Inquiries Into Human Faculty and Its Development

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Macmillan, 1883 - Ability - 387 pages
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The word Eugenics first appears in this book. Also, in this book, Galton shows mathematically "the results of his experiments on the relations between the powers of visual imagery and of abstract thought".
 

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Page 258 - For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Page 72 - Yet, although the ox has so little affection for, or individual interest in, his fellows, he cannot endure even a momentary severance from his herd. If he be separated from it by stratagem or force, he exhibits every sign of mental agony ; he strives with all his might to get back again, and when he succeeds, he plunges into its middle, to bathe his whole body with the comfort of closest companionship.
Page 88 - My own conclusion is, that an over-ready perception of sharp mental pictures is antagonistic to the acquirement of habits of highly -generalised and abstract thought, especially when the steps of reasoning are carried on by words as symbols, and that if the faculty of seeing the pictures was ever possessed by men who think hard, it is very apt to be lost by disuse.
Page 240 - I have not a single case in which my correspondents speak of originally dissimilar characters having become assimilated through identity of nurture. The impression that all this evidence leaves on the mind is one of some wonder whether nurture can do anything at all beyond giving instruction and professional training.
Page 93 - ... I am very rarely able to recall any object whatever with any sort of distinctness. Very occasionally an object or image will recall itself, but even then it is more like a generalised image than an individual one.
Page 114 - A faculty that is of importance in all technical and artistic occupations, that gives accuracy to our perceptions, and justness to our generalisations, is starved by lazy disuse, instead of being cultivated judiciously in such a way as will on the whole bring the best return. I believe that a serious study of the best method of developing and utilising this faculty2, without prejudice to the practice of abstract thought in symbols, is one of the many pressing desiderata in the yet unformed science...
Page 241 - He might ascribe much importance to each of these events and think how largely the destiny of the stick had been governed by a series of trifling accidents. Nevertheless, all the sticks succeed in passing down the current; and in the long run, they travel at nearly the same rate. So it is with life, in respect to the several accidents which seem to have had a great effect upon our careers. The one element, that varies in different individuals, but is constant in each of them, is the natural tendency;...
Page 242 - There is commonly a strong resemblance, owing to inheritance, between the dispositions of the child and its parents. They are able to understand the ways of one another more intimately than is possible to persons not of the same blood, and the child instinctively assimilates the habits and ways of thought of its parents. Its disposition is
Page 218 - ... likeness, and a few would greatly fall short of it. But this is not at all the case. Extreme similarity and extreme dissimilarity between twins of the same sex, are nearly as common as moderate resemblance. When the twins are a boy and a girl, they are never closely alike ; in fact, their origin is never due to the development of two germinal spots in the same ovum.
Page 85 - ... really expressed what I believed everybody supposed them to mean. They had no more notion of its true nature than a colourblind man, who has not discerned his defect, has of the nature of colour. They had a mental deficiency of which they were unaware, and naturally enough supposed that those who affirmed they possessed it were romancing.

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