Tag Archives: Lombroso

New JHBS: Palladino, Binet’s Instruments, Textbooks, & More

Palladino séance

The summer 2016 issue of Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online. Articles in this issue explore investigations of Palladino’s mediumship, Alfred Binet’s collaboration with instrument makers, the historiography of psychology textbooks, and central figures in psychological and philosophical associations at the turn of the twentieth century. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“DISCOVERING PALLADINO’S MEDIUMSHIP. OTERO ACEVEDO, LOMBROSO AND THE QUEST FOR AUTHORITY,” by ANDREA GRAUS. The abstract reads,

In 1888, the spiritist Ercole Chiaia challenged Cesare Lombroso to go to Naples and study a brilliant though still unknown medium: Eusapia Palladino. At that time Lombroso turned down the challenge. However, in 1891 he became fascinated by the medium’s phenomena. Despite the abundant literature on Palladino, there is still an episode that needs to be explored: in 1888, the Spanish doctor Manuel Otero Acevedo accepted the challenge rejected by Lombroso, spent three months in Naples studying the medium and invited the Italian psychiatrist to join his investigations. This unexplored episode serves to examine the role of scientific authority, testimony, and material evidence in the legitimization of mediumistic phenomena. The use Otero Acevedo made of the evidence he obtained in Naples reveals his desire to proclaim himself an authority on psychical research before other experts, such as Lombroso, Richet, and Aksakof.

“THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTRUMENT MAKERS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY: THE CASE OF ALFRED BINET AT THE SORBONNE LABORATORY,” by SERGE NICOLAS. The abstract reads, Continue reading New JHBS: Palladino, Binet’s Instruments, Textbooks, & More

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Cesare Lombroso Museum

The University of Turin has a Museum of Criminal Anthropology that features collections related to the famous turn-of-the-century thinker Cesare Lombroso. Lombroso was particularly well-known for his work on the physical defects that were putatively associated with the criminal type.

If you go to the museum’s website, you can take a virtual tour (click on “la visita virtuale” and then “uno sguardo…”). There are photographs of a number of unusual artifacts having to with Lombroso and crime during his  era, including knives hidden in crucifixes.

Thanks for Renato Foschi for alerting me to this site.

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