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Fntered, according to the Act of Congrese, in the year A.D. 1832, by THOMAS C. UPHAM, in the Clerk's office of the District court of Maine.
PRLSS OF J. GRIFFIN, BRINSWICK.
The present work has been prepared in the hope of promoting a more general acquaintance with an important department of science. As it is designed chiefly for those who are young, and are in a course of education, it lays claim to no other merit, than what might ordinarily be expected in a text-book, founded on the inquiries of many valuable writers. Guided by their researches, it endeavours to give a condensed, but impartial view of Mental Philosophy, so far as its principles are understood at the present time ; and the writer has learnt from a number of esteemed instructers of youth that his design is approved by them. IIe is by no means insensible to this favourable sentiment ; and if the present work should prove to be the means of awakening an increased interest in mental science, he will feel himself amply rewarded for whatever trouble it may have occasioned.
The Philosophy of the Mind has grown up like other sciences from small beginnings. Many propositions, coming too in many instances from able writers, have been thrown aside ; truth has been sifted out from the mass of errour, until at last a great number of important principles is ascertained. But while it is exceedingly necessary, that our youth should be made acquainted with these principles, it is impossible, that they should go through with all the complicated discussions, which have been held in respect to them. Many of the books, in which these discussions are contained, have become exceedingly rare ; and if they were not so, no small number of students, who are now in the course of as thorough an education as our country affords, would not be able to purchase them. And besides, by placing before the stu" dent a mass of crude and conflicting statements, his mind becomes perplexed. To be able to resolve such a mass into its elements, and to separate truth from errour, implies an acquaintance with the laws of the intellect, and a degree of mental discipline, which he is not yet supposed to have acquired ; and hence, instead of obtaining much important knowledge, he becomes distrustful of every thing.
Now these evils, saying nothing of the loss of time attendant on such a course, are to be remedied in the same way as in other sciences. In other departments of learning, ingevious men discuss points of difficulty ; conflicting arguments are accumulated, until the preponderance on one side is such, that the question in debate is considered settled. Others employ themselves in collecting facts, in classifying them, and in deducing general principles; and when all this is done, the important truths of the science, collected from such a variety of sources and suitably arranged and expressed, are laid before the student, in order that he may become acquainted with them. Very seldom any one thinks it advisable, that the pupil, in the course of an education limited to a very few years, should be obliged to attempt an acquaintance with every scientific tract and book, whether of greater or less value. It is neither desirable nor possible, that he should be able to cousult all the Memoirs of Institutes and of Royal Societies ; and still less to read the multitude of halfformed suggestions, which are either struck out in the momentary heat of debate, or are developed from all quarters in the natural progress of the mind, It belongs rather to professional men and to public instructers, to engage in this minute and laborious examination, and to present those whom they instruct with the results of their inquiries. It may indeed be desirable to give them some krowlerge of the history of a science,and to point out such authors as are particularly worthy of being consulted by those, whose inclination and opportunities justily more particular investigations. But this is all, that is either demanded, or can be profitable in the ordinary course of education. And this is what is atteinpted to be done in the present work.
It has been my desire and endeavour, as was intimated at the beginning of these remarks to give a concise, but correct view of the prominent principles in Mental Philosophy, so far as they seemed at present to be settled. The statement of