Read your cat’s mind with this adorable miniature phrenology bust!
Have you ever wondered why your cat acts a certain way, has such an attitude, or does strange things? Now with the Phrenology Cat kit you can pin-point and label where in your cat’s brain their emotions, likes, dislikes, and quirks are located on this adorable ceramic bust.
This kit includes:
- 3″-tall uniquely designed and painted ceramic bust
- 32-page illustrated mini book on phrenology for cats
Phrenology (from Ancient Greek φρήν (phrēn) ‘mind’, and λόγος (logos) ‘knowledge’) is a pseudoscience that actually has a dark history. It involves the measurement of bumps on the skull to predict mental traits. It is based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind, and that certain brain areas have localized, specific functions or modules. It was said that the brain was composed of different muscles, so those that were used more often were bigger, resulting in the different skull shapes. This led to the reasoning behind why everyone had bumps on the skull in different locations. The brain “muscles” not being used as frequently remained small and were therefore not present on the exterior of the skull. Although both of those ideas have a basis in reality, phrenology generalize beyond empirical knowledge in a way that departs from science. The central phrenological notion that measuring the contour of the skull can predict personality traits is discredited by empirical research. Developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796, the discipline was influential in the 19th century, especially from about 1810 until 1840. The principal British centre for phrenology was Edinburgh, where the Edinburgh Phrenological Society was established in 1820.
When this pseudoscience spread to the U.S. around the 1830s, it was used to prove prevalent yet baseless hypotheses about the inferiority of non-white races. The U.S. in the 1830s and 1840s, when phrenology became popular, was struggling to justify the continuation of slavery in the face of a growing abolitionist movement and was dealing with interactions between white western settlers and existing Native American populations. In the case of slavery, physicians such as Charles Caldwell used phrenology to attempt to prove that African people were in their rightful place as slaves. Caldwell studied the skulls of many different peoples, including Africans, at the Musee de Phrenologie in Paris. In 1837, he concluded that the skulls of African people (a flawed generalization of an entire continent of diverse peoples) indicated a “tamableness” that made them suited to be slaves, and required them to “have a master”. This view of people of African descent as inherently mentally inferior contributed to the continuation of slavery and the segregation and racism that still persists in the U.S.. ~ Phrenology and “Scientific Racism” in the 19th Century