Is the mind, as a matter of fact, in the body anywhere?...

New York Globe

[From an editorial in the New York Globe.]

Is the mind, as a matter of fact, in the body anywhere? asks Prof. G. S. Fullerton of Columbia in the Popular Science Monthly for May, and it is evident that if the answer depended upon his opinion it would be a negative one. He traces the history of the modern school of mental geography to which he adheres, from the days of Plato down through Aristotle, Plotinus, and Descartes, and then points out the absurd contradiction of other schools. Thought is a secretion of the brain, says one. May we legitimately speak thus? says the professor. "The secretion of a gland is material. It can be collected in a test-tube and analyzed by a chemist. Has any one ever succeeded in filling a test-tube with mental phenomena—in bottling and analyzing in a laboratory pains and pleasures, memories and anticipations?" This seems a knock-down blow for the secretionists, unless they are willing to admit that ideas are a different sort of secretion from saliva or tears—something like light, perhaps, or X-rays.

Then the professor takes up the men who simply declare mind to be a function of the brain, and wants to know what they mean. Do they mean that certain changes in the brain produce certain mental phenomena? Are mental phenomena in the brain? If not, where are they? Material things occupy space. "A leather purse may be lined with silk and it may contain silver; but try to line a leather purse with painful emotions and to fill it with hopes and expectations!" As a matter of fact the most modest of purses lying empty on the sidewalk is surrounded by a veritable halo of "hopes and expectations" the moment any one's eyes fall upon it. Evidently these are not in it, because there is nothing in it, and when it is opened they vanish like magic. It is the same with the mind. You open up the body and look for it in vain. Sometimes, indeed, its absence can be determined without any dissection.

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