Thus physiologists generally regard mind as purely phenomenal—as something holding the same relation to the brain as music to the violin, when the violin plays itself. If the relations of the brain to paralysis or to digestion are under consideration, such physiologists may be recognized as experts; but when its relations to a soul of which they know nothing are under consideration, we may very properly say to them, "Ne sutor ultra crepidam."
Of course, materialists cannot deny that mental phenomena exist, but to them they are simply the phenomena of matter. Dr. Carpenter may even admit the existence of a soul beyond the pale of science—a quiddity as distinct from the real soul as Spencer's "Unknowable" is from any conception of a God. Practically speaking, Dr. Carpenter is entirely in harmony with other materialists.
Men of scientific culture, who have spent a considerable portion of their lives in practical investigation and familiarity with the facts of mesmerism, spiritualism, and other psycho-physiological sciences, are experts in the highest sense of that term, and can but smile at the insolence of those who, never having made a successful experiment on those joint operations of the soul and body which constitute mesmeric, spiritual, and other sciences, nevertheless claim, as Dr. Carpenter does, to be recognized as the oracle in matters of which his ignorance is both pitiable and ludicrous, having never, by his own confession, witnessed any of the innumerable facts demonstrating an extra-material agency, which, during the whole of the present century, have been accumulated and diffused in all civilized countries, and among their foremost thinkers. His position is precisely that of the principal Professor of Philosophy at Padua, who refused to look through Galileo's telescope, and continued to teach the old theories. Nay, far worse: he not only refuses to see what is open to all men, but, as Horkey wrote against Galileo, while refusing all fair investigation, and thus furnished an example to "point a moral" for posterity—an example of the power of "dominant ideas" in a bigot—Dr. Carpenter repeats the same performance amid the higher enlightenment of the present age, with a perversity and hostility of purpose which were never surpassed by the blind votaries of Aristotle. And as Horkey detected the trick in Galileo's telescope which made stars by reflected light. Dr. Carpenter too detects fallacies in the experiments of Prof. Crookes, whose temperate and candid reply places him in even a worse position than that of Martin Horkey. (See Nineteenth Century for July.)
In a question of the existence of certain facts, the honest witness who, without prepossession, investigates and follows up the facts wherever they are visible, is competent to instruct us; but he who carefully avoids coming into close contact with the facts, and, while maintaining his mind in undisturbed ignorance, feasts upon secondhand gossip and stale calumnies, which he retails with delight, is hardly entitled even to a nod of recognition among honest inquirers.