Pannomial Fragments

Chapter IV.

AXIOMS.
§1. Axioms of Mental Pathology---a necessary ground for all legislative arrangements.

By an axiom of mental pathology, considered as a ground for a legislative arrangement, understand a proposition expressive of the consequences in respect of pleasure or pain or both, found by experience to result from certain sorts of occurrences, and in particular from such in which human agency bears a part: in other words, expressive of the connexion between such occurrences as are continually taking place, or liable to take place, and the pleasures and pains which are respectively the results of them.

Practical uses of these observations, two:---1. With regard to pleasures, the learning how to leave them undisturbed, and protected against disturbance---(for as to the giving increase to them by the power of the legislator to anything beyond a very inconsiderable amount, it is neither needful nor possible;) 2. With regard to pains, the learning how on each occasion to minimize the amount of them in respect of magnitude and number---number of the individuals suffering under them---magnitude of the suffering in the case of each individual.

Arithmetic and medicine---these are the branches of art and science to which, in so far as the maximum of happiness is the object of his endeavours, the legislator must look for his means of operation:---the pains or losses of pleasure produced by a maleficent act correspond to the symptoms produced by a disease.

Experience, observation, and experiment--these are the foundations of all well-grounded medical practice: experience, observation and experiment---such are the foundations of all well-grounded legislative practice. In the case of both functionaries, the subject-matter of operation and the plan of operation is accordingly the same---the points of difference these:---In the case of the medical curator, the only individual who is the subject-matter of the operations performed by him, is the individual whose sufferings are in question, to whom relief is to be administered. In the case of the legislator, there are no limits to the description of the persons to whom it may happen to be the subject-matter of the operations performed by him.

By the medical curator no power is possessed other than that which is given either by the patient himself, or in case of his inability, by those to whose management it happens to him to be subject:---by the legislatorial curator, power is possessed applicable to all persons, without exception, within his field of service; each person being considered in his opposite capacities---namely, that of a person by whom pleasure or pain, or both, may be experienced, and that of a person at whose hands pleasure or pain, or both, may be experienced.

Axioms of corporal pathology may be styled those most extensively applicable positions or say propositions, by which statement is made of the several sorts of occurrences by which pleasure or pain are or have place in the human body:---as also, the results observed to follow from the performance of such operations as have been performed, and the application made of such subject-matters as have been applied for the purpose of giving increase to the aggregate of pleasure, or causing termination, alleviation, or prevention, to have place in regard to pain.

Axioms of mental pathology may be styled those most commonly applicable propositions by which statement is made of the several occurrences by which pleasure or pain is made to have place in the human mind:---as also the results observed to follow from the performance of such operations as have been performed, and the application of such subject-matters as have been applied for the purpose of effecting the augmentation of the aggregate of the pleasures, or the diminution of the aggregate of the pains, by the termination, alleviation, or prevention of them respectively, when individually considered.

Security---subsistence---abundance---equality---i. e. minimization of inequality:---by these appellatives, denomination has been given to the particular ends which stand next in order to the universal, and the greatest happiness of the greatest number. This being admitted, these are the objects which will be in view in the formation of the several axioms of pathology which present themselves as suitable to the purpose of serving as guides to the practice of the legislatorial curator.

Unfortunately, on this occasion, the imperfection of language has produced an embarrassment. which it does not seem to be in the power of language altogether to remove: all that can be done, is to lessen and alleviate it. Subsistence---abundance---equality,---these three immediately subordinate ends are conversant about the same matter; to wit, the matter of wealth. But security, besides a matter of its own, is conversant with that same matter, with which, as above, they are conversant; to wit, the matter of wealth: security for the matter of wealth—or say, to each individual, security for that portion of the matter of wealth which at the time in question belongs to him, and is called his. Security is accordingly security against all such maleficent acts by which any portion of the matter of wealth which ought to be at the disposal of the individual in question, is prevented from being at his disposal at the time in question. Now, the not having at his disposal at the time in question a certain portion of the matter of wealth, is indeed one efficient cause of pain to the individual in question, be he who he may, but it is but one out of several. In addition to the matter of wealth, sources of pleasure, and of exemption from pain, are certain others which have been found reducible under the following denomitions; to wit, power, reputation, and condition in life:---condition in life, to wit, in so far as, reference had to the individual whose it is, the effect is considered as beneficial---this complex subject-matter including in it the three subject-matters above mentioned---that is to say, the matter of wealth, or in two words, power and reputation.

Correspondent to these several subject-matters of security are so many classes of offences---of maleficent acts, by the performance of which such security is disturbed. Offences affecting property---offences affecting power---offences affecting reputation---offences affecting condition in life.

But all these subject-matters are, with reference to the individual in question, distinct from him, and exterior to him;---and in a more immediate way---and otherwise than through the medium of any of these out works, he stands exposed to be made to suffer pain, as well of mind as of body, by the agency of every other individual, in whose instance a motive adequate to the purpose of producing an act by which it will be inflicted, has place. Thus, then, in addition to offences affecting property---offences affecting power offences affecting reputation---offences affecting condition in life,---we have offences affecting person considered with reference to its two distinguishable parts, body and mind.

So many of these classes of maleficent acts, so many branches of security: in which list, as being the most obviously and highly important, and most simple in the conception presented by it security against maleficent acts affecting person---more shortly, security for person, presents itself as claiming to occupy the first place; after which, security for property, and so forth, as above.


[Pannomial Fragments, Chapter III] [Pannomial Fragments, Chapter IV §2]