wide range of philosophical reading. It brought together a multitude of hints and observationssuggested by former writers without reference to any relations between them and gave them the coherence and symmetry of a philosophical system. It stimulated thought, and guided it into healthful channels. On a great many points it cast the light of a clear and singularly candid and reverential mind, supremely devoted to truth and its elucidation. Perception, knowledge of internal origin, the will (for examples,) were treated more satisfactorily than they usually had been. Imperfect and abnormal states of the mind had due place and consideration. The meaning and scope, not to say the existence, of mental laws were justly set forth. The venerable author-now retired from the active responsibilities of college instruction, then in his prime — wrote “in the interests of humanity and religion.” No one can venture into this field with any prospects of usefulness unless he clearly comprehends and deeply feels the injurious and unhappy effects of false systems of mental philosophy; nor unless his habits of solitary reflection are unusually well-formed, and his judgment of his own consciousness well-trained.
* MENTAL PHILOSOPHY; Embracing the Three Departments of the Intellect, Sensibilities and Will. By Thomas C. Upham, D.D. New York: Harpers. 1869. Pp. 561, 705.
These qualifications were united in this pioneer metaphysician. We have the best authority for saying that Prof. Upham's system, “without making any open pretensions of that kind, is really a protest against the French material schools on the one hand, and the unbelieving but boastful schools of Germany on the other." The author takes no credit to himself for any success he has had in the character of an expounder of philosophical, as the basis of moral and religious truth, but ascribes all to the earnestly and constantly sought presence and guidance of God.
After the lapse of so long a period, in which his quite exceptionally useful work has held on its way quietly and modestly-with great realms of philosophical thought, old and new, incessantly and industriously explored by later scholars and thinkers-Dr. Upham, in his retirement, has revised his work and reproduced it in modified form, with its original excellencies and some new ones. Paragraphs and single sentences throughout the work show the hand of improvement. With some omissions in the new edition (two volumes instead of three, of Messrs. Harpers, it has more completeness. It is “in some respects condensed, and in others enlarged, and with the results of the author's latest inquiries and emendations." In the main, it is the same work under the original form. It is rot a thesaurus of the discussions on all the topics treated, as is Porter's Human Intellect, in that part of the subject, nor does it give, in separate sections or chapters, the literary history of the schools, as is done by Prof. Haven. It does not so largely refer to the ancient philosophers, comparatively, as does the one author, nor to the most recent French and German speculations as does the other. But the references, historical and critical, are sufficient to introduce the student into the wide and fascinating realm of psychological scholarship and research. And one is agreeably reminded, on going over the volumes, that our earliest systematic American treatise on subjects which the giants have wrought over and fought over so much since - making the world of higher scholarship resound with their delving and their blows-meets conscientiously, acutely, and patiently, in the main, the essential questions of mental philosophy. The President of a New England college says, apropos of treatises on separate portions of mental philosophy, “I know of none which surveys the whole field but this.” The now almost forgotten work of the lamented Dr. Frederick A. Rauch, drawn mostly from German sources, especially from his instructor, Daub, apparently attempts to do this, but places the feelings in the department of the will, and excludes will proper entirely, confounding it by definition, and sensibility along with it, with reason or the intellectual nature. Dr. Hickock's Rational Psychology seems to confound the broader meaning of mind with the narrower one of intellect, and treats only of Sense, Understanding, and Reason. His Empirical Psychology recognizes intellectual, sensitive, and voluntary states, and their differences, but only outlines them. The well-known text-books of Wayland, Winslow, and Mahan are all text-books in Intellectual Philosophy. Bain's Mental Science, originally published in the same volume with his Moral Science, * is a professed survey of the whole field from the physiological standpoint; but can hardly be said, though republished in a separate volume, to be domesticated among us. No one who knows how Sir William Hamilton spent his strength on special controverted questions, would expect to find in any abridgement or exposition of his system a full account of the mind. It is no slight merit in Dr. Upham's treatise that while avoiding ontological or metaphysical questions, closely related as they are to psychology, it should be of such comprehensiveness, as a survey of the whole field, as to hold still the place it occupied in the beginning. Haven's Mental Philosophy covers the same ground in general outline, but less fully in detail.
To indicate all the excellencies of Prof. Upham's system would be to go over these departments of mind as could never
* London: Longman, Green & Co. 1868. Pp. 752. With appendix,
+ Rev. Cyril Pearl's Introductory “Youth's Book on the Mind," Portland, Wm. Hyde, 1842, pp. 179, is really Prof. Upham's three volumes "in the small," a not successful simplification of subject and treatise.
be done in the compass of a review. This could be necessary only in case of an entirely new work. We shall chiefly point out instead the character of the changes and improvements. We have gone through the whole work, paragraph by paragraph, and find very large improvement at the expense of small comparative change. The excellent essay on Language has been transferred from the second volume (the Sensibilities) to the first (the Intellect), its place being taken by the discussion on the Will, thus making two volumes of nearly equal size. A single paragraph is added in favor of the expectationof a future universal language.
The General Introduction contains, as in the original work, four chapters, on Primary Truths, Immateriality of the Mind, Laws of Belief, and General Classification. The first topic is remanded by Porter and others to a later stage of investigation, and treated under Intuition. Prof. Upham contents himself with propounding the Primary Truths, neither attempting an exhaustive account of them, nor bringing them into connection with intuitive ideas. Discussing these last only under the head of Intuition, pp. 255-81, he avoids the appearance of blending these two,* which one encounters in Porter. While there is an advantage in furnishing or refreshing the mind of the learner with some primary truths at the outset, e.g., the belief in personal existence, that of personal identity, there is also some loss of scientific symmetry. The same advantage might be secured by opening a system of logic with the primary truths having relation to reasoning, viz., that there is no beginning or change of existence without a cause, and that matter and mind have fixed laws. What Prof. Upham calls Laws of Belief, e. g., Intuition, Consciousness, Sensation, Memory, Testimony, Judgment, Reasoning, he calls also "sources or “foundations” of belief, as if these terms and “ laws were synonyms.
Other writers term them sources of knowledge. One writer treats them as sources of reasoning simply. It were well if authors and thinkers could agree on some fixed and adequate distinction between belief and knowl
* In a single paragraph he alludes to them under the head of Intuition.