"The present treatise, contains a Systematic Exposition of Mind, a History of the leading Questions in Mental Philosophy, and a copious Dissertation on Ethics. The Exposition of Mind, occupying nearly half the work, is, for the most part, an abridgement of my two volumes on the subject. I have singled out, and put in conspicuous type, the leading positions; and have given a sufficient number of examples to make them understood. It is not to be expected that the full effect of the larger exposition can be produced in the shorter; still, there may be an occasional advantage in the more succinct presentation of complicated doctrines. As regards the Controverted Questions, I have entered fully into the history of opinion, so as to present the different views, both formerly, and at present, entertained on each. Nominalism and Realism, the Origin of Knowledge in the mind, External Perception, Beauty, and Freewill, are the chief subjects thus treated"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
"This book examines mind and body interconnexions. What has Mind to do with brain substance, white and grey? Can any facts or laws regarding the spirit of man be gained through a scrutiny of nerve fibres and nerve cells? If the matter of the brain were the only substance that mental functions could be attributed to, all the knowledge that we possess of that organ might not avail us much in laying down laws of connexion between mind and body. But such is not the fact. The entire bodily system, though in varying degrees, is in intimate alliance with mental functions. To confine our study to the nervous substance would be to misrepresent the connexion; and the knowledge of that substance, however complete, would not suffice for the solution of the problem. Looking at a child's cut finger, we can divine its feelings; if we see a smiling countenance, we know something of the mental tone of the individual. It might seem that we must yet be a long way from understanding an organ so minute and so complicated as the Brain. If we were to confine ourselves to the one mode of post-mortem dissection, we should probably attain but a small measure of success. But another road is open. We can begin at the outworks, at the organs of sense and motion, with which the nervous system communicates; we can study their operations during life, as well as examine their intimate structure; we can experimentally vary all the circumstances of their operation; we can find how they act upon the brain, and how the brain re-acts upon them. Using all this knowledge as a key, we may possibly unlock the secrets of the anatomical structure; we may compel the cells and fibres to disclose their meaning and purpose"--Book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).