Phrenological bust by LN FowlerPhrenological bust by LN FowlerThe History of Phrenology on the Web

by John van Wyhe

George Combe's A System of Phrenology, 5th edn, 2 vols. 1853.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].


THIS organ is situated immediately above Philoprogenitiveness, and below Self-Esteem.


3. Concentrativeness, large. 3. Concentrativeness, small.
A bony excrescence of the suture sometimes presents itself at this part, which may be mistaken for the organ of Concentrativeness ; but the former is much narrower and more pointed than the elevation caused by the latter when it is large. A cerebral convolution in each hemisphere runs along the top of the corpus callosum, from the organs of Concentrativeness and Self-Esteem to the intellectual organs in the frontal lobe. It is in connexion with several other organs of the propensities and sentiments ; but it appears to me that the posterior end is in Concentrativeness and Self-Esteem, and the anterior end in the anterior lobe.1

Observation proves that this is a distinct organ, because it is sometimes found large when the organs of Philoprogenitiveness and Self-Esteem lying below and above it are small, and sometimes small when these are large. Dr Gall did not discover its function. Dr Spurzheim observed it to be large in those animals and persons who seemed attached to particular places. " I consider," says he, " in animals, the cerebral part immediately above the organ of Philoprogenitiveness, as the organ of the instinct that prompts them to select a peculiar dwelling, and call it the organ of Inhabitiveness. It is known that cats are more attached to places,

1 Several years subsequently to the publication of the remarks in the text, Mr Solly demonstrated in a prepared bruin, that these convolutions contain bands of longitudinal fibres, connecting the anterior, posterior, and middle lobes of the brain. See also Friderici Arnoldi Tabulae Anatomicae Fasciculus I, Tabula X.


and dogs to persons. The former remain in the house which is sold, while the latter follows his master. My attention has been and is still directed to such individuals of the human kind as shew a particular disposition in regard to their dwelling-place. I have many facts in confirmation. I saw a clergyman in Manchester, known to his friends as particularly attached to his dwelling-place, so that he should be unhappy if obliged to sleep elsewhere. I examined his head in company of several gentlemen, some of whom were opponents, but every one was obliged to admit, that the spot of the head where No. 3. is situated was warmer than the rest of the head. I merely asked what part was the warmest, and all agreed at the same place. Some nations are extremely attached to their country, while others are readily induced to migrate. Some tribes of the American Indians and Tartars wander about without fixed habitations, while other savages have a settled home. Mountaineers are commonly much attached to their native soil, and those of them who visit capitals or foreign countries, seem chiefly led by the hope of gaining money enough to return home and buy a little property, even though the land should be dearer there than elsewhere. I therefore invite the phrenologists who have an opportunity of visiting various nations particularly fond of their country, to examine the development of the organ marked No. 3., and situated immediately above Philoprogenitiveness.-Some persons think that inhabitiveness may give the delight to see foreign countries, and to travel, but it is quite the reverse ; the former delight depends on Locality. Those who have Inhabitiveness large, and Locality small, do not like to leave home ; those who have both organs large, like to travel, but to return home and to settle at last.-In all civilized nations, some individuals have a great predilection for residing in the country. If professional pursuits oblige them to live in town, their endeavour is to collect a fortune as speedily as possible, that they may indulge their leading propensity. I have examined the heads of several individuals of this description, and found the parts


in question much developed."1 The function, however, is stated by Dr Spurzheim as not fully settled. From a number of observations, the faculty appears to me to have a more extensive sphere of action than that which he is disposed to assign to it.

Some persons can detain their feelings and ideas in their minds, giving them the quality of continuity ; while others cannot do this : the minds of the latter may be compared to the surface of a mirror, on which each feeling and thought appears like the shadow of a moving object, making a momentary impression, and passing away. They experience great difficulty in detaining their emotions and ideas, so as to examine and compare them ; and, in consequence, are little capable of taking systematic views of any subject, and of concentrating their powers to bear on one point. I have observed this organ to be large in the former and small in the latter.

It is difficult to describe in words the manner of a man's mind ; but the difference in manifestation is so great between those in whom this organ is small, and those in whom it is large, that, if once comprehended, it will always be recognised. In conversing with some individuals, we find them fall naturally into a connected train of thinking ; either dwelling on a subject which interests them, till they have placed it clearly before the mind, or passing naturally and gracefully to a connected topic. Such persons uniformly have this organ large.2 We meet with others, who, in simi-

1 Phrenology, last edition (Boston, U. S. 1832), p. 167. " The author of Spain Revisited in 1834, says, " I never was more struck " with the universality of the conversational talent among the Spaniards' " They never interrupt each other, in the ill-bred manner common among " people of some pretensions elsewhere ; nor do they change the subject ' suddenly and abruptly, without any other cause than may be found in ' the intellectual caprices of the parties. One subject passes with them ' gently into another ; and their remarks are characterized by reason and ' good sense, and their arguments often illustrated by stories at once ' apt and interesting, and enforced by sententious And unanswerable


lar circumstances, never pursue one idea for two consecutive seconds, but shift from topic to topic without regard to natural connexion, and leave no distinct impression on the mind of the listener : this happens even with individuals in whom reflection is not deficient ; but the organ in question is in such persons uniformly small. I have met a military officer, with Locality and Concentrativeness both large, who declared that he liked the stirring and diffuse life of a soldier, while engaged in active operations ; but that when the army halted he was equally pleased, and found equal facility in concentrating his mind to reading, writing, or business, and was not annoyed by that dissipation of intellect of which many of his brother-officers complained. On the other hand, a gentleman bred to the profession of the law, who has this organ rather deficient, declares that the effort of concentrated thinking is to him painful, though he has excellent Comparison, Causality, and Language.

