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The end of the soul : scientific modernity, atheism, and anthropology in France

Author: Jennifer Michael Hecht
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"On October 19, 1876 a group of leading French citizens, both men and women included, joined together to form an unusual group, The Society of Mutual Autopsy, with the aim of proving that souls do not exist. The idea was that, after death, they would dissect one another and (hopefully) show a direct relationship between brain shapes and sizes and the character, abilities and intelligence of individuals. This strange  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jennifer Michael Hecht
ISBN: 0231128460 9780231128469 0231128479 9780231128476
OCLC Number: 50810297
Description: xii, 402 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The society of mutual autopsy and the liturgy of death --
Evangelical atheism and the rise of French anthropology --
Scientific materialism and the public response --
Careers in anthropology and the Bertillon family --
No soul, no morality: Vacher de Lapouge --
Body and soul: Leonce Manouvrier and the disappearing numbers --
The Leftist critique of determinist science --
Coda.
Responsibility: Jennifer Michael Hecht.

Abstract:

On October 19th, 1876, a group of leading French citizens, both men and women, joined together to form an unusual group, The Society of Mutual Autopsy, with the aim of proving that souls do not  Read more...

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[Hecht] brings wit and enthusiasm to her densely packed tale of the freethinking anthropologists, who first knew each other as distraught republicans during the Second Empire. -- Nina C. Ayoub Read more...

 
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