Phrenology

Phrenology claims to be a science in which the relation of the functions of mind to the material of the brain substance is observed. It asserts that just as speech, taste, touch, &c., have their centres in certain convolutions of the brain, so have benevolence, firmness, conscientiousness, &c., and that by studying the configuration of the brain, as indicated by that of the skull, a man's character may be approximately discovered. As a science it is usually discredited, and held to be unsupported by physiology, anatomy, and pathology. It is held as strongly militating against its claims that it takes no account of the convolutions of the brain that lie on the base of the skull. Its originators were Gall, Spurzheim, and Andrew and George Combe.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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