The question occurs, What is the primitive feeling which gives rise to these phenomena Î The first idea that led me to the conclusion, that it is the tendency to concentrate the mind within itself, and to direct its powers in a combined effort to one object, was suggested by a lady, who had remarked this quality in individuals in whom the organ was large, The Reverend Dr Welsh, and Dr Hoppe of Copenhagen, having been informed of this view, unknown to each other communicated to me the inference, that the faculty gives a tendency to dwell in a place, or on feelings and ideas, for a length of time, till all, or the majority, of the other faculties are satisfied in regard to them. Both of these phrenologists acquiesce in the manifestations being such as I have described them, when the organ is large or small. I regard the function of the faculty to be to give continuity to impressions, be they feelings or ideas. The power of giving conti-

" proverbs," vol. i. p. 93. Bentley, London, 1830. This indicates, among other endowments, a large organ of concentrativeness in the Spanish head. I have not, however, enjoyed the means of ascertaining the state of the development of the organ in this people.


nuity to emotion and intellectual conception was a striking feature in the minds of the late Mr John Kemble and Mrs Siddons. During long and solemn pauses in their declamation, their audience saw the mental state prolonged over the whole interval, which added to the depth and the intensity of the effect produced. The organ in question seems to me to form one indispensable element in this mental character. I am unable to give any more specific definition of the function, and admit that the determination of it is attended with great difficulty. An excellent letter on the subject appeared in The Phrenological Journal, vol. iii. p. 193, from the pen of an anonymous author, which contains many valuable remarks on the ultimate principle of the faculty, and I avail myself of it with pleasure. The following are extracts.

" ' If we consider the human mind,' says Mr Hume in his Dissertation on the Passions, ' we shall observe that, with regard to the passions, it is not like a wind-instrument of music, which, in running over all the notes, immediately loses the sound when the breath ceases ; but rather resembles a string-instrument, where, after each stroke, the vibrations still retain some sound, which gradually and insensibly decays.' From this he infers, that when an object which occasions a variety of emotions is presented to the mind, each impulse will not produce a clear and distinct note of passion, but the one passion will always be mixed and confounded with the other. In his observations on the laws of the suggesting principle, Dr Thomas Brown remarks the same fact of permanence or co-existence, as taking place in our mental conceptions in general, when associated with the interest of any mental emotion. ' I look at a volume on my table,' says he ; 'it recalls to me the friend from whom I received it,- the remembrance of him suggests to me the conception of his family,-of an evening which I spent with them,-and of various subjects of our conversation. Yet the conception of my friend may continue, mingled indeed with various conceptions, as they rise successively, but still co-existing


with them.' 1 Dr Brown proceeds, with the felicity and ingenuity which so generally distinguish his writings, to explain how this co-existence of ideas gives us the capacity of prosecuting with steadiness a mental design or plan of thought. His words -cannot be abridged without doing injustice to his meaning. ' When we sit down,' he says, ' to study a particular subject, we must have a certain conception, though probably a dim and shadowy one, of the subject itself. To study it, however, is not to have that conception alone, but to have successively various conceptions, its relations to which we endeavour to trace. The conception of our particular subject, must, in the very first stage of our progress, suggest some other conception. But this second suggestion, if it alone were present, having various relations of its own, as well as its relation to the subject which suggested it, would probably excite a third conception, which had no reference to the original subject,-and this third a fourth ; and thus a whole series, all equally unrelated to the subject which we wish to study. It would hence seem impossible to think of the same subject even for a single minute. Yet we know that the fact is very different, and that we often occupy whole hours in this manner, without any remarkable deviation from our original design. Innumerable conceptions, indeed, arise during this time, but all more or less intimately related to the subject, by the continued conception of which they have every appearance of being suggested ; and if it be allowed that the conception of a particular subject both suggests trains of conceptions, and continues to exist together with the conceptions which it has suggested, every thing for which I contend in the present case is implied in the admission.'

