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Phrenology in the 20 th century

 Twentieth Century Revival

In the early 20th century however, Phrenology benefited of a new interest, particularly in the viewpoint of evolutionism on one hand and criminal anthropology on the other hand. 
The most important British Phrenologist of this century was the famous London psychiatrist Bernard HOLLANDER (1864-1934). 
His main works, The Mental Function of the Brain (1901) and Scientific Phrenology (1902) are an objective appraisal of the teachings of Gall. 

Phrenology was also very popular in the United States, where even automatic devices for phrenological analysis were devised. 

In Belgium, Paul BOUTS (1900-1999) started working on Phrenology from a pedagogical background, using the Phrenological analysis to define an individual pedagogy. Combining Phrenology with typology and graphology, he coined a global approach called Psychognomy

Prof. Bouts has been the main promotor of the renewed interest in Phrenology and Psychognomy in Belgium. He has also been active in Brazil and Canada where he founded institutes for caracterology.His works "Psychognomie" and "Les Grandioses Destinées" are considered as standard works in the field. Besides his works in the field of caracterology, he has written some works about healthy lifestyles ("Modern Hygiene for Intellectuals") and some spiritual-philosophical essays. 
Paul Bouts died on March 7, 1999. A special tribute page on this site has been dedicated to his memory.

After his death, the work of Bouts has been continued by the foundation PPP (Per Pulchritudinem in Pulchritudine) animated by Anette Müller, a pupil of Bouts.

A New Approach

In 1983, the London psychologist Peter Cooper founded The London Phrenology Company, in order to revive interest in Phrenology and to act as a source of books, busts and other Phrenological items. Cooper's approach to Phrenology is quite interesting and goes well beyond the mere anatomical aspects. 
The understanding of the development of the mental faculties through Phrenology allows enlightement of the mind, allowing the improvement of self-knowledge. Phrenology thus gives a new dimension to the well-known adage "Know Thyself". 

20th Century Attacks on Phrenology

The Science came however once again under attack because of the ongoing development of psycho-analysis. The introspective and subjective method of psycho-analysis only looks to the individual psychology through the psychological structure of the examiner, who will see the other subject through his own temperament and through his prevailing faculties. This subjective approach is clearly opposed to the objective analysis of Phrenology. 
Furthermore, fascist ideologies like Nazism have misused some elements of craniometry in the framework of their infamous racist doctrines. These theories, albeit completely distinct from scientific Phrenology, have given a very bad name to the science. 
© 1998: LHOON 
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