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by them? What constitutes, in what consists, the right and the wrong of actions: what is the difference? What is the ground of our obligation to do, or not to do, any given thing? What is the value and correctness of our moral perceptions, and especially of that verdict of approbation, or censure, which we pass upon ourselves and others, according as the conduct conforms to, or violates, recognized obligation? Such are some of the questions which have arisen respecting the nature and authority of conscience. A careful analysis of the phenomena of conscience, with a view to determine the several elements, or mental processes, that constitute its operation, and then a careful examination of those several elements, in their order, may aid us in the solution of these questions. Analysis of an Act of Conscience. Whenever the conduct of intelligent and rational beings is made the subject of contemplation, whether the act thus contemplated be our own or another's, and whether it be an act already performed, or only proposed, we are cognizant of certain ideas awakened in the mind, and of certain impressions made upon it. First of all, the act contemplated strikes us as right or wrong. This involves a double element an idea, and a perception or judgment. The idea of right and its opposite are, in the mind, simple ideas, and therefore indefinable. In the act contemplated, we recognize the one or the other of these simple elements, and pronounce it, accordingly, a right or a wrong act. This is simply a judgment, a perception, an exercise of the understanding. No sooner is this idea, this cognition, of the rightness or wrongness of the given act, fairly entertained by the mind, than another idea, another cognition, presents itself, given along with the former, and inseparable from it, viz. that of obligation to do, or not to do, the given act: the ought, and the ought not—also simple ideas, and indefinable. This applies equally to the future and to the past, to ourselves and to others: I ought to do the thing; I ought to have done it yesterday. He ought, or ought not, to do, or to have done it. This, like the former, is an intellectual act, a perception or cognition of a truth, of a reality, for which we have the same voucher as for any other reality, or apprehended fact, viz. the reliability of our mental faculties in general, and the correctness of their operation in the specific instance. There follows a third element, logically distinct, but chronologically inseparable, from the preceding: the cognition of merit or demerit in connection with the deed, of good or ill desert, and the consequent approval or disapproval of the deed and the doer. This also is an intellectual perception, an exercise of judgment, giving sentence that the contemplated act is, or is not, meritorious, and awarding praise or blame accordingly. This completes the process. I can discover nothing in the operation of my mind, in view of moral action, which does not resolve itself into some one of these elements. Viewed in themselves, these are, strictly, intellectual operations; the recognition of the right, the recognition of obligation, the perception of good or ill desert, are all properly acts of the intellect. Each of these cognitive acts, however, involves a corresponding action of the sensibilities. The perception of the right awakens, in the pure and virtuous mind, feelings of pleasure, admiration, love. The idea of obligation becomes, in its turn, through the awakened sensibilities, an impulse and motive to action. The recognition of good or ill desert awakens feelings of esteem and complacency, or the reverse; fills the soul with sweet peace, or stings it with sharp remorse. All these things must be recognized and included by the psychologist among the phenomena of conscience. These emotions, however, are based on, and grow out of, the intellectual acts already named, and are to be viewed as an incidental, and subordinate, though by no means unimportant, part of the whole process. When we speak of conscience, or the moral faculty, we speak of a power, a faculty, and not merely a feeling, or susceptibility of being affected. It is a cognitive power, having to do with realities, recognizing real distinctions, and not merely a passive play of the sensibilities. It is analogous to the power of memory which gives us the actual past; of perception which gives the actual present as external and material; of imagination which gives us the ideal. Like these, it has its own proper sphere and province, logically distinct from all others. Like these, it brings before us what we should not otherwise know. It is simply the mind's power of recognizing a certain class of truths and relations. As such, we claim for it a place among the strictly cognitive powers of the mind, among the faculties that have to do with the perception of truth and reality. This is a point of some importance. If, with certain writers, we make the moral faculty a matter of mere feeling, overlooking the intellectual perceptions on which this feeling is based, we overlook and leave out of the account, the chief elements of the process. The moral faculty is no longer a cognitive power, no longer in truth a faculty. The distinctions which it seems to recognize