" I apprehend,'' says the writer in the Journal, « that this principle suggests the true metaphysical theory. If we conceive that the simple function of this faculty is to give duration or fixity to whatever conceptions or emotions oc-

1 Lectures, vol. ii. p. 303.


cupy the mind, the various operations ascribed to Concentrativeness will flow from that function as from an elementary principle. In Mr Combe's work lately published,1 the ' primitive feeling,' which gives rise to the phenomena of Concentrativeness, is said to be, ' the tendency to concentrate the mind within itself, and to direct its powers in a combined effort to one object.' This, however, may be considered rather as a description of the operation of the power, than a statement of the primary element to which its phenomena may be traced. If we attend to what passes in our minds when we endeavour to concentrate our thoughts upon a subject, we shall find that we do not attempt any direct coercion on our different faculties, but simply endeavour to seize upon the object of thought, and keep-it steadily before the mind. We are all occasionally conscious of ineffectual efforts of attention ; if we examine what we do on such occasions, we shall find that it consists in an attempt to think of some subject which is, for the moment, less attractive than some other objects which are the causes of distraction. An effective concentration of the faculties takes place only when the original leading conceptions are of themselves powerful and permanent ; and the concentration will be found, consequently, to be most perfect when there is least effort to produce it. We are sensible of this on occasions which may be either painful or pleasant ; when a subject, associated with strong emotion, has taken possession of the mind : and when we find ourselves incapable of banishing from our thoughts, even though very desirous of doing so, the train of conceptions which has so strongly concentrated our powers upon itself, and continues to keep them in a state of sustained and perhaps distressing activity. We speak of our minds having the command of our ideas. This may be correct enough in popular language ; but, philosophically speaking, our ideas command our minds. And even in those cases which appear most like exceptions to this principle, it will be found, on

1 System of Phrenology. 1825.


examination, that it is merely one class of ideas assuming the predominance over another. When we voluntarily change our train of thought, or endeavour to concentrate our minds upon a subject, the process is one in which, under an impression of the necessity or expediency of attaining to the particular subject, we pass from the train of irrelevant ideas, and endeavour to reach, by the aid of our associations, the subject which we wish to study. Almost every individual is capable of this single effort, and he may repeat it again. But that uninterrupted sustaining of the attention so given, which constitutes Concentrativeness, depends on a quality distinct from efforts of attention,-a quality most strongly-marked where least effort is necessary,-and that is simply the property which this mental power possesses of giving continuance to thoughts and feelings when they have sprung up in the mind. This property appears to exist in different degrees in different minds ; to which, of course, the diversity in the manifestations of Concentrativeness, with which we are so often presented, is to be mainly attributed.

" It is not difficult to see in. what way this property of permanence operates in producing the various peculiarities of a concentrative turn of mind. It is a law of thought which all systems of mental philosophy recognise, although they may explain it differently, that a conception or feeling, when present to the mind, naturally acts in calling up other conceptions and feelings of the same class. Ideas of Causality call forth other ideas of Causality ; emotions of Benevolence or Destructiveness are followed by trains of conceptions associated by sympathy with the previous mental state. If, then, one predominating conception or feeling be held before the mind by the force of a strong Concentrativeness, the mental action just described will of necessity be greatly enhanced. The secondary conceptions will re-act upon the original, increasing the intensity of thought and feeling, and adding to the excitement of the mind. A more extensive range of ideas, all bearing the same kindred character, will thus be brought into view ; and, while the intellect, seizing


from a distance the point to be pursued, arranges its materials on such a plan as is best adapted to attain it, it is at the same time prepared for executing the design with greater strength of conception, or, as the nature of the subject may require, with a tone of more powerful emotion. The effect of this concentration naturally extends to the active powers in cases where their co-operation is necessary ; the associated volitions flow more readily along with the mental train, and participate in the harmony of all the other faculties.

" In perfect consistency with this view, we find that any circumstance which gives permanence to an emotion independently of Concentrativeness, produces the same effect. The continued presence of a cause of provocation will excite Destructiveness to a greater excess of passion. Large Cautiousness, along with deficient Hope, will give a permanent tinge to all the mental feelings ; and, when excited by disease, may so completely fill the mind with their gloomy suggestions, as to render it inaccessible to every idea of a brighter complexion. Every sentiment, whatever its character may be, casts its own peculiar light over the mental prospects ; and the objects beheld reflect that light alone to the mind, whether it be the splendour of our more bright and joyous feelings, or the fiercer glow of the destructive passions, or the sombre illumination of a more melancholy mood.

" It occurs to me that the amount of this power, in the composition of intellectual character, has not been fully estimated by phrenologists. Independently of Phrenology altogether, the varieties of mental constitution cannot, 'I think, be satisfactorily accounted for, but by supposing that Concentrativeness is an original element of mind, varying in force in different individuals. In connecting this power with the cerebral organ, phrenologists have proceeded upon experience ; and so far as my .limited observation has gone, I have been gratified by the remarkable coincidences which it has presented between fact and this part of the system. The following remarks have been suggested by observation, and


are not merely speculative ; but, at the same time, they are submitted to be set aside or confirmed as to their phrenological accuracy by the more extensive observations of our veteran phrenologists. " What is the result of extreme defect in this organ I have had no opportunity of knowing. Deficiency, in the more ordinary degrees, discovers itself in different ways, according to its combination with other faculties. In some individuals it produces an indisposition to settle into any regular plan of life ; or, if this has been controlled by circumstances and other faculties, there may still be seen a want of method, forethought, and continuity, in the various concerns of intercourse or business. The individual does not appear like one driving constantly towards a particular object ; his mind takes its direction from shifting circumstances ; and, if other faculties conspire, he may be characterized by a-sort of careless facility or vivacity of disposition. Should these appearances be restrained by large Cautiousness and Firmness, while the reflecting organs at the same time are full, the manifestations of the deficiency will be considerably different. There may be a propensity to reason, and possibly to deal in abstract speculation ; while the individual will exhibit, in his attempts at argument, a degree of cloudiness and ambiguity of conception, which evidently results from an incapacity of holding up distinctly before his mental vision the subject of thought. " We occasionally find persons with large reflecting organs, whom we are surprised to observe little given to sustained reasoning or philosophical speculation. The writer has noticed some such, with Causality and "Wit both large, while he has had reason either to know or to suspect, that the organ of Concentrativeness was considerably deficient. The intellectual perceptions of such appeared to be strong and rapid, and possessed the momentary brilliancy imparted by Ideality, or the energy derived from a large Combativeness. But the mental action was never sustained ; the energy ceased when its impression had just been felt by the auditor ;


