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The Principles And History Of Phrenology

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The Principles and History of Phrenology
Emily Ryhal
Palo Alto University

Abstract
Franz Joseph Gall created the main principles of phrenology, which was the first scientific theory of brain localization. His theories were based entirely on observation and natural philosophy. Phrenology was the study of associating an individual’s personality characteristics and mental abilities based on the shape of their skull. It was incomparably influential throughout the first half of the 19th century thanks to Gall and his many successors. Some of the main tenants of phrenology were later confirmed by scientific experiments and technology.

The Principles and History of Phrenology
Franz Joseph Gall created the first comprehensive theory of brain localization in 1796. Phrenology is a pseudoscientific theory that asserts an individual’s personality and mental capacities can be determined by the shape of their skull (Cooter, 1984). “Organology” was the original term that Gall used to describe his science; it was Gall’s follower, T.I.M Forster, who coined the term phrenology (Van Wyhe, 1999). Gall’s contemporary, Joseph Franz Spurzheim, was responsible for the dissemination of Gall’s ideas to the United Kingdom and the United States (Selby, 1993). Gall inspired many “egotistical” men to promulgate phrenology, and it “attracted such men because of its promise of superlative intellectual authority with minimal effort” (Van Wyhe, 1999). Phrenology
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