Phrenology (Gr. mind, and discourse), a system of philosophy of the human mind, founded on the physiology of the brain. As a system, it had its origin in the ideas and researches of Franz Joseph Gall, a German physician. First announced by him in 1796, it began to attract attention in England about the year 1815. It was first distinctly introduced into the United States by Dr. Charles Caldwell of Kentucky, who studied under Gall, and who between 1821 and 1832 wrote and lectured on the subject, forming phrenological societies in the large cities. But the number of its adherents was small until the period of Dr. Spurzheim's lectures, chiefly in Boston, in 1832, and the commencement of a series of lectures and cranioscopic examinations by the brothers O. S. and L. N. Fowler in 1834. The lectures of Mr. George Combe in 1838-'40 contributed much to the general introduction of the new system; and still more the "Constitution of Man" and other well known works of the brothers Combe. Since that period the number of the advocates of phrenology appears to have been greatly increased, though many of its principles are still under discussion. - Phrenology aims to include the elements of both mind and brain, with their relations, and with consequent applications in respect to the development of the mental faculties, to the conduct of the individual and social life, to education, legislation, the arts, morals, and religion.
Hence, its subject matter embraces, first, a theory of psychology, and secondly, an organology, or view of the relations of cerebral parts or organs to the mental faculties; this, again, being divisible into organology proper and physiognomy in the broadest sense, or the knowing of the mental characteristics through signs, including cranioscopy (signs learned by examination of the cranium), temperaments, the features, and attitudes. It assumes that the value of all these, as signs of character, is based on a necessary correspondence, for every individual, first, between mind and brain, and secondly, between the brain on one hand and other parts of the physical organization, as well as the habits and conduct, on the other. Al-bertus Magnus, in the 13th century, divided the cranium into three regions, appropriating these, from before backward, to the Aristotelian faculties, judgment, imagination, and memory. Luigi Dolce, in a work on the memory (Venice, 1562), drew a chart of nine regions of the brain, answering to as many mental powers. Willis, and in 1784 Prochaska, especially advocated the doctrine of a division of the brain into organs of different mental faculties, though they did not attempt to localize such organs.
Gall's first special observation seems to have been that of a prominence of the eyes in all his schoolfellows who were noted for linguistic proficiency and memory of words. Following out the hints thus obtained, he arrived, as he believed, at the functions and locations of 27 organs of mental faculties, which he naturally enough named in view of their action, or in many instances of the extravagant and perverted action under which, in their extreme development, he often found them; hence such terms as instinct of murder, vanity, etc. Of these all but one were retained by his pupil Spurzheim, who found reasons for including in one the two supposed powers of language; and who then added to the remaining number, first, by distinguishing in Gall's faculty of the " sense of things " the two powers of individuality and eventuality; and secondly, by discovering the office and seat of conscientiousness, hope, wonder, size, weight, time, order, and inhabitiveness. In George Combe's enumeration, the last named faculty was replaced by concentrativeness; and he added the localities of love of life and alimentiveness, the probable existence of which had been admitted by Spurzheim. The latter set the example of naming the faculties with reference to their tranquil manifestation and supposed normal character; and in following out this principle he introduced a new terminology.
Dr. Vimont, Eobert Cox, J. T. Smith, and other transatlantic writers criticised portions of both the scheme of faculties and the location of organs, and proposed changes. The brothers Fowler, S. R. "Wells, and other American phrenologists admit still other faculties, increasing the number to 43; and they have changed again several of the names. The following is their latest classification (1875) of the faculties and organs which they regard as ascertained (the definitions, for the sake of condensation, being slightly modified in some instances), the whole arranged in four groups of affective and two of intellectual faculties, as follows:
(1.) Domestic Group: 1, amativeness - the sexual instinct, or impulse; A, conjugality - the pairing instinct, exclusive love of one; 2, parental love - love of offspring, love of young, or of pets; 3, friendship - the gregarious or social impulse, attachment to friends; 4, inhabitiveness - love of home and country, desire to locate, patriotism; 5, continuity - persistence of emotion or of thought, application, absorption in one thing.
(2.) Selfish Group: E, vitativeness - love and tenacity of life, dread of annihilation; 6, combativeness - impulse to resist and oppose, resoluteness, courage; 7, destructiveness - readiness to inflict pain, to destroy, or to exterminate, executiveness; 8, alimentiveness - appetite for food; F, bibitiveness - fondness for water or other beverages; 9, acquisitiveness - desire to possess and own, impulse of getting and hoarding; 10, secretiveness - instinct of reserve and evasion, cunning, policy; 11, cautiousness - sense of danger or evil, desire of safety, watchfulness; 12, appro-bativeness - love of approval or of praise, love of display, sense of reputation, ambition; 13, self-esteem - sense of self-appreciation and self-respect, dignity, pride; 14, firmness - tenacity of will and purpose, perseverance.
(3.) Moral Group: 15, conscientiousness - sense of right and truth, feeling of justice and obligation, integrity; 16, hope - sense of and happiness in future good, anticipation; 17, spirituality - sense of the unseen, faith [love of the marvellous, credulity]; 18, veneration - sense of Deity, adoration, worship; 19, benevolence - desire of human well-being, love of others, self-sacrifice.
