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Ian Campbell

5 Irish doctors and theologians on heredity and the human soul ሉሊ Writers on nobility, genealogy, and physiognomics frequently alluded to heredity and the hereditary transmission of virtue and vice, but how did learned men in the seventeenth century characterise heredity itself? This chapter, the second of two on ethnicity and the human body, will explore those two fields where Aristotelians might have been expected to confront the problem of heredity directly. First, contemporary physicians were keenly interested in hereditary disease, not least because the

in Renaissance humanism and ethnicity before race
Abstract only
Theories of nature and nurture in Victorian sensation fiction
Author: Helena Ifill

This book explores the range of ways in which the two leading sensation authors of the 1860s, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins, engaged with nineteenth-century ideas about how the personality is formed and the extent to which it can be influenced either by the subject or by others.

Innovative readings of Braddon’s and Collins’s sensation novels – some of them canonical, others less well-known – demonstrate how they reflect, employ, and challenge Victorian theories of heredity, degeneration, willpower, inherent constitution, education, insanity, upbringing and social circumstance. Far from presenting a reductive depiction of ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’, Braddon and Collins show the creation of character to be a complex interplay of internal and external factors that are as much reliant on chance as on the efforts of the people who try to exert control over an individual’s development. Their works raise challenging questions about responsibility and self-determinism and, as the analyses of these texts reveals, demonstrate an acute awareness that the way in which character formation is understood fundamentally influences the way people (both in fiction and reality) are perceived, judged and treated.

Drawing on material from a variety of genres, including Victorian medical textbooks, scientific and sociological treatises, specialist and popular periodical literature, Creating character shows how sensation authors situated themselves at the intersections of established and developing, conservative and radical, learned and sensationalist thought about how identity could be made and modified.

Heredity research and counselling at the Clarke School, 1930–1960
Marion Andrea Schmidt

Under the guidance of anthropologist Morris Steggerda, the Clarke School’s heredity research division took up work in the 1929–1930 school year. Already a leader in oral education, the school now aimed to establish itself in heredity research, too. This was not an easy task in a place where the staff was knowledgeable about education and phonetics, yet had neither basic science training nor research experience. However, collaborating with leading researchers and institutions, Clarke managed to put together one of the most extensive longitudinal databases

in Eradicating deafness?
Deaf people as objects of research, reform, and eugenics, 1900–1940
Marion Andrea Schmidt

establish a small research department with divisions for heredity research, psychology, and phonetics. For the school, these three disciplines stood at the forefront of exploring and ameliorating the effects of deafness, and for thus making deaf education more efficient. The research department was part of the school’s holistic mission of uplifting deaf children from their state of ‘primitive’ speechlessness and turning them into productive, ‘almost-normal’ citizens who would succeed in hearing society. Next to this educational mission, the school also felt responsible

in Eradicating deafness?
Abstract only
Helena Ifill

each individual is in great part (if not entirely) determined by the conditions … of the parent-​organisms’ (Human Physiology, p. 592). Questions were asked, additionally, about the extent to which a person’s social and physical environment worked with or against heredity in the development of the personality, and about how much education and upbringing could dictate development and behaviour. The relationships and influences among mind, body and environment were, therefore, considered all-​important when it came to raising good citizens, but they were often also

in Creating character
Ian Campbell

4 Humanists and genealogists on nobility and the human body ሉሊ How did the Renaissance humanists who debated true nobility, and the genealogists who served the elite, explain human heredity? This chapter will focus on two instances of Irish intellectual engagement with this problem: the dispute between John Lynch and Richard O’Ferrall in the 1660s over the nobility of Irishmen of English descent; and Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh’s physiognomical analysis of the peoples of Ireland, an analysis undertaken also in the household of Gianbattista Rinuccini. The

in Renaissance humanism and ethnicity before race
Sevasti Trubeta

. Exotic disease as heredity When viewed from the perspective of the global North, the endemicity of such diseases in the global South renders the diseases ‘exotic’ in terms of being located in (and ‘belonging’ to) distant places. The exoticisation of disease (as exoticisation generally works) is everything but value-neutral. The distance ascribed to the exotic places is not defined primarily in geographical terms, but rather in terms of civilisational disparities between the more and less developed parts of the world. It is a process of ‘othering’ in that the idea of

in Medicalising borders
Alison Sinclair

highlight a step-change in thinking about right and wrong by referring to the reception of norms of popular literature by Isidora the protagonist of Galdós’s novel of 1881, La desheredada (The disowned lady). In this novel, consonant with the social and progressive concerns of the late nineteenth century, but informed by scientific advances, the central issue is the possibility of civilization winning out over heredity. Isidora, the aspirational protagonist, looks for other parentage to enhance her future. That is, she is trying to change her position in relation to right

in Spain in the nineteenth century
The constitutive terrain of anarchist eugenics
Richard Cleminson

’, whereby agency to create one’s own morality and hence behaviour is afforded great power within a framework that aspires to anti-authoritarianism.55 For the French anarchist Jean Grave, the ingredients making up people combined various factors of complementary importance: ‘the human individual is a plastic being who is what he is made to be by heredity, corrected by educa[tion], and above all, by circumstances and milieu.’56 The third element identified by Crowder as important in classical anarchism has been mentioned previously – the role of science. Crowder has argued

in Anarchism and eugenics
The Irish and the English in the seventeenth century
Author: Ian Campbell

Inspired both by debates about the origins of the modern ideology of race and also by controversy over the place of Ireland and the Irish in theories of empire in the early modern Atlantic world, Renaissance Humanism and Ethnicity before Race argues that ethnic discourse among the elite in early modern Ireland was grounded firmly in the Renaissance Humanism and Aristotelianism which dominated all the European universities before the Enlightenment. Irish and English, Catholic and Protestant, all employed theories of human society based on Aristotle’s Politics and the natural law of the medieval universities to construct or dismantle the categories of civility and barbarism. The elites operating in Ireland also shared common resources, taught in the universities, for arguing about the human body and its ability to transmit hereditary characteristics. Both in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, these theories of human society and the human body underwent violent changes in the late seventeenth century under the impact of the early Enlightenment. These changes were vital to the development of race as we know it.