The Instigator
VirginianRobin
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
nonentity
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

Physiognomy/anthroposcopy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,836 times Debate No: 15525
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (5)

 

VirginianRobin

Pro

Physiognomy or anthroposcopy is the science of correlation between person's traits/character/social niche and his/her outer appearance, with primary focus on the person's physiognomy (the face).
Physiognomy, in its yet fledgling stage, remains still a relatively controversial, and perhaps accordingly, largely unexplored area of scientific expertise, if one can call it that. Few agree, some are quick to pass it off as pseudoscience, and the majority others, though seeing its merits and its rationale, thinks such an objective scientific approach to such a perceptional topic as on a precarious footing of opinions and biases.
Though I start off introducing the branch of science that is physiognomy, the purpose of this debate is to discuss the validity of the theory of physiognomy which hypothesizes the relevancy of face with a person's personality and social niche.

I, as the pro, will argue for, and the opponent, as con, will argue against.
Thus is the structure for this debate:
R1: Introduction/acceptance
R2: Evidence/Arguments
R3: Evidence/Arguments/Rebuttal
R4: Conclusion

nonentity

Con

REMOVED nac
Debate Round No. 1
VirginianRobin

Pro

Intro
When we see someone's face, do we not at that very instance of recognition, judge them? e.g.) "he looks smart" or "he looks stupid"...
The important thing to note here is that a particular morphological structure of the face has made an impression upon us as the observers. Then begs the question, how do we know what looks smart and what looks stupid?
Here, anthroscopy has the answer: because certain morphologies are hallmarks for certain traits.

Now to segue into our resolution: is the theory of physiognomy valid?

It very well may be so. It is simply that the concept of physiognomy is so ingrained in our daliy lives that it requires a certain degree of introspection to be able to identify it. For instance, when we see a wide-eyed cartoon character such as the one here: , we are inclined to believe that the character is helpless or of a curious nature. This is because, or so the anthroscopy says, we are subconsciously comparing the coutenance of the character to that of babies, whose facial features are for the most part wide-eyed, and who are helpless and curious.

Many of the old sages and thinkers, as we know them today, were of the same opinion. Aristotle, proponent of physiognomy, claimed that in the case of harmony between soul and body, countenance is inferable. Pythagoras once rejected a prospective follower, in light of his poorly-indicative apperance [1]. Even Leonardo Da Vinci, who was very much critical of the notion, remarked that 'those who have deep and noticeable lines between the eyebrows are irascible' [2]. This is not to say that their support makes the matter indubitable with regards to scientific correctitude--Aristotle, least of all--but one cannot neglect their observational capacity, and one would certainly be remiss not to point out this perhaps-not-so-eery coincidence.

Physiognomy is an integral part of the oriental medicine, such as acupuncture. As an orient myself, I am well aware of that some of the medicinal practices in East Asia is heavily contingent upon the "type" of the particular person, type of course being determined by the body structure and, not to mention, the countenance. Some oriental physiognomists can be correct to some astounding degrees, such as when Yoshito Mizuno, a japanese physiognomist, guessed right 80% of people who qualified to become a pilot just by looking at their faces.[3]

Physiognomy, the science, indicates relevancy between width of the face and social dominance. Guthrie, a prominent American psychologist in behavior studies, [4] said that people with square jaws tended to be more socially dominant, while people with narrower jaws tended to be less so [5]. Aggressive individuals, another study says, tend to have wider faces, more or less supporting the former claim. [6]

Unlike popular belief, theory of physiognomy is no fanciful conjecture. Nor is it some essentialistic way of thinking. Humans look at one another and their faces trigger respectively an emotion of sort to the beholder, depending on the morphology of the face of the beheld. Physiognomy has been noted ever since the time of Aristotle. It is widely practiced in oriental countries as Japan and Korea. Studies have shown that there is indeed a correlation between certain features and certain traits. Is science not to scrutinize, dissect, so that we may create and extrapolate? Psychology, too, was criticized by some at its early days, as there being too much factors to consider. So are the critiques facing physiognomy now. But to cast it into the oblivion of unknown, precisely because it is unknown--that is to trip ourselves up with our own foot.

Sources:
[1]:
Riedweg, Christop, Pythagoras: His Life,Teaching, and Influence.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]: Leonardo on Art and the Artist By Leonardo da Vinci The Orion Press, New York, 1961 p144 Online
[3]: Agawa, The Reluctant Admiral, p. 110-115.
[4]:
http://www.jstor.org...
[5]: Facing the Truth, The Economist, 23 August 2008 http://www.economist.com...
[6]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
VirginianRobin

Pro

VirginianRobin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
VirginianRobin

Pro

VirginianRobin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by tulle 2 years ago
tulle
lol @ the people who voted on the debate saying I didn't post any arguments when the rounds clearly indicate that they have been REMOVED. Jeez Louise.
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
You numbskulls are voting on a debate where arguments were removed after Con won -_-"
Posted by nonentity 5 years ago
nonentity
Roy---I was surprised this was even a debate lol
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Physiognomy was at it's peak in the 19th century, when it was widely believed that personality traits could be determined by the shape of the head. A lot of effort was put into trying to find the head shapes characteristic of criminals. All efforts failed, and physiognomy has been thoroughly debunked.
Posted by nonentity 6 years ago
nonentity
Bippity-boppity-bullsh*t... sigh :p
Posted by nonentity 6 years ago
nonentity
Why do all my opponents forfeit :(
Posted by nonentity 6 years ago
nonentity
Sorry :) And thanks.
Posted by VirginianRobin 6 years ago
VirginianRobin
aww....
Posted by nonentity 6 years ago
nonentity
Is it really worth 5 rounds? I'm thinking 4, max. Change it and I'll accept.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
VirginianRobinnonentityTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: STALIN voted for the wrong side...
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
VirginianRobinnonentityTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con doesn't touch Pro's arguments. Conduct even due to Pro's forfeits and Con's non-rounds. Pro sources supported her arguments well and were sound, so source points for Pro.
Vote Placed by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
VirginianRobinnonentityTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had no arguments. He just typed "removed". Clearly he just wanted to ruin the debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
VirginianRobinnonentityTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Easy win for Con, who had the valid sources.
Vote Placed by TUF 6 years ago
TUF
VirginianRobinnonentityTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Via forfeit