and the decisions of Causality and Wit were never prolonged into a train of connected argument. They came to their conclusions by judgments, and not by ratiocination. Whatever could be seen at a glance or two, they perceived, and often with much perspicacity and originality ; but they failed in every thing requiring the investigation of abstract principles or logical deduction. They excelled in whatever admitted of succession and variety of remark, but were unsuccessful where a single point was to be kept in view, and carried by argument. They were better orators than writers, and more powerful still in conversation than in prolonged oratory. It might be that they argued well in conversational controversy ; but this was because the successive replies of the debate broke the reasoning into steps, if I may say so, and always presented a new point for immediate judgment.- All this appears to be the natural consequence of a deficient Concentrativeness. We must observe, however, that such a mind, when its faculties are under the influence of strong excitement, may exhibit a degree of unity and sustainedness of thought beyond what is usual to it at other moments ;- but this would prove nothing against an actual deficiency in Concentrativeness. All possess the quality in some degree, and, of course, on occasions of greater excitement, its power will be augmented. And still it may be said, that if great Concentrativeness were placed in the same circumstances, its manifestations would be still more remarkable.

" Full or large Concentrativeness gives rise to other descriptions of intellectual character. We may occasionally observe a class of persons, who, with the intellectual organs rather poorly developed, are notwithstanding great dabblers in argument. They are a species of Lilliputian gladiators, who are perpetually skirmishing and hair-splitting with all about them in behalf of certain favourite opinions, to the merits of which few, alas ! are sensible but themselves. This is the extreme case, but various modifications of it will be found. The probability is, that in all such the organ of Concentrativeness is full ; it may be seen, indeed, in the natural


language of their looks and gestures ; along with this, Causality will be discovered to be relatively the largest of their intellectual organs, although absolutely small. Their reasonings are distinguished by two qualities. The first of these is a deficiency of strength and breadth in the conceptions which compose them ; so that their track is something like the lines of navigators' courses in the charts, remarkable for nothing but its continuousness. The second is, that they take no comprehensive survey of the general principles which bear upon a question ; but having the power of seeing and dissecting that which is immediately before them, they work onward by the help of certain little formulae, now right, and now wrong, till they strike upon some palpable absurdity, some contradiction to more general principles or more extensive analogies. When such individuals are compared with persons of the former class, who have large Causality, and yet do not reason, an apparent contradiction is presented to the phrenological account of Causality, as a faculty which disposes to metaphysics, and ' gives the perception of logical consequences in argument.' The contradiction vanishes when we connect two powers together as necessary to reasoning. The Causality of every one whose mind is sound, is capable of perceiving the relation between a cause and its effect, or between simple premises and a conclusion. If Concentrativeness be added, which gives the power of keeping the subject of thought steadily before the mind, there will be a capacity for pursuing such a connected series of judgments as constitutes reasoning. In mathematical reasoning, where every term has a definite extension, the above power will be sufficient for forming sound conclusions. But, in the investigation of moral subjects, there is required a comprehensive conception of the various relations of each term or principle employed in our deductions ; and this appears to be the property of a large Causality in conjunction with the knowing-organs ;-the former giving a powerful memory for relations previously discovered, and the latter supplying the materials on which the decisions of Causality arc founded. In both of


these, such reasoners as we speak of are deficient ; and hence their speculations want the elements both of strength and comprehensiveness of thought.

" When full Concentrativeness is joined to large Causality and Individuality, the power of philosophy and reasoning appears in its greatest perfection. The mind is at once possessed of large intellectual resources, and is capable of making the most of them by its power of collecting its conceptions into a strong mental picture, and conveying them with the full force of a sustained representation to the minds of others. The effects of a large Causality are just the reverse of those we attributed to a small. The intellectual picture is enlarged in its dimensions, is more completely filled up with related conceptions, and has its lines more strongly drawn ; and, along with this, there is a more comprehensive view of the multiplied connexions which the subject of thought has with other remoter truths."1

The styles of Tacitus and Grattan appear to me highly characterized by Concentrativeness, while that of Dugald Stewart is so only in a moderate degree. The quality is much more conspicuous in the poetry of Thomas Campbell and Crabbe than in that of Sir Walter Scott. The organ was not large in the head of Scott. It seems to have been recognised by the late Dr Thomas Brown, who names it a " comprehensive energy," and it abounds in his own writings.

