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Physiognomy (from the Greek physis - "nature", in this context - "appearance, given by nature", and gnomon - "thought", "the ability to cognize") is a doctrine that does not have scientific substantiation, according to which, after analyzing the external features and expression face and features of the structure of the body, you can get information about the mental qualities and state of health of the individual.
Emotional perception of a person's face, identification and interpretation of his appearance have taken place at all times. The Bedouin called the art of reading faces qiyafa, the ancient Slavs - humanity, the Muslims - firasat, the Chinese - xianzhensho or xiangfa, the Japanese - ningso, etc.
The results of observations, which make it possible to identify the relationship between the external appearance of a person and his spiritual qualities, were used in the works of ancient philosophers and writers. For the first time, the term "physiognomy" is found in the works of the "father of medicine" Hippocrates and the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Today, the following types of physiognomy are distinguished:
- ethnological (from the Greek ethnos - "people" and logos - "doctrine") - deals with the study of the relationship between a person's appearance and living conditions (the surrounding landscape, climate, temperature regime, etc.). Described in the work of Hippocrates "On the air, waters and areas" and in the works of the Greek philosophers Xenophon, Cicero, Plato;
- astrological (from the Greek astrum - "star", logos - "teaching") - focuses on the relationship between celestial objects (stars, planets, signs of the Zodiac) and parts of the face. Reflected in the works of the Italian philosopher and physician D. Cardano and the natural philosopher and naturalist, German physician K.G. Carus;
- geometric, based on the works of E. Ledo (France). This physiologist distinguishes and characterizes 5 geometric types of faces (triangular, quadrangular, oval, round and cone-shaped), each of which is also subdivided into 3 classes (pure or basic, long and short);
- mimic, the followers of which (such as P. Camper, C. Bell and G. Duchenne, C. Darwin, I.M.Sechenov, I.A. Sikorsky) argue that not so much traits of his character are captured on a person's face as emotions and feelings expressed by him;
- pathological, focusing on the diagnosis of possible diseases (physical or mental) by the person's appearance. For example, the German psychologist and psychiatrist E. Kretschmer argued that athletic people are prone to epilepsy, and normostenics (individuals belonging to the pycnic type) more often suffer from psychosis and depression;
- ethological (from gr. etos - "custom", "habit" and logos - "teaching") - studies various types of human behavior in certain situations (focusing on gestures, facial expressions, etc.).
In the Russian language, the word "physiognomy" came from the Greek language. There is no consensus on this matter. Some researchers (in particular, IA Sikorsky) believe that the word "physiognomy" was actually borrowed from the Greek language, and this term is an abbreviation for "physiognomonica" (physiognomonica), used in the meaning of "external signs used for recognition."
According to another version, initially the word "physiognomy" appeared in Russian, borrowed from French (fr. Physionomie - "appearance", "facial expression") and for some time was used as a synonym for the word "physiognomy" to denote the art of recognizing the characteristics of a person's character by traits faces. And only with time the word "physiognomy" began to be called a face, and instead of "physiognomy" they began to use the term "physiognomy".
And, finally, there is an opinion that the word "physiognomy" was introduced into everyday life by the Russian writer, poet, historiographer N.M. Karamzin, who mentioned in his work "Letters of a Russian Traveler" the work of the theologian, poet and writer from Switzerland I.K. Lavater "Physiognomic fragments" and, thus, awakened the interest of Russian authors in this branch of knowledge. However, it should be borne in mind that much earlier writers (especially prose writers and playwrights), wishing to more clearly reveal certain traits of a character's character, gave their heroes certain external features and features of facial expressions, postures and gestures.
The subject of physiognomy is the human face. In different periods of time, the term "physiognomy" was given different meanings. In ancient times, the subject of physiognomy (or physiognomy) was the entire human body (facial expression, skin condition, proportionality of body parts, etc.) were taken into account, which was positioned as the physiological basis of the character and mental qualities of an individual. And often, to substantiate one point of view or another, researchers of those times cited as an example the characteristic muzzles of animals.
Today physiognomy is divided into several areas of knowledge. Gestures and facial expressions are the subject of the study of kinesics (from the gr. Kinesis - "movement"); eye movement during communication studies oculesika. Physiognomy has really narrowed the range of interests, and is mainly concerned with the interpretation of certain features of the human face. Moreover, within this discipline, separate areas have emerged. For example, the forehead lines are studied by metoscopy.
The connection between the structure of the surface of the skull (according to the Austrian anatomist and doctor J.F. Gall, reflecting the structure of the brain, hypertrophy or underdevelopment of the parts of which is the cause of the manifestation of certain mental properties of the individual) and the qualities of a person's character is trying to discover phrenology (from gr. , "Reason" and logos - "word", "teaching"). This pseudoscience was very popular in the early 19th century. and practically forgotten after, with the development of neurophysiology, scientists proved the inconsistency of the conclusions of J.F. Gall.
Physiognomy takes into account only facial features and congenital markings. Mechanical damage is not taken into account. Misconception. Of course, first of all, when analyzing facial features, they take into account their shape, size and location, and also pay attention to skin color, moles and birthmarks, bumps and dents. However, acne, warts, scars and bruises, traces of plastic surgery (rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, lipofilling, botox, etc.) and cosmetic procedures (for example, eyebrow plucking), as well as lines and wrinkles formed next to them or directly at the site of a bruise, scar, etc.
