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Minds Behind the BrainA history of the pioneers and their discoveries$
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Stanley Finger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.001.0001

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Franz Joseph Gall: The Cerebral Organs of Mind

Franz Joseph Gall: The Cerebral Organs of Mind

Chapter:
(p.119) 9 Franz Joseph Gall: The Cerebral Organs of Mind
Source:
Minds Behind the Brain
Author(s):

Stanley Finger (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181821.003.0009

During the final decades of the 18th century, many scientists were trying to associate bodily features with personality characteristics. In particular, physiognomy, the art of judging character from facial features, became very popular at this time. Franz Joseph Gall chose to focus on the brain itself. By 1792 he was convinced that the cerebral cortex must be composed of many different specialized organs. Four years later he was giving public courses promoting the idea that the development of the different cerebral organs is reflected in the pattern of bumps on the overlying skull. Although he believed head size could be a good indicator of overall mental power, Gall was convinced that this measure revealed nothing about how the faculties of mind are organized. Like Emanuel Swedenborg before him, Gall surmised that the frontal lobes must house man's greatest attainments and social characteristics. This chapter focuses on Gall's work and theories on brain and skull, censorship of his doctrines in Austria, and his views on phrenology.

Keywords:   Franz Joseph Gall, Emanuel Swedenborg, mind, cerebral cortex, brain, skull, phrenology, Austria, cerebral organs

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