are merely subjective; impressions, feelings, to which there may, or may not, be a corresponding reality. We have at least no evidence of any such reality. Such a view subtracts the very foundation of morals. Our feelings vary; but right and wrong do not vary with our feelings. They are objective realities, and not subjective phenomena. As such, the mind, by virtue of the natural powers with which it is endowed by the Creator, recognizes them. The power by which it gives this, we call the moral faculty; just as we call its power to take cognizance of another class of truths and relations, viz. the beautiful, its aesthetic faculty. In view of these truths and relations, as thus perceived, certain feelings are, in either case, awakened, and these emotions may with propriety be regarded as pertaining to a part of the phenomena of conscience, and of taste; full discussion of either of these faculties will include the action of the sensibilities; but in neither case will a true psychology resolve the faculty into the feeling. The mathematician experiences a certain feeling of delight in perceiving the relation of lines and angles, but the power of perceiving that relation, the faculty by which the mind takes cognizance of such truth, is not to be resolved into the feeling that results from it. As the result of our analysis, we obtain the following elements as involved in, and constituting, an operation of the moral faculty:

L The mental perception that a given act is right or wrong. II. The perception of obligation with respect to the same, as right or wrong. III. The perception of merit or demerit, and the consequent approbation or censure of the agent, as doing the right or the wrong thus perceived. Accompanying these intellectual perceptions, and based upon them, are certain corresponding emotions, varying in intensity according to the clearness of the mental perceptions, and the purity of the moral nature. As we proceed now to discuss, more in detail, these various elements which the preceding analysis has furnished, the several questions already suggested will naturally present themselves for consideration. As to the perception of the moral quality of actions, it will be in place to inquire: what is the origin of such perception, on our part; whence we derive our ideas of right or wrong; how we come to make such a distinction. As to the element of obligation, it will be in place to inquire: what is the ground of such obligation. As to the decision of approval or condemnation, it will be pertinent to consider: what is the value, and what the power, of such verdict. To these points, accordingly, our attention will be mainly directed as we proceed to examine one by one, in their order, the several mental processes now indicated. I. The perception of an act as right or wrong. When we direct our attention to any given instance of the conduct and voluntary action of any intelligent and rational being, we find ourselves, not unfrequently, pronouncing upon its character as a right or wrong act. Especially is this the case when the act contemplated is of a marked and unusual character. The question at once arises, is it right? or, it may be, without the consciousness of even a question respecting it; our decision follows instantly upon the mental apprehension of the act itself; this thing is right, this thing is wrong. Our decision may be correct or incorrect; our perception of the real nature of the act may be clear or obscure; it may make a stronger or a weaker impression on the mind, according to our mental habits, the tone of our moral nature, and the degree to which we have cultivated the moral faculty. There may be minds so degraded, and natures so perverted, that the moral character of an act shall be quite mistaken, or quite overlooked in many cases; or when perceived it shall make little impression on them. Even in such minds, however, the idea of right and wrong still finds a place, and the understanding applies it, though not perhaps always correctly, to particular instances of human conduct. There is no reason to believe that any mind, possessing ordinary endowments, those degrees of reason and intelligence which nature usually bestows, is destitute of this idea, or fails altogether to apply it to its own acts, and those of others. But whence come these ideas and perceptions; their origin? How is it, why is it, that we pronounce an act right or wrong, when once fairly apprehended? How come we by these notions? The fact is admitted; the explanations vary. By one class of writers our ideas of this nature have been ascribed to education and fashion; by another, to legal restriction, human or divine. Others again, viewing these ideas as the offspring of nature, have assigned them either to the operation of a special sense, given for this specific purpose, as the eye for vision; or to the joint action of certain associated emotions; while others regard them as originating in an exercise of judgment, and others still as natural intuitions of the mind, or reason exercised on subjects of a moral nature. The main question is, are these ideas natural, or artificial and acquired? If the latter, are they the result of education, or of legal restraint? If the former, are they to be referred to

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