Franz Joseph Gall

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gall, Franz Joseph


Born Mar. 9, 1758, in Tiefenbrunn, Austria; died Aug. 22, 1828, in Montrouge near Paris. Austrian physician and anatomist. Founder of phrenology.

On the basis of anatomical research and numerous observations of various groups of people, Gall came to the conclusion that the centers of mental life were concentrated not in the ventricles of the brain, as was generally believed at that time, but in the cerebral convolutions. His anatomic works were based on experiments. At the same time, the classification of mental capacities proposed by him was completely arbitrary. However arbitrary were the ideas of Gall on the location of mental functions in different parts of the cerebral hemispheres, the idea of the location of mental functions in itself represented an important step forward in psychological theory. Gall assumed that variations in cerebral convolutions must be revealed on the outer form of the skull—its bumps, by means of which the mental capacities of a man could be judged. These ideas were the foundation of phrenology, which gained tremendous popularity in the 19th century. Physiological research has proved phrenology untenable.


Iaroshevskii, M. G. Istoriia psikhologii. Moscow, 1966. Chapter 7.
Fraisse, P., and J. Piaget [comps.]. Eksperimental’naia psikhologiia: Sb. st., vol. 1. Moscow, 1966. Chapter 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Il suffit de penser ici, entre autres, a Franz Joseph Gall et sa pseudo science : la phrenologie, a Georges Vacher de Lapouge et sa theorie raciste des hommes, a Gobineau et son [beaucoup moins que] Essai sur l'inegalite des races humaines[beaucoup plus grand que], et plus recemment, a Fukuyama et son idee de la fin de l'Histoire, a Huntington et le [beaucoup moins que]Choc des civilisations[beaucoup plus grand que].
Many were commissioned by the London Phrenological Society, whose founders Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) and Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776-1832), devised a system for assessing a person's mental capabilities by studying the shape of their skull.
In the 19th century, the German anatomist Franz Joseph Gall identified areas he thought responsible for poetry, murder and so on.
Franz Joseph Gall (circa 1810), a highly competent neuroanatomist, asserted that bumps and depressions on the skull reflected the underlying development or lack thereof of brain matter.
She offers richly detailed backstories about genetics and personality science, from Gregor Mendel's pea plants to Franz Joseph Gall's early efforts to read people's traits by touching the bumps on their skulls.
Dr Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), a German doctor, founded craniology, a would-be science later called phrenology.
Attempts to explain criminal behaviour on the basis of certain physical characteristics can be traced back to the work of the German physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1825) and his direct academic descendant, Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909).
This dubious practice of identifying personality character-istics based on the bumps and ridges of the human skull became a popular science in the late 1700s based on the theo-ries of Franz Joseph Gall. One of Gall's students Johann Spurzheim expanded on Gall's original ideas taking phrenology out of hard science and placing it firmly in the field of popular culture.
The authority of human nature: The Schadellehre of Franz Joseph Gall. Br J Hist Sci 2002; 35:17-42.
Developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall around 1800, phrenology became extremely popular in the 19th century.
This idea was, perhaps, best manifested when, in the early 19th century, German physiologist Franz Joseph Gall founded phrenology.
In 1841 Hubert Lauvergne, a follower of the phrenologist Franz Joseph Gall, argued that contemporary Greeks bore the proud face and skull of ancient Greece, while the "immutability of the Jewish type" proved their degeneracy (p.