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The Mismeasure of Man (Revised & Expanded) Paperback – June 17, 1996
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Take for instance: "Gould can't hide his political agenda" -- ladies and gents, Mr. Gould does not even TRY to hide his politics. He put them up-front and center, and I believe he did so to further reenforce his key point that we are all inherently biased (no matter how much we might try to hide it or to convince ourselves that we're not) and that we absolutely cannot make the mistake of assuming that the "scientific" works we read are absolutely dispassionate, objective and impartial. Anybody who claims to be these things should be eyed with a small degree of skepticism; those who are outraged at the suggestion that they might be biased ought have that skepticism heaped upon them.
I could go on and on over the objections people raise about this book and respond like I did in the previous paragraph, or outright discount them (ie: quote from the book direct disproof of the criticism), but it would be tedious and redundant.
Whatever Gould's predispositions, whatever the extensiveness of modern research, he has made it clear and undeniable that there are some serious faults in the science of human intelligence and the reasoning which supports it. Furthermore, it's worth noting that Richard Dawkins -- quoted as being critical of Gould -- flatly rejects any concept of racial superiority.Read more ›
A few decades later, when Darwinism entered the mainstream, many known researchers were pushing purely hereditary systems of intelligence, proposing to sterilize mentally ill, or just "funny looking" people in order to prevent them from reproducing.
Finally, in the 20th century (and probably up until today) research has been focusing on devising test that will assess intelligence in a single number, nowadays called IQ.
These are the topics discussed in great detail in this book. Prof. Gould obviously took this issue seriously, and produced an amazing scope of research on the subject of measuring human intelligence. Actually, the book is so packed with information and facts, that it almost feels like a long scientific paper, which makes some portions burdensome to read. Along with presenting the history of intelligence testing in detail, Gould focuses on two important topics which are the main theme of the book.
One is the unavoidable skew and prejudice that inevitably seeps into many scientific researches, and more often than not reflects the cultural patterns of the era in which the research was conducted. For example, in the 19th century when craniometry was the leading "tool" to try and measure intelligence, many works were skewed by racial prejudice. Researches would, knowingly and unknowingly finagle data to try and "prove" that blacks are inherently inferior to whites, French are superior to Germans, Germans are superior to French, et cetera.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book that summarizes the history of human attempts to quantify “intelligence”. The book touches on craniometry and phrenology (the pseudoscientific study of the size and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christopher Sommers
The Dark Side of the Force is strong with this book, written by Sith Lord Gould.
As other posters have noted, the academic underpinnings of this book have now been... Read more
The late Stephen Gould left all humanity an indelible treasure, delivering us from faulty scientific junk.Published 6 months ago by spock
I first read Gould as his articles appeared in Natural History Magazine in the early 1980’s and thoroughly enjoyed them. Read morePublished 7 months ago by John Bell
As Gould points out, we all have our biases, so I will disclose mine up front. Race differences are more than just skin deep, and those differences extend to the human brain. Read morePublished 7 months ago by sciencedude
I had heard that this book was written to contest the book by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein – The Bell Curve. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This isn't a novel - it's an excellent academic book that I was assigned for an undergraduate class at UCLA. Read morePublished 8 months ago by David Hernandez