Chapter ID: CBB391179433

Reading through Deafness: Francis Galton and the Strange Science of Psychophysics (2017)


The second part, “Strange Bodies: Rethinking Physiology,” addresses considerations of the human body and its biological functions. Each of these essays examines how bodies could be made to perform in unusual and spectacular ways through science. Danielle Coriale’s piece examines Francis Galton’s use of psychophysics, the empirical study of the connection between the mind and body by measuring degrees of sensation. Coriale’s work brings to light an overlooked aspect of Galton’s science, one that recontextualizes and complicates his interest in eugenics. As she shows, in the 1890s, Galton’s deafness spurred him to examine how the imagination might supplement stimuli that acted on nerves that otherwise failed to produce sensation; he supported his investigations with examples of auditory imagery taken from nineteenth-century poetry. In addition to examining how scientific thinking can emerge at the intersection of personal and aesthetic experience, Coriale’s work offers an early instance of the body being posited as an entity that could be extended past its material limits. (From Introduction, pages 9-10)

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Book Lara Pauline Karpenko; Shalyn Rae Claggett (2016) Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age. unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Buss, Allan R.
Walter, Wolfgang
Waller, John C.
Fancher, Raymond E.
Gillham, Nicholas Wright
Brookes, Martin
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
British Journal for the History of Science
Oxford University Press
University Bielefeld
University of California, Santa Barbara
St. John's University (New York)
Open Book Publishers
Science and race
Science and literature
Mind and body
Galton, Francis
Clemens, Samuel Langhorne
Charles-Augustin Vandermonde
Soranus, of Ephesus
Fechner, Gustav Theodor
Great Britain
Leipzig (Germany)
Prague (Czechia)
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century

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