- 日本の教育史学 : 教育史学会紀要 (ISSN:03868982)
- vol.56, pp.84-96, 2013-10-01
The purpose of this paper is to examine phrenological system of "faculties" and to point out its significance in the history of education. While phrenology was very popular and favored by many educators in the West in 19th century, it tends to have been overlooked in the studies of educational history because it is typical example of pseudo-science. However, as a number of phrenologists affirmed, the department in which Phrenology was destined to produce the happiest results was education. That is because phrenological concept of faculty enabled them to apply the theory to the practice. Needless to say, the concept of faculty, or ability, is a subject of great importance to education. In this paper, phrenology and education are discussed from the perspective of historical formation of the concept of faculty. The theory known as phrenology originated with German physician F. J. Gall (1758-1828). According to the basic tenets of Gall's system of cerebral localization, one could read the intellectual aptitudes and character traits through an examination of the shape of the head. While Gall never approved the term "Phrenology," his system was popularized by J. G. Spurzheim (1776-1832), his former assistant, under the name of phrenology. Phrenology had a profound influence on the development of some of the modern sciences. Spurzheim modified Gall's system tactically and critically. At first he denied Gall's nomenclature and renamed most of the faculties. Secondly, he divided and subdivided the class of mental faculties, according to the common practice of natural history at that time. In addition, Spurzheim stressed the two following points: (1) Every phrenological faculty can be developed through education. (2) No faculty in itself is bad, but can be misused. Indeed, Spurzheim was responsible for the establishment of phrenology as faculty psychology, and his idea of educability led the study of phrenology to focus on education. As he explained, in phrenology, education was faculty-oriented; that is, education entailed working on the mind and body of man to excite, exercise, guide and determine the good uses, and to prevent the abuses of different faculties. By focusing on the phrenological concept of faculty, this paper shows that it created a fundamental model of discourse in modern education.