Carpenter begins letter by thanking Spencer for ‘the kind present of your “Principles of Psychology”, a copy of which has been forwarded to me'

‘I should have applied myself to its perusal long since, had my mind been free to grapple with its difficult problems; as many of your articles in the West….[illegible], and especially that on the “Universal Postulate” have impressed me with a high opinion of your capacity for dealing with such questions. But I have found myself so bewildered by the contrariety of doctrines which I encounter when I attempt to invade the province of Metaphysics, that I have thought it much better to limit myself to the physiological view of the phenomena of mind; and even then I can only follow out now and then, when I can ….. [illegible] my attention to it. I am quite aware that you have, more than most Psychologists, connected your Metaphysics with Physiology; and I therefore expect to find much that will be of use to me, whenever I may be in a position to carry on my enquiries in a Psychological direction.’