Can Change the World Again.
A SYSTEM OF MENTAL PHILOSOPHY. 1882.
REV. ASA MAHAN, D. D. LL.D.
Universal Mind has distinguished, and recognized, three classes of mental phenomena, each of which is entirely distinct from either of the others. These phenomena, which comprehend all operations of the mind, actual or conceivable, may be expressed and represented by the terms; thinking, feeling, and willing. If we attempt to form a conception of any operation of the mind whatever, we must conceive of it, as a thought, or a feeling, or an act of willing or mental determination. This, then, is a full and distinct classification of the operations of the mind, operations to be taken into account in developing the Science of Mental Philosophy, a classification which will be fully verified by the following considerations:
1. These classes of phenomena differ from one another, not in degree, but in kind. Thought, in all degrees, whether clear or obscure, remains totally, and equally, distinct from feeling in all its forms, such as sensations, emotions, and desires, on the one hand, and all acts of willing of every kind and degree, such as choice, purpose, volition or intention, on the other. So of feeling, in respect to thought, and acts of willing of every actual or conceivable kind and degree. Nor is willing in one degree, a thought; in another, a sensation, emotion, or desire; and in another still, a choice, purpose, volition, or intention. In all degrees and modifications, these three classes of mental operations, or phenomena, remain equally distinct, in their nature and fundamental characteristics.
2. This classification is, also, verified by the testimony of universal Consciousness. When, for example, one speaks of thinking of any particular object, then of desiring it, and lastly of having determined to secure the object, all mankind in common, at once, apprehend his meaning in each of these statements, and understand him as referring to three entirely distinct classes of mental operations. No one, when spoken to of thought, feeling, or willing, in any of their forms, ever confounds any one of these states with either of the others.
3. In all languages, there are distinct terms appropriated to express and represent each of these three classes of mental phenomena, terms, each of which is exclusively appropriated to one class, and never applied to either of the others. No one, for example, ever employs the term thought to represent feeling, that is sensation, emotion, or desire, or any act of willing. The same holds equally true of the terms feeling and willing. Each, by universal usage, represents one class of phenomena, and is never employed to represent either of the others.
4. Qualifying terms are also in common use, terms which are exclusively applied to each of these classes of phenomena, and never to either of the others. Thus, for example, we are accustomed to speak of clear thoughts, but never of clear feelings, or determinations. We speak of inflexible purposes, but never of inflexible feelings or thoughts. We also speak of irrepressible emotions and desires, but never of irrepressible thoughts or determinations
5. The threefold distinction and classification of mental phenomena now under consideration, is clearly marked by universal mind, and is now so generally recognized in treatises on mental science, that nothing further upon the subject is demanded in this connection. Without the presentation of any additional considerations, therefore, we will now proceed to an enumeration of the mental faculties implied by this classification of mental phenomena.
MENTAL FACULTIES IMPLIED BY THIS CLASSIFICATION.
The threefold division and classification of mental phenomena above presented, most clearly and undeniably imply a corresponding division and classification of the Mental Faculties, Functions, or Powers, a division and classification which, in accordance with general usage, we shall represent by the terms; Intellect or Intelligence, Sensibility or Sensitivity, and Will. To the first faculty, we refer all the phenomena of thought, in all its forms. To the second we refer all feelings, such as sensations, emotions, and desires; and to the last, all acts of willing, or mental determinations. The science of mind, consequently, divides itself into three parts, a development of the phenomena and laws of the Intellect,of the Sensibilityand of Will.
MEANING OF THE WORDS, MENTAL FACULTIES.
When we speak of a diversity of mental faculties, we would by no means, be understood, as holding, or as teaching, the wild dogma, that mind, like the body, is made up of parts which may be separated from one another. Mind is not constituted of a diversity of blended substances. It is one substance not susceptible of division. Yet this one substance is capable of a diversity of functions, or operations, which are entirely distinct from one another. This diversity of capabilities, all of which pertain to this one substance, we designate by the words, Mental Faculties, and hence, the phenomena being distinct and separate from one another, we speak of the powers and susceptibilities of thought, feeling, and willing, as distinct and separate faculties of the mind, faculties which we designate, as stated, by the terms; Intellect, Sensibility, and Will. The observations made above in respect to the mind itself, will, at once, appear equally applicable to each, of the mental faculties above enumerated. As we speak of the Intelligence, for example, as a faculty of the mind entirely distinct from the Sensibility and Will, without implying that the mind is not one substance, so we may speak of the diverse Faculties of the Intellect without implying that that faculty is a compound of a diversity of parts. The term Faculty, whether applied to the whole mind, or to any department of the same, implies a diversity of functions of this one identical substance, not a diversity of substances, or parts.