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Degeneracy: Its Causes, Signs and Results

Degeneracy: Its Causes, Signs and Results
Title: Degeneracy: Its Causes, Signs and Results
Release Date: 2011-05-01
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 26 March 2019
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THE CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE SERIES

Edited by HAVELOCK ELLIS

 

 

 

 

DEGENERACY

 

 

 

 

DWARFISM AND GIANTISM.

 

 

Degeneracy

 

ITS CAUSES, SIGNS, AND RESULTS

 

BY
EUGENE S. TALBOT, M.D., D.D.S.,

FELLOW OF THE CHICAGO ACADEMY OF MEDICINE; MEMBER OF THE CHICAGO
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES; HONORARY MEMBER OF THE BERLIN
ODONTOLOGISCHEN GESELLSCHAFT, AND THE ASSOCIATION
GÉNÉRALE DES DENTISTES DE FRANCE; PROFESSOR OF
DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY, WOMAN’S MEDICAL
SCHOOL, NORTH-WESTERN UNIVERSITY, U.S.A.

 

 

WITH 120 ILLUSTRATIONS

 

LONDON
WALTER SCOTT, LTD., PATERNOSTER SQUARE
1898

 

 


[Pg vii]

PREFACE

The present work is the result of more than twenty years’ labour in alimited medical department of biology. It demonstrates once more the truthof the scientific principle, that the truth or falsity of any theory orworking hypothesis becomes more and more demonstrable the further itsapplication is attempted in the explanation of new lines of facts. Thetruth of the degeneracy doctrine had forced itself on the writer longbefore its popular apotheosis under Lombroso and Nordau, because it alonesufficed for an explanation of constitutional and local defects(encountered in a seemingly limited speciality of medicine), which localcauses failed entirely to explain. The investigations thereon resultanthave appeared in medical and dental journals for the past two decades. Thepresent work is chiefly based on these researches. At the same time, theauthor has drawn largely from all fields of biology cultivated by Europeaninvestigators, while he must acknowledge a particular indebtedness to theinvestigations (of which he has made large use beside that elsewherespecifically acknowledged) of certain American investigators—Rush,Parkmen, Ray, G.[Pg viii] Frank Lydston, C. L. Dana, C. F. Folsom, W. W. Godding,E. C. Spitzka, E. D. Cope, D. R. Brower, Marsh, B. Sachs, Harriet C. B.Alexander, Clara Barrus, H. M. Bannister, Delia E. Howe, Grace Peckham,Adolph Meyer, Kerlin, Wiley, J. G. Kiernan, W. E. Allison, Osborn, R.Dewey, Frederick Peterson, Gihon, Cowles, W. A. Hammond, A. B. Holder, C.H. Hughes, F. W. Starr, F. C. Hoyt, J. H. McBride, C. K. Mills, C. B.Burr, T. D. Crothers, W. S. Christopher, W. X. Sudduth, A. Lagorio, J.Workman, Wilmarth, and others. These scientists had raised an exceedinglystable foundation for the doctrine of degeneracy long before Lombroso andNordau (forcing one phase of the subject into popular recognition)compelled an examination of the entire doctrine.

The work has been written with a special intention of reaching educatorsand parents. With this object, it has avoided laying stress on any onecause of degeneracy, and ignoring factors which produce it and areaggravated by it. The doctrinaire reformer will here find no support forany limited theory. While it does not pretend in the slightest degree togive all the details of degeneracy, it attempts to lay down generalprinciples for practical purposes in a way that permits their applicationto the solution of sociologic problems.

From a sense of scientific accuracy no attempts have been made todemarcate, rigidly, abnormality from disease, or atavism from

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