The Book Review!
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03-04-2011, 10:16 AM
Special Jonin Candidate
Join Date: May 2010
Re: The Book Review!
Gould, Jay, Stephen.
The Mismeasure of Man.
First off, the first chapter doesn't begin until page 50. -__-
Other than that Stephen Jay Gould writes with an otherworldly flourish, sadly, no longer seen outside the secluded realm of academia. In the first 50 pages he lays out the basic foundation of the book while explaining his reason for writing it in the first place, along with the revision. The meat of the book largely stayed the same as it was when first published, and it was written as a response to
The Bell Curve
's attempt to confine intelligence to unitary measurement(in a very basic nutshell).
Gould foreshadows the first chapter by including a conversation between Socrates and Glaucon in which Socrates speaks of a lie that he is preparing to tell the people. This lie reflects the adverse effects of biodeterminism and relates to Gould's overall theme because both are lies that have been used to justify the positions classes, sexes, and 'races' and natural. Gould's goal is to reflect on one area of this fallacy; the idea to determine intelligence as something that is unchangeable and measurable. In response to the lie Socrates intended to tell in order for the people to become content with their station in life and questions whether they'd believe it, Glaucon responds with what Stephen treats as a sort of prophecy:"Not in the present generation...their sons may be made to believe...their sons's sons and posterity after them". In Gould's words it is a prophecy that has moved from being explained my "myth, dialect difference, religious dogma and now science".
I don't really know how detailed this should be. ><
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