The Mismeasure of Man - American Polygeny and Craniometry before Darwin Summary & Analysis

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This chapter discusses the data that ranked individual by the size of their brains. This is one of the arguments used in biological determinism for the inferior status of the people ranked at the bottom of the hierarchy. The craniometry argument is the first scientific argument that has been offered and it first appeared in the early nineteenth century. Gould asks if the science added the legitimate data or did a desire for ranking lead to the questions and data to support a predetermined conclusion. What caused what?

Practitioners of racial ranking placed Indians under whites and black below Indians. Gould talks about two groups. He defines hard-liners as those who feel that blacks are inferior and therefore deserve the status of slave. The other group, or soft-liners, believe in the inferiority argument but also...

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This section contains 1,151 words
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