Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences, 1892

London: Macmillan & Co., 1892. Second expanded and corrected edition of Hereditary Genius, Galton’s best known and most influential work. “Galton originated the practice of empirical research in medical genetics. ... "Hereditary Genius", his best-known and most influential book” (Norman Coll. I, 864).

Published in 1892 twenty years after the first edition, Galton’s research continued and considerable corrections have been made in the text and are delineated in the introduction. Initially, this work “on the genetics of intelligence [was] a compilation of biographical data of eminent men and their genetic history…[but] in assessing the role of heredity,
Galton unfortunately disregarded such obvious factors as socio-economic status and opportunity for education” (ibid).

Galton’s ‘improvements’ in this edition include Galton’s admission of regret at the Galton the choice of Hereditary Genius. Instead, he now prefers Hereditary Ability which he sees as inclusive of the "comparative worth of different races" and the characters, aptitudes and abilities of judges, statesmen "English peerages and their influence upon race", commanders, literary men, men of science, poets, musicians, painters, divines, oarsmen, senior classics of Cambridge, wrestlers in the North et al. "The improvement of the natural gifts of the human race is largely, though indirectly, under our control" (ibid).

Francis Galton, FRS (1822-1911), half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was an English anthropologist, explorer, inventor, meteorologist and statistician. He created the statistical concepts of regression and correlation and was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence. He was a pioneer in eugenics, coining the term ‘eugenics’ and the phrase ‘nature versus nurture.’

Foremost in Galton's life was a belief that virtually anything is quantifiable... In psychology Galton sowed the seeds of mental testing, of measuring sensory acuity, and of scaling and typing. In statistics he originated the concepts of regression and correlation.

NOTE: We separately offer other works by Galton. Item #1482

CONDITION & DETAILS: 8vo. [xxxii], 379, [5 book catalogue worn at edges]. Illustrated Original maroon cloth; blindstamped; gilt-lettered at the spine where there is also a round, hand-lettered sticker. No ex-libris markings. Tightly and solidly bound. Handsome wide margins. A few chips at the outer edges of a few pages. Bright and clean throughout. Very good.

Price: $200.00

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