HjemGrupperSnakMereZeitgeist
Søg På Websted
På dette site bruger vi cookies til at levere vores ydelser, forbedre performance, til analyseformål, og (hvis brugeren ikke er logget ind) til reklamer. Ved at bruge LibraryThing anerkender du at have læst og forstået vores vilkår og betingelser inklusive vores politik for håndtering af brugeroplysninger. Din brug af dette site og dets ydelser er underlagt disse vilkår og betingelser.
Hide this

Resultater fra Google Bøger

Klik på en miniature for at gå til Google Books

The Mismeasure of Man af Stephen J Gould
Indlæser...

The Mismeasure of Man (original 1981; udgave 1996)

af Stephen J Gould (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,579178,242 (4.09)3
When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits.And yet the idea of innate limits--of biology as destiny--dies hard, as witness the attention devoted tonbsp;The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."… (mere)
Medlem:bpmckenna86
Titel:The Mismeasure of Man
Forfattere:Stephen J Gould (Forfatter)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1996), Edition: Revised and Expanded, 448 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Detaljer om værket

The Mismeasure of Man [Revised & Expanded] af Stephen Jay Gould (1981)

Indlæser...

Bliv medlem af LibraryThing for at finde ud af, om du vil kunne lide denne bog.

Der er ingen diskussionstråde på Snak om denne bog.

» Se også 3 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
I started reading this book based a friend's recommendation after a discussion about science and politics. Going into it, I understood it to be two things:

  • An argument against the use of science to "prove" preconceived notions, in particular about the supposedly innate cognitive abilities of different races

  • A larger look at how it's possible to "fight science with science" (my phrase)


Given the binary option of saying whether I think Gould is successful in achieving his stated goals, I'd have to say yes. I think that, overall, he compellingly argues that some scientists are disingenuous, or even at times outright deceptive, and use scientific knowledge and techniques to draw unwarranted conclusions that bolster their biases and prejudices. He also shows how a scientist who relies on "good" methodology to gather "objective" data can still suffer bias, but that such data can, at least, be re-examined later. ("Objectivity must be defined as fair treatment of data, not absence of preference." [p. 36])

My general criticism of Gould is that as much as he points at other people, he doesn't point at himself. Time after time, he lambastes various scientists for failing to see "obvious" problems with their data, techniques, hypotheses, etc. However, Gould has several planks in his own eye.

Political Bias: Gould is unequivocally leftist, and it shows. That would be fine, in and of itself, if he followed the same advice that he gives to all the dead scientists he pillories...but alas. In the Introduction to the Revised Edition, Gould says he would respect Charles Murray more if he admitted his conservative bias in [b:The Bell Curve|223556|The Bell Curve Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life |Richard J. Herrnstein|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348155395s/223556.jpg|216508] (p. 37-38). To his credit, Gould does discuss his own (politically) liberal history and leanings. However, throughout the book, Gould pokes at political conservatism, making various claims about their motives and intentions with regard to furthering arguments about hereditary intelligence, while completely ignoring similar criticisms of the left. The frequent jibes and potshots at conservatism give the reader a sense of a broad, historical arc in which conservatives, and only conservatives, have tried to foist their ideas on a broader public using (capital-S) Science! There are many places where Gould could equally recriminate leftist ideas, such as when referring to the evils of eugenics or discussing the desire to create a sort of workers' caste system based on "intelligence." Whether he disregards such opportunities intentionally or because he is blind to them seems irrelevant, but the fact of his disregard is, ironically, very telling.

Disclaimer: I am a libertarian, but I grew up in a (very) conservative home. Perhaps, because of my background, I am more attuned to criticism against conservatism than other political ideas. If I am misstating Gould's lack of criticism of the left, I am happy to be corrected in the comments to my review.

Factual squishiness: Gould is a good story teller, but after reading some others' critiques about his book, I'm not sure if "good story" equals "good history." That said, in a 1983 review of the first edition of Mismeasure, Bernard Davis points to some problems with Gould's analysis of various scientific studies — problems like completely ignoring things that would refute Gould's arguments. Other reviews point out problems not just with Gould's history, but with his science as well, such as John B. Carroll's contradiction of Gould's claims related to factor analysis, g and "reification." Furthermore is the recent study by Jason E. Lewis et al claiming that Gould was largely wrong in his derision of Morton's skull analysis.

Now, I admit that I don't have the scientific or historical chops to know whether Gould or his critics are right. However, I do think there is enough evidence to show that Gould's claims are, at best, overstated. (At worst, they're straw men.) Ultimately, I can't take Gould at his word any more than the other scientists.