It has been objected, that concentration of style is, in many instances, the result of labour and condensation ; and in this I agree ; but before an author will bestow pains in communicating this quality to his compositions, he must have a relish for it himself ; and this, according to my notion, is inspired by the organ in question. The object of his exertions is to bring his style up to a state which pleases his own faculties ; and if the organ be small, he will not find pleasure in concentration either of feeling or of thought, and be incapable of producing it.

1 Phren. Journ. iii. 183. On the subject of Concentrativeness, see also i. 245 ; V. 225 ; viii. 61, 226, 400, 440. 504.



It has been said, that Individuality and Eventuality, when large, produce the effects here attributed to Concentrativeness ; but I am acquainted with a literary gentleman in whom these organs are large, and Concentrativeness deficient, and who manifests great knowledge of facts and details, combined with deficiency in the power of keeping them continuously before his own mind, so as to discover their relative bearings and applications. On the other hand, I am acquainted with a philosophical author, who possesses large Concentrativeness with deficient Eventuality ; and who complains of experiencing great difficulty in acquiring knowledge of details, who requires to write down instantly the results of his reading and observations, and whose knowledge exists in his portfolio more than in his brain-but who, as an author, in reproducing his knowledge, labours incessantly till he has discovered the natural relations of its parts, and gives it forth in the most' concentrated and systematic form. When Comparison and Causality are large in combination with large Concentrativeness, there is a tendency to systematize knowledge : when the latter is deficient this does not so much exist ; and I regard one element in a systematic mind to be the power of giving continuousness to feelings and ideas, thereby enabling the intellect to contemplate the relations subsisting among them.

According to this account of the faculty, an individual may have great liking for a particular pursuit-Botany, for example, or Phrenology-if he possess the combination of faculties which takes pleasure in it ; and he may pursue it with ardour, and nevertheless be deficient in Concentrativeness. I know such persons, but all of them make efforts, collect knowledge, or communicate ideas, without taking a comprehensive and concentrated view of the objects and relations about which they treat.

Dr Spurzheim, however, objects to my ideas, and states that his experience is in contradiction to them. Facts alone must determine between us. At the same time, there appears to be nothing in the notions of Dr Spurzheim concerning


Inhabitiveness, inconsistent with the more extensive views now taken of the nature of this faculty.

It has been objected by him, that " Concentrativeness cannot possibly be a primitive faculty, since it can neither act alone, nor appear diseased singly ; and since its very existence only becomes apparent by the presence of other powers directed to one object." There are various faculties which very seldom act alone : thus, Firmness usually acts along with other powers-we persevere in passion, in love, in hate, in ambition, or in study ; but cannot well persevere in mere abstract perseverance : Cautiousness causes us to fear ; but we generally fear something, which depends on other faculties and rarely experience abstract fear itself. Concentrativeness, therefore, is not singular in not acting alone. I have no doubt of the possibility of its acting by itself, although, from the rareness of its doing so, and the obscurity in which the ultimate function is involved, I cannot specify the effect which it then produces.

As to disease of Concentrativeness, this organ appears to suffer in those lunatics whose attention is immoveably fixed on some internal impression, and who remain absorbed in silent and profound meditation, insensible alike to the threats and caresses of those around them, and to the effects of external objects. They differ from ordinary monomaniacs in this, that the latter, with certain unsound feelings or intellectual perceptions, or with unsound associations on the presentment of certain external objects, can still direct their attention to other feelings or ideas, and concerning them can hold rational conversation. The state now attributed to diseased Concentrativeness, must be distinguished also from one for which it has been sometimes mistaken, namely, dementia approaching to idiocy, in which a fixed look and silent calmness appear, not from internal meditation, but from utter insensibility to stimuli. In disease of Concentrativeness, the patient possesses intense consciousness, and when cured, is able to give an account of all that passed in his mind during the malady ; in dementia, the period of the disease forms a


blank in existence, the individual recollecting nothing that occurred in it. Dr A. Combe, to whom I owe these observations, states, that he has heard Esquirol, in his lectures at the Salpetrière, speak of cases such as those now described ; and he himself has seen examples which proved the accuracy of his ' account of them, although, owing to the function not having been discovered at the time, he did not observe the condition of this particular organ. I am acquainted with a gentleman in whom the organ is large, and who. while labouring under a nervous affection, in which Cautiousness and Conscientiousness were diseased, experienced a feeling as if the power of concentrating his mind were about to leave him, and who used vigorous efforts to preserve it. He directed his attention to an object, frequently a spire at the end of a long street, and resolutely maintained it immoveably fixed there for a considerable length of time, excluding all other ideas from his mind. The consequence was, that in his then weak state, a diseased fixity of mind ensued, in which feelings and ideas stood as it were bound up and immoveable, and thereafter a state in which every impression and emotion was fleeting and fickle like images in water. He was then unacquainted with Phrenology, but knows it now, and expresses his belief that the circumstances detailed were probably referable to a diseased affection of the organ in question.

