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THIS Treatise on Materialism was originally published in the first number of the new series of the Journal of Psychological Medicine, in April last. The flattering manner in which it was received by many leading members of the medical, as well as the clerical profession, combined with the solicitation of friends, who thought it would be of use in checking the tide of infidelity that is rising so high, in this country and abroad, have induced the author to lay it before the public in a separate form.
31, HARLEY STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE,
Now that the storm of indignation which was excited by Dr. Tyndall's Address, delivered before the British Association at Belfast in August last, has somewhat subsided, the proper time has arrived for taking a calm and dispassionate view of the materialistic doctrines, which the Professor so loudly though eloquently espoused; and for testing their value with regard to biological and mental science. Had it not been for the bright glitter of the Professor's eloquence, it is questionable whether his vehement advocacy of Materialism would have attracted so much attention. His remarks are not original, and he must only be considered, if we rightly apprehend his meaning, as the supporter of the views of Democritus, Lucretius, Darwin, Huxley, Herbert Spencer, et hoc genus omne; nevertheless, as six thousand copies of his printed Address were published in less than two months after its delivery, it shows how attractive the style of the Doctor's writing must be; and it is but just that his arguments, which may be considered those of scientific materialists in general, should receive a careful and candid criticism.
In my remarks I shall chiefly follow the text of the Professor's Address as it was delivered and reported in the Times; for the reprint which was subsequently published, in which there are both omissions and additions, greatly qualifies the original meaning.
It is no excuse for the imperfections of the Address that it was written, as he states, in Switzerland, under some disadvantages. The President of the British Association is placed