Final thoughts:The problems outlined above notwithstanding, I do think Gould is somewhat successful in his point about the nature of scientific inquiry. That others can go back and review his claims (and correct them where necessary), despite his biases, seems quite obvious, in fact.

However, I disagree with others who have said that this "larger" point supersedes the issues prevalent throughout the book. If Gould makes his point, it is ironically, and not intentionally, so. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
In the updated version of The mismeasure of man, Stephen Jay Gould debunks race science, beginning with measurement of skulls and body types to IQ tests and finally to a discussion of The bell curve (which I must admit I have not read). As a Darwin scholar and professor, he uses the mathematics of factor analysis to show fallacies in each of the subjects along with many illustrations. He also defends the original intent of the Binet IQ test, which was to point out children that could be helped by teachers. All of Gould's conclusions are obvious - the scientist/sociologist/psychologist sees what he wants to see and comes to the conclusions that best fit his own world view. Gould himself believes the "out of Africa" theory that life began there since the genetic diversity is greatest on that continent. But he has the firm belief that there is no difference in intelligence between races, no one race superior or inferior.

Gould does not use footnotes to cite his works, but instead uses the scientific style of intext notes. Footnotes are for clarification or for additional material. There is an exhaustive bibliography and an excellent index. And, if your eyes glaze over in the mathematical sections, they can easily be skipped without losing the continuity of the book.

An important book on scientific racism and its roots which will be on reading lists for years to come. ( )
  fdholt | Jul 8, 2019 |
This book is frustratingly hard to rate.

On the one hand it disturbingly documents the history of "scientific" racism/prejudice re: temperament/intelligence/etc.

On the other hand it is frustratingly out of date, even as a historical source; pages and pages are used to 'disprove' e.g. craniology or the validity/goodness of forced sterilization which presumably no one believes in anymore, outside of some kooks who are not going to read this book.

On the one hand it documents the invalid attempts to 'prove' the existence and measurement of g by factor analysis and testing done in the 1910's, and the role of this proof of the supposed racial inferiority of e.g. blacks to justify the... racial inferiority of blacks.

On the other hand, the book doesn't address more recent research on the heritability of g (than the early 1900's!) or non-racial/racist dimensions of this (e.g. Gould leaves the unwary reader with the impression that all research on heritability is race/racism or class based.)

On the one hand a questioning of (some aspects of) g, heritability of g, evolutionary/social psychology/biology is given (this is the argument/question of the existence of modules/a multitude of evolved behaviors, for those who are at least somewhat familiar with these debates.)

On the other hand, Gould's answer is literally that the mind is like a general purpose computer (he uses this as an analogy at one point, but then also states twice that the mind is a 'general' thinking device, which is how it can so adaptably implement different cultures.) But this is problematic, to say the least, if there is no such thing as general intelligence.