Dr Spurzheim objects farther, that " no one, in concentrating his mind, and directing his powers to one object, exhibits gestures and emotions indicating activity in the back part of the head ; the whole of the natural language shews, that concentration takes place in the forehead." With the greatest deference to Dr Spurzheim's superior skill and accuracy, I take the liberty of stating, that, so far as my own observation goes, those persons who really possess the power of concentration, while preparing to make a powerful and combined exertion of all their powers, naturally draw the head and body backwards in the line of this organ. The author of Waverley describes this as the attitude of concentrated internal thinking. Preachers and advocates in whom


it is large, while speaking with animation, move the head in the line of Concentrativeness and Individuality, or straight backwards and straight forwards. When Combativeness predominates over Concentrativeness in a pleader, he draws his head backwards and to the side, in the line of Combativeness, and advances it in a corresponding direction.

" The organ," continues Dr Spurzheim, '' is also commonly larger in women than in men, and I leave every one to decide upon the sex which supports the more close and vigorous attention." In Scotland, and I may almost say in England, although my observations there have been less extensive, this is not the case ; the development being in general larger in men than in women. " It is moreover," says he, " larger in Negroes and in the Celtic tribes than in the Teutonic races ; in the French, for instance, it is larger than in the Germans. The national character of these nations not only does not confirm the opinion of Mr Combe, but is in direct contradiction to it." From this and some other objections of Dr Spurzheim, which I pass over without comment, I am convinced that he has not correctly apprehended the quality of mind which I designate Concentrativeness. This must, no doubt, be my fault ; but it affords a good reason for not prolonging disputation. So far as my knowledge of French literature extends, it is not marked by deficiency of Concentrativeness. The intellectual range of the French is limited, but no nation attains to greater perfection within the sphere which their faculties are calculated to reach : they write the best elementary works on Science of any people in Europe ; and to this Concentrativeness is essential. They bring their powers to bear in a regulated manner on the point under consideration, and present it clearly and definitely to the understanding. The Germans have more powerful reflecting faculties than the French, and also greater perseverance ; but, if I may judge from the limited knowledge of their literature which I have been able to obtain, and, from a residence of eighteenth months in Germany, they appear inferior to them in Concentrativeness. They introduce more frequently

Concentrativeness. 229

extraneous ideas and feelings, and in their composition do not present so neat and complete a whole. The organ is large in the Negroes and Scotch, deficient in the Germans, full in the Chinese, and Hindoos, moderate in the ancient Greeks, and small in the Peruvians.

In regard to the tendency to " Inhabitiveness," I conceive that concentration of mind is favourable to this tendency, and that those men and animals whose faculties are most concentrated, have the greatest inclination to remain in one place ; besides, animals which browse on rocks, and which place their nests in high and difficult situations, or by the banks of rapid rivers, seem to need just such a faculty as this to enable them to maintain their position with ease, and at the same time to provide food, and to watch for their safety. The eagle, -which loves to soar aloft, requires the activity of certain faculties to maintain his equilibrium, while at the same time his eye darts over a great expanse " through the azure deep of air," to discern his prey on the surface of the earth. There are farther needed a concentration and simultaneous action of numerous faculties in the stoop which he makes upon the prey itself. Something of the same kind is required in the water-fowl, whose cradle is the deep, in diving for his food through the waters. The co-operation of all his powers is necessary to maintain him in that situation, and at the same time to enable him to secure his prey, and avoid his numerous enemies. The skulls of carnivorous animals indicate a larger development of this part of the brain, than those of herbivorous creatures ; and the former appear to me to manifest, in their habits, more of the quality of continuousness of emotion, and concentrativeness of attention, than the latter. In this way I conceive that the new functions attributed to this organ do not supersede the old, nor imply any incorrectness in the observations which led Dr Spurzheim to conjecture its uses : at the same time there may be a modification of the faculty itself in different species of animals, which may determine some to high and some to low situations ; while, in man, it


may be a more general faculty, without determining to a residence of any particular kind.

The strongest expression of this faculty which 1 have observed is in rope-dancers, and equestrian performers. Their countenances shew a great internal concentration, watching and directing the slightest motions of the body ; and in the head of Ducrow, of which the Phrenological Society has a cast, the organ is very large. He manifested the faculty in the highest degree.

Since the third edition of this work was printed, Dr Spurzheim has replied very fully to my observations on Concentrativeness, in his work on Phrenology published at Boston, United States, in 1832, vol. i. p. 169. I have perused his statements with all the attention and respect due to a master and a most esteemed friend, and with the single object of arriving at the truth ; but still I am not satisfied that my previous views were erroneous. As the functions of this organ, however, can be settled by facts alone, I consider it unnecessary to reply to the arguments brought forward by Dr Spurzheim in opposition to my opinions. The reader must judge for himself. Dr Spurzheim alludes to the development of the organ in his Own head. " The organ" says he, " is small in my head, and when I objected against the former definition of Concentrativeness, ' the tendency to maintain two or more powers, in simultaneous and combined activity, so that they may be directed towards one object,' considering such an operation of the mind rather as intellectual than affective, I was told that I could not easily conceive this primitive power, since the organ is small in my brain. I confess that this answer never satisfied my mind. I allow that several feelings and their respective organs are small in my head ; but this did not prevent me to conceive their existence in others, being guided by reasoning and by facts," p. 174. In this last observation, Dr Spurzheim is in the right. If I had succeeded in determining accurately the primitive function, in defining it, and in proving its truth by sufficient facts and arguments, he would unques-


