gould,_stephen._introduction._the_mismeasure_of_man._pp._51-

gould,_stephen._introduction._the_mismeasure_of_man._pp._51-...

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6 $ REVISED AND EXPANDED JLD our instztutzons. LONDON
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Copyright O 1996, 1981 by Stephen Jay Could. All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce seleciions from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 101 10. Printed in the United States of America. The text of this book is composed in Baskerville with the display set in Caslon 540. Composition and manufacturing by the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group, Book design by Marjorie J. Flock. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Could, Stephen Jay. The mismeasure of manlby Stephen Jay Gould.-Rev. and expanded. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-393-03972-2.-ISBN 0-393-3 1425-1 (pbk.) 1 .Intelligence tests-History. 2. Ability-Testing-History. 3. Personality tests-History. 4. Craniometry-History. I. Title. BF43 1 .C68 1996 153.9'3'09-4~20 95-44442 W. W. Norton &Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 101 10 http:// web.wwnorton.com W. W. Norton &Company, Ltd., 10 Coptic Street, London WC1A 1PU I234567890
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ONE Introduction CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC, Socrates advised, should be educated and assigned by merit to three classes: rulers, auxiliaries, and crafts- men. A stable society demands that these ranks be honored and that citizens accept the status conferred upon them. But how can this acquiescence be secured? Socrates, unable to devise a logical argument, fabricates a myth. With some embarrassment, he tells Glaucon: I will speak, although I really know not how to look you in the face, or in what words to utter the audacious fiction. . . . They [the citizens] are to be told that their youth was a dream, and the education and training which they received from us, an appearance only; in reality during all that time they were being formed and fed in the womb of the earth. . . . Glaucon, overwhelmed, exclaims: "You had good reason to be ashamed of the lie which you were going to tell." "True," replied Socrates, "but there is more coming; 1 have only told you half." Citizens, we shall say to them in our tale, you are brothers, yet God has framed you differently. Some of you have the power of command, and in the composition of these he has mingled gold, wherefore also they have the greatest honor; others he has made of silver, to be auxiliaries; others again who are to be husbandmen and craftsmen he has composed of brass and iron; and the species will generally be preserved in the children. . . . An oracle says that when a man of brass or iron guards the State, it will be destroyed. Such is the tale; is there any possibility of making our citizens believe in it? Glaucon replies: "Not in the present generation; there is no way of accomplishing this; but their sons may be made to believe in the tale, and their son's sons, and posterity after them."
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52 THE MISMEASURE OF MAN Glaucon had uttered a prophesy. The same tale, in different versions, has been promulgated and believed ever since. The jus- tification for ranking groups by inborn worth has varied with the tides of Western history. Plato relied upon dialectic, the Church upon dogma. For the past two centuries, scientific claims have become the primary agent for validating Plato's myth.
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