Phrenology (from φρήν, the mind, and λόγος, a discourse), an empirical science, which claims to read the mental peculiarities of individuals by means of the exterior developments of the skull. It had its origin with Franz Joseph Gall, a physician of Germany, and was greatly extended by Dr. Spurzheim, of the same country, and by George and Andrew Combe, of Scotland. In this country it has been chiefly popularized by the late L.N. and O.S. Fowler. There is a sprightly periodical, called the Phrenological Journal, published in New York, devoted to its advocacy. In accordance with its theory of the special functions of particular portions of the brain, it has mapped out the cranium into various "organs," as amativeness, philoprogenitiveness, etc., in the animal order; ideality, veneration, etc., in the aesthetic and moral; figure, time, tune, etc., in the perceptive, and so on. It has largely been used by itinerant lecturers as a method of indicating the character of unknown persons, somewhat after the fashion of fortune-telling. Its claims to scientific value are not generally admitted by sound physiologists and mental philosophers, as neither its craniological nor its psychological theory and analysis agree with the best setted principles of either of those departments of self-knowledge. Its theological bearings are decidedly materialistic. For a fuller exposition the reader is referred to the works of the writers above cited. SEE ALSO PSYCHOLOGY.

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