tionably have understood what I meant. But I have all along confessed that I have not succeeded in accomplishing so much. Nevertheless, in consequence probably of the organ being large in my own brain, I have a strong feeling of the mental quality connected with it ; while, in conversing with Dr Spurzheim on the subject, he appeared to me to have so weak a consciousness of the quality, that we never could succeed in understanding each other's experience in regard to it, and this is the circumstance to which he alludes. There is no indelicacy in now adding, that the deficiency of Concentrativeness appeared to me to be a striking feature in Dr Spurzheim's mental manifestations, whether as a lecturer, as an author, or in conversation ; and that if a large development of this organ had been added to his splendid moral and intellectual gifts, the powers of his mind as a public teacher would have been rendered still more efficient than they were. The leading object of these discussions is to enable the reader to form an idea of the mental quality, if it be such, intended to be designated by Concentrativeness, so that he may be able to decide on the function of the organ by his own observations. It acts along with the feelings as well as with the intellect, and prolongs emotions. Abstract reasoning is not admitted in Phrenology as proof in favour of any organ or faculty ; and I have observed that, by leading the mind insensibly to adopt a conclusion for or against particular ideas, it produces a tendency to seek support for opinions rather than truth, and thereby retards the progress of accurate investigation. This is an additional reason for abstaining from farther argument on the subject. The reader who wishes for additional information in regard to it, may consult the following able communications on Concentrativeness, in the ninth volume of the Phrenological Journal: " Remarks on Inhabitiveness and Concentrativeness," p. 330 ; and two letters, p. 612, one anonymous, and the other by Mr "William Hancock jun., suggesting that the love of pursuit, or constancy, is the function of the organ. See also vol. x. p. 290, 572, 671 ; xi. 44, 358, 377; xii. 223; xiv. 18, 58, 287, 288-


and xv. 253. The faculty is stated as only probable, and stands open for further elucidation.

While these numerous discussions have been proceeding in Britain, Dr Vimont has made some very interesting investigations on the subject, which I shall now present.

" After having compared," says Dr Vimont, " a very considerable number of skulls of persons distinguished by a well-marked character for Pride, I have been convinced that Drs Gall and Spurzheim have placed the organ of this faculty too far backwards, or, at least, that a great portion of the convolution which constitutes it, that is to say, about the two posterior thirds will belong to another organ. It appears, from my observations, that the space between Self-esteem and Philoprogenitiveness, presents a greater extent than is assigned to it by Dr Gall, and that there are two distinct organs in that situation, the one superior, No. 6, the other inferior, No. 7.1

" The first occupies the posterior and superior angle of the parietal bones, and the second the superior angle of the occipital bone. «>, When this last is much developed, it raises up a little the most distant portion of the posterior and superior angle of the parietal bones.

The anatomical remark which I have now made, and of which nobody has spoken before me, may throw some light on a kind of polemical discussion which arose between Dr Spurzheim and Mr George Combe, and in which the latter

1 The numbers on the cut indicate the following organs, according to Dr Vimont's arrangement : 3 Destructiveness ; 5 Combativeness ; 6 Inhabitiveness ; 7 Concentrativeness, 8 Attachment for life ; 9 Adhesiveness; 10 Amativeness ; 11 Philoprogenitiveness ; 13 Cautiousness; 33 Love of Approbation j 34 Self-esteem; 35 Firmness; 36 Conscientiousness.


shewed much talent. The discussion related to a new faculty, which, according to Mr Combe, had for its function the concentration of the mind on such or such objects. He believed, however, that its influence was more extensive, and that the faculty for the choice of places, or of habitation of Dr Spurzheim, belonged to the same faculty. After having read the observations of Mr Combe, and the objections of Dr Spurzheim, it appeared to me clear that the reasonings of Dr Spurzheim did not at all invalidate the observations of Mr Combe. But I do not agree with the latter in thinking, that the faculty of Inhabitiveness, and that of Concentrativeness, depend on the same organ. On the contrary, I am satisfied, that there is a distinct organ for each, the first corresponding to No. 6, and the second, lower down, No. 7." The latter appears to me to be the organ to which Mr Combe gives the name of Concentrativeness. He states, that he had found this organ largely developed in all persons who were capable of arresting, for a long time, their minds on one subject,

" I am the more disposed to admit the soundness of the ideas of Mr Combe on this faculty, but locating its organs differently ; that my researches in comparative anatomy afford new evidence in its favour. Long before Mr Combe,1 I had fixed my attention, as will immediately be seen, on this faculty ; only I thought that it was to be met with in the lower animals alone, while I am now disposed to believe that it is to be found also in man.

