Book ID: CBB776528929

Gall, Spurzheim, and the Phrenological Movement: Insights and Perspectives (2021)


Eling, Paul (Editor)
Finger, Stanley (Editor)


Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 328
Language: English

During the 1790s in Vienna, German physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) came forth with a new doctrine dealing with mind, brain and behavior―one that could account for individual differences. He maintained that there are many independent faculties of mind, each associated with a separate part of the brain. He fine-tuned his ideas and published two sets of books presenting them after he and his assistant, Johann Gaspar Spurzheim, settled in Paris in 1807. Gall's ideas had many supporters but were controversial and unsettling to others. In particular, the opposition ridiculed his belief that skull features reflect the growth of specific, underlying cortical organs, and hence correlate with personality traits (i.e., his ‘bumpology’). Gall’s fundamental ideas about the mind and organization of the brain were debated across the globe, and they also began to be exploited by unscrupulous businessmen, ‘professors’ who ‘read skulls’ for a living. But, as some historians have shown, his ideas about mind, brain and behavior led to the modern neurosciences. The chapters collected in this volume provide new insights into Gall’s thinking and what Spurzheim did, and the faddish movement called ‘phrenology’, which originated as a science of humankind but became a popular source of entertainment. All chapters were originally published in various issues of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences.

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Authors & Contributors
Eling, Paul
Finger, Stanley
van Wyhe, John
Malabou, Catherine
Constable, Marianne
Davis, Whitney
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
British Journal for the History of Science
Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur
Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
University of California, Berkeley
Oxford University Press
Brain localization
Gall, Franz Joseph
Spurzheim, Johann Kaspar
Maine de Biran, François Pierre Gonthier
Descartes, René
Whytt, Robert
Jackson, John Hughlings
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
17th century
Great Britain

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