(4.) Self-Perfecting Group: 20, constructiveness - instinct of building, ability to combine or construct [synthesis?]; 21, ideality - sense of the beautiful and perfect, of the pure and elegant, imagination (?); B, sublimity - love of the vast and grand, sense of the infinite; 22, imitation - ability to pattern after, copy, or mimic; 23, mirthfulness - sense of the absurd or ridiculous, wit, humor.
(1.) Perceptive Group: 24, individuality - perception of things or individual objects, curiosity to see; 25, form - perception of shape, or configuration, including features; 26, size - perception of dimension or magnitude, and quantity generally, sense of space; 27, weight - perception of effort or pressure, of force and resistance, of gravity and equilibrium; 28, color - perception of hues, tints, lights, and shades; 29, order - cognizance of arrangement, method, system; 30, calculation - cognizance of numbers, and their obvious relations; 31, locality - cognizance of place, and of situation; 82, eventuality - cognizance of events, occurrences, or facts; 33, time - cognizance of succession and duration; 34, tune - cognizance of melody and harmony; 35, language - cognizance and use of all signs of thought and feeling, words included, power of expression. (2.) Reflective Group: 36, causality - cognizance of dependence, and of efficiency, or the relation of effect to cause; 37, comparison - cognizance of resemblances, of identity and difference, discrimination, power of analysis and of criticism; C, human nature - discernment of character and motive; D, agreeableness - suavity, ability to conform, and to be in sympathy with those about one.
Dr. J. R. Buchanan has taught since 1842 the doctrine contained in his " System of Anthropology " (Cincinnati, 1854), which departs in many particulars from the received system; especially in greatly increasing the number of faculties by subdividing the brain, and in recognizing and claiming to localize, by the aid of certain assumed principles of impressibility, and chiefly in the under surfaces of the brain, faculties antagonistic to nearly or quite all those which may be termed the useful or noble; thus admitting regions of vice and crime, as well as of virtue and excellence. Dr. Carus of Dresden published a "New Cranioscopy" (Stuttgart, 1841), in which he divides the brain into a small number of regions, rather than into organs. Among those in the United States who have become known for the advocacy or the popularizing of phrenological principles, should also be mentioned Mr. J. S. Grimes, and Mr. Nelson Sizer, since 1849 connected with the Fowlers and S. R. Wells as a practical examiner, and contributor to the " Phrenological Journal," who has also written several works on the subject. - Confirmation of the Gallian system has been sought in the examination of crania of noted characters and of criminals, as well as of the skulls of animals; and extensive collections of these and other specimens have been made.
That of Dr. Gall contained of human crania, etc, 354; the Edinburgh museum has 463 natural specimens, and 380 artificial, the former including crania of various nations. Mr. Deville of London accumulated 5,450 pieces, 2,450 human specimens and 3,000 crania of animals; among the former were many of persons, of peculiar character. (Edinburgh "Phrenological Journal," vol. xiv., p. 32.) The remark last made applies also to the collection of the late firm of Fowler and Wells of New York, numbering about 4,000 pieces, including about 300 human skulls, 200 of animals, 500 casts or busts, and 3,000 portraits and drawings. Dr. Vimont of Paris accompanied his memoir for the French institute (1827), among other specimens, with 2,500 crania of animals, of 1,500 of which he had studied the habits. Dr. S. G. Morton of Philadelphia had collected in 1841 more than 1,000 crania, more than half of which were human, of many nations. Prof. Ferrier of King'.s college, London, has recently (1873) made some brilliant experiments upon the brains of cats, dogs, and other animals. The animal is put under the influence of chloroform, the skull is removed, and the brain exposed. He then applies the point of an electrode to the convolutions of the brain.
Its effect is to excite the functional activity of that part, and thereby to show what its real work is. It is supposed that this discovery will effect a revolution in the old physiology of the brain, and that the announcements of Gall and Spurzheim as to the functions of special parts of the brain may be verified. One of the chief results obtained by Dr. Ferrier is the belief that each convolution is a separate organ, although occasionally several may be conjoined for common work. He also finds that the great motion centres are situated in the front part of the brain. The result demonstrates that the nerves moving the muscles of the jaw are just above the ear, where the phrenologists place gustativeness. The royal society has voted a grant to Dr. Ferrier to carry out his experiments on monkeys. - See Spurzheim, "The Physiognomical System of D. Gall and Spurzheim " (London, 1815), " Outlines of the Physiognomical System" (1815), and "View of the Elementary Principles of Education" (Edinburgh, 1821); Gall, Anatomie et physiologie du systeme ner-veux (2d ed., 6 vols., Paris, 1822-5); George Combe, "Elements of Phrenology" (Boston, 1835), and "Lectures on Phrenology" (1836); O. S. Fowler, "Memory and Intellectual Improvement" (New York, 1841), "Hereditary Descent" (1843), and " Practical Phrenology " (1846); Laycock, "Mind and Brain" (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1860); Alexander Bain, "On the Study of Character, including an Estimate of Phrenology" (1861); and S. R. Wells, "Wedlock, or the Right Relation of the Sexes" (New York, 1869).