Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1781.
2nd Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #002362
8vo (203 x 125 mm), , 128 pp., including 2 engraved folding plates bound at the end. Modern papercard boards. Edges untrimmed. Internally browned, with some spotting and soiling mainly to margins. Provenance: Royal College of Surgeans in Ireland (ink stamp to title-page). Good copy. ----
PMM 219 (first ed.); NLM/Blake 51; Wellcome II, p.183; Garrison-Morton 156; Norman 250 (first ed.). - The rare second edition. The first edition was a dissertation printed for private distribution only and is practically unobtainable. "Blumenbach was the founder of anthropology... he classified mankind into four races, based on selected combinations of head shape, skin colour and hair form... his famous terms 'Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malayan' were not used until the third edition of 1795" (Garrison-M. 156).
Blumenbach 'was preceded by Tyson and Linné who had prepared the ground for his studies by relating man to the order of the primates. Linné had distinguished four races of man chiefly by the color of their skin. From these premises Blumenbach was able to develop the thesis that all living races are varieties of a single species, homo sapiens, and that their differences were small compared with those between man and the nearest animal; "innumerable varieties of mankind run into each other by insensible degrees". It is not surprising therefore that Blumenbach was opposed to the practice of slavery and the then current belief in the inherent savagery of the colored races' (PMM).
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