The Mismeasure of Man

The Mismeasure of Man

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by Stephen Jay Gould
     
 

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When published in 1981, "The Mismeasure of Man" was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the 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 to "The Bell Curve," whose arguments are here so effectively… See more details below

Overview

When published in 1981, "The Mismeasure of Man" was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the 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 to "The Bell Curve," whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould traces 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. "A major contribution toward deflating pseudobiological 'explanations' of our present social woes."—Leo J. Kamin, Princeton University

Editorial Reviews

June Goodfield
In ''The Mismeasure of Man,'' his most significant book yet, Mr. Gould grasps the supporting pillars of the temple in a lethal grip of historical scholarship and analysis - and brings the whole edifice crashing down....It takes a master pen to bring history alive, and the chronological unfolding of this tale is told in a somewhat pedestrian manner. Its style stands in obvious contrast to Mr. Gould's earlier writings, though it still shows the flash of humor and the felicitous phrase. But ''The Mismeasure of Man'' demands a great deal from the reader. To understand the conceptual fallacy at the heart of the mathematical technique of factor analysis, which itself is a prerequisite for understanding the history of intelligence testing, requires some very hard work indeed - even though Mr. Gould attempts most valiantly to make his material accessible. -- New York Times
Saturday Review
“A rare book-at once of great importance and wonderful to read.”
From the Publisher
"A rare book—at once of great importance and wonderful to read." —Saturday Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393014891
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/1981
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 10, 1941
Date of Death:
May 20, 2002
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
Boston, Massachusetts
Education:
B.S., Antioch College, 1963; Ph.D., Columbia University, 1967

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