" One day, when I conversed with a huntsman on the most remarkable faculties of the dogs employed in the chase

1 My views of Concentrativeness appeared in the " Outlines of Phrenology," which form part of the " Transactions of the Phrenological Society," published in 1824, and I am not certain whether they were published before that date or not. In these Outlines., I adopt the namo of Concentrativeness, and, after mentioning Dr Spurzheim's function of inhabitiveness, add, " from more enlarged observations, it now seems probable that part of its functions is to maintain two or more powers in simultaneous and combined action, and to determine them towards one object." It is ascribed by me also to the lower animals, p. 68.


he asked me to what faculty I would ascribe the quality which distinguished the setter dog ; and by this he meant, as well as I, the faculty which this animal possesses, of stopping short when he has discovered the game. My answer was, that this mode of action was the result of the education which he had received. However, after having remarked that many dogs placed themselves naturally in the attitude of setting, without having received any previous training, and that there were certain species which could not be educated to this mode of action, I thought that the disposition to set must be referrible to an innate disposition, which education only developed. In studying the conduct of many animals, I found that this faculty was in some sort common to all the species, although some possessed it in a more remarkable degree than others. Thus, I had seen cats and foxes, in going in search of their prey, present all the characteristics of a setter dog. I saw one day in a garden under my window, a cat which watched a sparrow ; its body was lengthened out ; its head was held high and forward, and, except for the movements of its tail, I should have taken it for a cat stuffed with straw.

" The examination of the skulls of two setter dogs in my collection, also of the skulls of martens, cats, and foxes, in all of which creatures I believed that I recognised similar dispositions, was, at the moment, of no utility. It was by observing the habits of some birds, and the examination of their skulls, that I arrived at the discovery of this faculty, and was enabled to fix definitely its organ.

" I have always been in the practice of opening the stomachs of all the birds which I receive. In doing so, I had particularly in view to discover the substances which composed their food. One day I found in the pharynx and stomach of a crested grebe (Grèbe cornu, Colymbus cristatus),1 several little fishes known in Normandy under the name of de dards.

1 The crested grebe is a very beautiful aquatic bird. The feathers of its abdomen have the brightness of silver, and arc used to make tippets and muffs.


" How does it happen,'' said I, " that this bird can seize a fish in such a medium as water, the slightest movement of which must be sufficient to enable it to escape I To accomplish such an object, an inconceivable extent of address and circumspection must be necessary. As this was the first skull of a grebe which I had seen, its singular shape attracted my attention ; for, although it presented, in many respects, some analogy with those of other species which I then possessed (1819), it differed from them considerably in other particulars. The circumstance which particularly fixed my attention was, not only the remarkable development of the anterior part of the frontal bone, but also that of the regions situated above the lateral portions of the cerebellum. In 1821, I procured a young cormorant. On opening its stomach, I found in it, as in the crested grebe, a multitude of fishes ; but a peculiar configuration of its skull also struck me ; it was the resemblance of its shape to that of the grebe. In it, as may be seen in Plate Iv. fig. 1., the parts situated over the sides of the cerebellum are also very much enlarged, the lateral portions, in particular, were so in a remarkable degree. As I then possessed more than seven hundred skulls of birds, I collected and compared all those which presented a character similar to that which I had observed in the grebe. I saw with satisfaction, that all those which belonged to birds that have the habit of settling on their prey for a long time, or with an extreme attention, were precisely those which presented this configuration to whatever class they belonged. The names and drawings of the heads of the birds in which I met with this organization, are the following. The crested grebe already mentioned ; the great and the little cormorant, PI. Iv. fig. 1 and 5 ; the blue heron ; the bittern ; and the aigrette ; id. pi. fig. 2, 3, and 4 ; the guillemot, PI. lix. fig. 7 ; in the sea-swallows (les hirondelles de mer),1 PL liv. fig. 2, 4, and 5; in the fisher martin (le martin pécheur, fig. 1.)

1 These skulls do not appear in this plate, No. liv. in Dr Vimont's atlas.


" I examined all these skulls, after placing them on a table, in such a manner as to be seen from behind, and was surprised at their resemblance in one point (see fig. 3. PL xciii. No. 7), although they differed extremely in all the others. I was thus led to consider as primitive the particular faculty of being able to arrest, for a long time, their attention on one object, which certain animals possess, such as the setter dog, the fox, and the cat, among quadrupeds, and the grebe, the cormorants, and the fisher martin among birds. The convolution marked on the brain of the martin, Plate Ixxv. fig. 7, and all the portion of the convolution placed after No. 12, on the brain of the cat, id. pi. fig. 2, is that which I consider as connected with the faculty in question. I have found this part very prominent in the exterior of the skull of the fox ; it is much less so on that of the badger ; it is very large in the skull of a hunting dog, which was presented to me by Dr Gaubert, and on the skulls of four excellent setter dogs, which make part of my collection.

" If there exists, as I am much disposed to believe, a similar organ in man, it ought, in my opinion, to occupy the part of the superior angle of the occipital bone, marked No. 7. PL Ixxxix. fig. 2, and the region immediately above (6) should be the organ of the choice of a dwelling-place.1

" It must now be by means of observations, repeated a great many times, on persons whose habits are well known, that phrenologists must arrive at the certainty of there being, or not being, in the human species, a constant relation between the development of this part of the brain and the qualities attributed to it by Mr George Combe."

I have found Dr Vimont's views supported by a number of facts.

1 " As to the lower animals, I consider it as almost demonstrated. I beseech my readers to peruse what Mr Combe has written on this faculty in man. His remarks appear to me worthy of the attention of Phrenologists. I should have presented them entire in this volume, if I had not found myself compelled to confine myself within certain limits," p. 216.- Vimont.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].

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