Not all the aftereffects of the Enlightenment were productive

Not all the aftereffects of the Enlightenment were productive

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Not all the aftereffects of the Enlightenment were productive. Despite the advances in  literacy, thought, and intellectual discussion that accompanied the Enlightenment,  middle- and upper-class citizens often mistakenly carried this open-mindedness to an  excessive degree. In many cases, this open-mindedness manifested itself in pure  gullibility, as supposedly well-educated Europeans fell prey to “intellectual” schemes and  frauds based on nothing more than superstition and clever speech. For instance, during the eighteenth century, people who called themselves  phrenologists convinced many Europeans that a person’s character could be analyzed  through the study of the contours of the skull. Likewise, the quack field of physiognomy  claimed to be able to predict psychological characteristics, such as a predisposition to  violence, by analyzing facial features or body structure. Similar medical hoaxes were 
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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Not all the aftereffects of the Enlightenment were productive

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