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The Mismeasure of Man Gould PDF
The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould is a book that is concerned with how to rank people into groups on the basis of intelligence in a manner that is meaningful. Since intelligence is an abstraction about the human brain, Gould feels that it is possible to rank humans on this basis. The author, a paleontologist with a statistical background, analyzes data within a historical context and combines his skill as a scientist with his concern as a historian when looking at the issue of biological determinism. He looks at what they did right and what they did wrong in measuring human intelligence. Certain groups are always ranked on the bottom, and this is used to justify the social ordering.
The errors committed in measuring the skulls led to improper conclusions about brain size and intelligence and meant discrimination for various disadvantaged groups that were ranked at the bottom. The Mismeasure of Man from BookRags. More summaries and resources for teaching or studying The Mismeasure of Man. Why spend money on them if it is innate is the way the argument goes. Since intelligence is an abstraction about the human brain, Gould feels that it is possible to rank humans on this basis. Read more from the Study Guide. The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould is a book that is concerned with how to rank people into groups on the basis of intelligence in a manner that is meaningful.
Biological determinism is analyzed in discussions of craniometry and psychological testing , the two principal methods used to measure intelligence as a single quantity. According to Gould, these methods possess two deep fallacies. The book received many positive reviews in the literary and popular press, but the reviews in scientific journals were, for the most part, highly critical. In , a second edition was released. The Mismeasure of Man is a critical analysis of the early works of scientific racism which promoted "the theory of unitary, innate, linearly rankable intelligence "—such as craniometry , the measurement of skull volume and its relation to intellectual faculties. Gould alleged that much of the research was based largely on racial and social prejudices of the researchers rather than their scientific objectivity; that on occasion, researchers such as Samuel George Morton — , Louis Agassiz — , and Paul Broca — , committed the methodological fallacy of allowing their personal a priori expectations to influence their conclusions and analytical reasoning.
PLoS Biol 14 4 : e This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Stephen Jay Gould famously used the work of Samuel George Morton — to illustrate how unconscious racial bias could affect scientific measurement. Morton had published measurements of the average cranial capacities of different races, measurements that Gould reanalyzed in an article in Science [ 1 ] and then later in his widely read book The Mismeasure of Man [ 2 ].