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Francis Galton and Phrenology

Fancher, Raymond E. (1993) Francis Galton and Phrenology. In Proceedings TENNET IV, Montreal, Canada.

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Abstract

Although Francis Galton was disdainful of phrenology in his later life, his correspondence shows that he was quite knowledgeable about the subject as a young man, and apparently took it seriously. At the age of 27, following a disappointingly mediocre academic career, he consulted a professional phrenologist who told him his natural abilities were more suited to practical than to purely academic concerns. Shortly thereafter Galton embarked on an African exploration that launched his career as a public figure. It appears probable that this experience helped consolidate Galton's convictions about the importance of innate limitations to every person's abilities - limitations which he later came to see as hereditary.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:Chronology > 19th Century
Geography > Europe
History > Biography
Psychology > Phrenology/Physiognomy
ID Code:121
Deposited By:Fancher, Raymond
Deposited On:05 December 2002