All in all, a passionate argument against racism, including the (highly, highly likely to be) invalid claim that races are separable by intelligence/IQ/g/etc. But far from perfect and showing its age quite a bit. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Aug 28, 2017 |
In The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould examines the manner in which scientists described intelligence as “unitary, linearly rankable, [and] innate” in order to argue for social programs or against aiding the disadvantaged (pg. 23). He combines his knowledge as a paleontologist with that of a social historian in exploring how these ideas developed and changed over time. Gould’s book “discusses, in historical perspective, a principal theme within biological determinism: the claim that worth can be assigned to individuals and groups by measuring intelligence as a single quantity. Two major sources of data have supported this theme: craniometry (or measurement of the skull) and certain styles of psychological testing” (pg. 52). He works to “criticize the myth that science itself is an objective enterprise, done properly only when scientists can shuck the constraints of their culture and view the world as it really is” (pg. 53). Indeed, beyond summarizing the scientific concepts, he spends a great deal of time demonstrating how scientists could not be truly objective and always reflected the concerns of their time.
Gould begins with an examination of those who focused on physical differences in their quest for biological determinism. He writes, “Racial prejudice may be as old as recorded human history, but its biological justification imposed the additional burden of intrinsic inferiority upon despised groups, and precluded redemption by conversion or assimilation. The ‘scientific’ argument has formed a primary line of attack for more than a century” (pg. 63). Those performing scientific measurements of the differences in skull size, like Samuel George Morton, presented all of their data in order to prove that they hadn’t altered it. Gould finds their flaw, writing, “The prevalence of unconscious finagling, on the other hand, suggests a general conclusion about the social context of science. For if scientists can be honestly self-deluded to Morton’s extent, then prior prejudice may be found anywhere, even in the basics of measuring bones and toting sums” (pg. 88). These biological determinists later merged their work with the worldview Darwin presented. Gould writes, “Evolution and quantification formed an unholy alliance; in a sense, their union forged the first powerful theory of ‘scientific’ racism – if we define ‘science’ as many do who misunderstand it most profoundly: as any claim apparently backed by copious numbers” (pg. 106). This led “any investigator, convinced beforehand of a group’s inferiority, can select a small set of measures to illustrate its greater affinity with apes” (pg. 118). Their own biases critically shaped their results.
Of IQ tests, Gould writes, “The hereditarian interpretation of IQ arose in America, largely through prosetylization of the three psychologists – H. H. Goddard, L. M. Terman, and R. M. Yerkes – who translated and popularized the tests in this country” (pg. 29). The founder, Alfred Binet, sought to create a system whereby schoolchildren could receive a diagnosis and necessary assistance, but American social scientists used it to differentiate people into hierarchies based on an assumption of innate intelligence. E.G. Boring, working with the Army under Yerkes, tried to prove the hereditary hypothesis of intelligence using 160,000 cases. Of his effort, Gould writes, “Boring began with the same hereditarian assumption that invalidated all the results: that the tests, by definition, measure innate intelligence” (pg. 246). While his results were invalid, they still had an impact, shaping ideas that supported Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s decision in Buck v. Bell (1927), which justified forced sterilization.
Looking forward, Gould writes of biological determinism, “Resurgences of biological determinism correlate with episodes of political retrenchment, particularly with campaigns for reduced government spending on social programs, or at times of fear among ruling elites, when disadvantaged groups sow serious social unrest or even threaten to usurp power” (pg. 28). He does, however see worth in debunking these old theories. Gould writes, “If it is to have any enduring value, sound debunking must do more than replace one social prejudice with another. It must use more adequate biology to drive out fallacious ideas” (pg. 352). He continues, “I believe that modern biology provides a model standing between the despairing claim that biology has nothing to teach us about human behavior and the deterministic theory that specific items of behavior are genetically programed [sic] by the action of natural selection” (pg. 357). ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jul 20, 2017 |
unfortunately a largely discredited work. ( )
  clarkland | May 9, 2017 |
Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
ingen anmeldelser | tilføj en anmeldelse

» Tilføj andre forfattere (3 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Gould, Stephen Jayprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ros, JoandomènecTraductormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

Belongs to Publisher Series

Is an expanded version of

Du bliver nødt til at logge ind for at redigere data i Almen Viden.
For mere hjælp se Almen Viden hjælpesiden.
Kanonisk titel
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Originaltitel
Alternative titler
Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Personer/Figurer
Vigtige steder
Vigtige begivenheder
Beslægtede film
Priser og hædersbevisninger
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Indskrift
Tilegnelse
Første ord
Citater
Sidste ord
Oplysning om flertydighed
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
This new and expanded edition (1996) contains a new introduction and 5 more chapters, increasing to 432 pages (from 352 pages) plus 10 more index pages. The original chapters have been corrected and brought up to date but are essentially the same. Please do not combine as the works are sufficently different.
Forlagets redaktører
Bagsidecitater
Originalsprog
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Canonical DDC/MDS

Henvisninger til dette værk andre steder.

Wikipedia på engelsk (2)

When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits.And yet the idea of innate limits--of biology as destiny--dies hard, as witness the attention devoted tonbsp;The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."

No library descriptions found.

Beskrivelse af bogen
Haiku-resume

Quick Links

Populære omslag

Vurdering

Gennemsnit: (4.09)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 8
2.5 1
3 38
3.5 6
4 86
4.5 10
5 81

W.W. Norton

2 udgaver af dette værk er udgivet af W.W. Norton.

Udgaver: 0393314251, 0393039722

Tantor Media

Een udgave af denne bog er udgivet af Tantor Media.

» Information om udgiveren

Er det dig?

Bliv LibraryThing-forfatter.

 

Om | Kontakt | LibraryThing.com | Brugerbetingelser/Håndtering af brugeroplysninger | Hjælp/FAQs | Blog | Butik | APIs | TinyCat | Efterladte biblioteker | Tidlige Anmeldere | Almen Viden | 157,086,053 bøger! | Topbjælke: Altid synlig