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Talk:Phrenology

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Comment[edit]

In my massage school, there was a phrenological diagram included in the background of a poster about Craniosacral therapy--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:04, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Dramatization of my theoretical reaction. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:26, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I raised a stink over it, but my professors didn't seem to care. They would've accepted any crack theory so long as it's ridiculed by the modern scientific mainstream. They all had some sort of unifying pangenic alternative medicine theory where everything worked so long as it fit the bill of holistic science.--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:34, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Sounds quack-tacular. It's funny because in psychology, any articles about the latest pseudo-psychology will inevitably be titled "The New Phrenology." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:38, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Editing needed[edit]

This page looks pretty ugly and could used some editing. The article is relatively nuanced and not bad at all.

As a general comment, academic phrenology often seems to have been more of a "failed science" than a "pseudoscience". The principles were fairly well laid out and at times rigorously tested e.g., Gall's "The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System in General," in which the model is specified and techniques for investigation are detailed. Gall's work was only "pseudoscience" in the way that Thomson's pudding model of the atom was.PBJsandwich (talk) 16:12, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Phrenology being inherently racist as opposed to having racist ideas shoehorned in[edit]

Okay, let's take this here instead of edit warring. Phrenology is the idea that your personality influences the shape of your head (or the other way around, I'm not too sure). How is that inherently racist? Sure racists would later add quite a few racist ideas to the field, but the nazis also added racist ideas to the field of genetics. Does that make genetics an inherently racist field?Skadooshbag (talk) 05:39, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

the article does not say it is inherently racist at any point. it mentions briefly it was popular for some racist theories about morality and intelligence. that's pretty much all it has to say on its links with racists. your addition is clunky and unnecessary. AMassiveGay (talk) 06:07, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
The amount of people who've contradicted me on the grounds that "no it is inherently racist." Has a different implication.Skadooshbag (talk) 17:45, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
they would not have got the notion of it being inherently racist from this article though. whatever benefits this field gave to credible science, the meat and potatoes is concerned with physical parameters of your head beinga an indicator of things like morality and intelligence. we know it is pseudoscience and we know that even without being unabashed Nazis, these ideas were popularised by people with the notion of white European peoples as being the superior peoples. it was taken for granted. whatever direction anyone had in mind for phrenology went through the filter of this as what the ideal looks like. skulls of none white people considered savages, as aboriginal Australians were so thought for example, now you have a template for what negative qualities you associate with that group. they used shoddy methodology to conform existing biases. poor science, not Nazi style racism, but reflected the inherent racism of the time. it lent itself well for actual racists of the kind looking for excuses to exploit or malign different peoples with a veneer of scientific respectability. people doing the science properly soon saw little worth in it, but not before people were using it along with other fields of scientific racism to justify slavery and empire sowing the seeds for the rape of nanking, the holocaust, genocides in the congo, in Rwanda. atrocities that have shaped our world, some occurring well after phrenology's heyday. it need not be used with racist intent if you wanted the mere palmistry style pseudoscience, but the association with nazis, slavery, genocides, segration, apartheids - its an association that makes all else it might have to offer pale into insignificance. if not inherent, then its been so tainted by what people have used it to justify, you'd have to question what you'd wish to gain from what would still be a pseudoscience if you could view it more neutrally.
That's exactly what I'm saying.Skadooshbag (talk) 22:45, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
I mean, what argument could you be making where racism being inherent would invalidate it? determining ones hat size is pretty much all you could say that wasn't based on nonsense, and I am sure there racist fuckwits out there who would claim some link race, choice of hat, and how it shows immigrants from x are rapists.
the article is not especially well fleshed out, if its of interest to you feel free to add to the more neutral aspects. but your addition as it stands now, is unnecessary, and if the racism aspect was more fleshed out, would not be enough for the point it makes. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:01, 15 May 2020 (UTC)