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phrenology, craniology

Term: phrenology, craniology
Literally meaning: «study of mind»
Origin: Anc Greek
φρην/phren(genitive:φρενός/phrenos) =mind, perception, conscience, heart (as emotional center),  diaphragm
>φράζω/phrazo(=consider, recommend, think)
>φημί/phemi(=show, declare, explain, reveal, present, consider
+(-λογία)/-logia(=logy, suffix meaning “study of”, “speech”, “discourse”) > λέω/leo (=speak).
κρανίον/cranion(=skull) >κραναός/cranaos(=rocky, hard, rough)

+(-λογία)/-logia(=logy, suffix meaning “study of”, “speech”, “discourse”) > λέω/leo (=speak).

In fact the first philosopher to locate mental faculties in the head was Aristoteles but the  first attempt to measure skull shape scientifically, was performed by the German physician  Franz Joseph Gall (1758–1828). Gall after examining the heads of a number of young pickpockets, found that many of them had bumps on their skull just above their ears and he suggested that these  bumps were associated with a tendency to steal, lie or deceive. Gall wrote in 1813 the relative book "The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System in General, and of the Brain in Particular, with Observations upon the possibility of ascertaining the several Intellectual and Moral Dispositions of Man and Animal, by the configuration of their Heads”. Gall claimed there are some 26 "organs" on the surface of the brain which affect the contour of the skull, including a "murder organ" present in murderers. At first Gall named the study of cranial hills and valleys "cranioscopy” but in 1815, Thomas Foster called  Gall’s work"phrenology" and the name was remained.  In the early 19th century phrenology was very popular in US and was highly praised by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Edison, Alfrend Russel Wallace and many others. Phrenology in 21 cent is considered as a pseudosciense although still  has its advocates.

Phrenology is a pseudoscience based on the concept that the shape and morphology  of one's skull are is associated  with a person's character and mental capacity and can be detected by visible inspection of the skull.

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