Navigation bar
  Home Start Previous page
 79 of 305 
Next page End 57
Intellectual Differences
responsibility, and knows that success depends on his own right judgment
and exertion, is replaced under a despotism by an indolent reliance upon
what its master may direct, and by a demoralising conviction that personal
advancement is best secured by solicitations and favour.
It is needless for me to speak here about the differences in intellectual
power between different men and different races, or about the
convertibility of genius as shown by different members of the same gifted
family achieving eminence in varied ways, as I have already written at
length on these subjects in Hereditary Genius and in Antecedents of
English Men of Science. It is, however, well to remark that during the
fourteen years that have elapsed since the former book was published,
numerous fresh instances have arisen of distinction being attained by
members of the gifted families whom I quoted as instances of heredity,
thus strengthening my arguments.
Anecdotes find their way into print, from time to timer of persons
whose visual memory is so clear and sharp as to present mental pictures
that may be scrutinised with nearly as much ease and prolonged attention
as if they were real objects. I became interested in the subject and made a
rather extensive inquiry into the mode of visual presentation in different
persons, so far as could be gathered from their respective statements. It
seemed to me that the results might illustrate the essential differences
between the mental operations of different men, that they might give some
clue to the origin of visions, and that the course of the inquiry might
reveal some previously unnoticed facts. It has done all this more or less,
and I will explain the results in the present and in the three following
It is not necessary to trouble the reader with my earlier tentative steps
to find out what I desired to learn. After the inquiry had been fairly started
it took the form of submitting a certain number of printed questions to a
large number of Previous page Top Next page