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summaries:ziegler [2013/04/10 11:04]
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 +====== Joseph Ziegler, Heredity and Physiognomy ======
 +###
 +Physiognomy,​ the science which causally links bodily shape and men-
 +tal characteristics and personality traits should be a natural locus for
 +hereditary thought. This paper scans key contributions to this science
 +from 1200 to 1500 placing the emphasis on assertions regarding heredity
 +and parental transmission of traits. It emphasises the highly materialistic approach adopted by medieval philosophers and physicians when seeking
 +to explain the linkage between bodily shape and personality traits. The
 +physiognomers regarded the physical context at the period of conception
 +and the early embryonic stage as a crucial factor determining bodily
 +shape and character. But at the same time this paper shows that there was
 +a lack of any systematic discussion of ethnicity (physiognomy of groups),
 +or of parental transmission of bodily form and character. Medieval and
 +early renaissance physiognomy was highly materialistic yet utterly individualistic and regarded every case as independent from the influence of
 +family or ethnos.
 +###