The most beautiful faces, predicting a happy fate of a person, are perfectly symmetrical. This is not entirely true. Firstly, perfectly symmetrical faces are extremely rare, as evidenced by a study in which a person's face was split in half, and a mirror image was added to each of the halves obtained. As a result, not two copies of the subject were obtained, but an image of 2 different people, completely different from the appearance that was the object of the study. Secondly, not always absolutely symmetrical faces are considered the most beautiful - on the contrary, a slight asymmetry is regarded by others as an expression of individuality, while a perfectly symmetrical appearance seems ordinary and uninteresting. And, finally, physiognomists evaluate a symmetrical face differently. Some argue that the owners of symmetrical faces are distinguished by good health, successful, attractive to the opposite sex. Others, on the contrary, believe that asymmetry (within the limits of the physiological norm) is a sign of success and energy strength, and the maximum symmetry of traits is characteristic of people only on the verge of death.
Studying the appearance of the interlocutor, representatives of different nationalities focus on various parts of his face. It really is. According to studies, Europeans pay the most attention to the visual study of the eyes and mouth of a new acquaintance, while Asians focus on the area of the interlocutor's nose. Moreover, both are right - scientists argue that information genetically embedded in a person is most vividly displayed in the area of the corners of the mouth (to which Europeans are so attentive) and the tip of the nose (which is first studied by residents of Asian countries).
The vertical wrinkle in the center of the forehead is a sign of plight and poverty. The aforementioned line, referred to by Chinese physiognomists as a "hanging needle", is indeed positioned as an omen of problems in marital relations and situations that pose a threat to the personal safety of a person whose forehead has such a sign. However, firstly, this line does not predict poverty. On the contrary, it speaks of the intellectuality and success of a person - most often the "hanging needle" can be seen on the foreheads of prominent actors and politicians. Secondly, in the presence of compensating features (classical shape of the nose, eyes, eyebrows), the effect of the "hanging needle" can be minimized.
Three vertical lines between the eyebrows are a sign that a person can take a high position in society. It depends on how these lines look. If they are even, the above statement is true. However, if the mentioned lines are curved, the person most likely has some mental disabilities, is prone to violence and illegal actions.
If the forehead is crossed by one clear horizontal line, the person will live a noble and happy life. Yes it is. But you should carefully analyze the location of the line. The closer it is to the eyebrows, the greater the risk for a person at a young age to get into an unpleasant situation.
Physiognomy can help form an opinion about a future partner. According to physiognomists, some lines on the face can really indicate the temperament of the individual and how happy he will be in marriage. For example, wrinkles that extend from the outer corner of the eye and are called "fish tail" or "crow's feet", expose a person who is loving, not inclined to be faithful, and also cunning and successful in business.
The same lines (if they are clearly manifested already by the age of 20, and some of them are bent upwards) indicate that marriages in the life of this individual will be quite frequent (as well as divorces). An unhappy marriage is predicted by 3 vertical lines located under the eyes of a person, as well as a widened in the middle and slightly flattened back of the nose, horizontally intersected by small wrinkles (this feature of the structure of the nose is also a sign of impending material difficulties).
In addition, physiognomists recommend paying attention to the ears of the future partner. In a voluptuous nature, prone to adultery, the ears are likely to be flat, small, their inner rim will be turned outward. And a woman with large ears similar to those of men with a poorly developed lobe and indistinct relief is most likely prone to same-sex love.
Studying the eyes and interpreting a person's gaze can provide a lot of information about him. Indeed, the eyes can tell not only about the character and temperament, but also about intellectual abilities, life experience, acquired and hereditary diseases. For example, if the upper eyelids of a person are constantly swollen, the person has lost purpose in life, energy and ambition. However, physiognomists argue that information of this kind is best received from a person who has crossed the 40-year mark, since it is from this age that the personality traits are imprinted in eyes gain stability.
An intellectual's eyes are always clear, such a person is very active, constantly in motion. Not necessary. Firstly, an intelligent person is most often distinguished by unshakable calmness (both emotional and spiritual), therefore, he can give the impression of being very inactive and even sleepy. He may well lose in reaction speed to someone more agile, but his final conclusions are mostly correct, while a more active and agile opponent does not always assess the situation correctly, and acts correctly.
Second, a clean and clear gaze is not necessarily a sign of giftedness. Many genius poets, composers, and artists looked at the world through the eyes of an absent-minded dreamer. In addition, even the most talented person can experience moments of fatigue, depression, suffer from any physical ailments - at such moments his gaze becomes heavy, dull and cloudy, but this is not at all evidence of the individual's intellectual incapacity.
The longer the nose, the more temperamental a person is. Physiognomists do believe that a long nose is a sign of a proud, temperamental, active, authoritative and highly sexually active individual. The saggy tip of the nose (called the "hanging gall", meaning the so-called "ink nut" - a growth that appears on the leaves of plants under the influence of bacteria, fungi, etc.), in their opinion, indicates a person's hypersexuality, occupying a high position in society. At the same time, this sign exposes a person potentially capable of betrayal.
A drooping forehead and a protruding lower jaw are external signs of a criminal. This opinion was expressed by the criminologist Cesare Lombroso (Italy). However, modern researchers have recognized the inconsistency of this hypothesis, based on an analysis of the external appearance of numerous criminals. Some lawbreakers (especially scammers and rapists) are very good-looking, sociable and open - this is why people trust them, not suspecting that such a sweet and attractive person intends to encroach on their money or honor.
The larger the skull (and the size of the brain, respectively), the more gifted a person is. There is no direct relationship between these parameters, as craniologists say (craniology - from the Greek kranion - "skull" and logos - "teaching"). Typically, the weight of the brain of an adult is 1400-1600 grams. The brain of the talented Russian writer I. Turgenev weighed a little more - 2012 grams, the brain of the equally talented and famous French writer Anatole France - 1180 grams, and the brain of Einstein - 1230 grams.
Fair-haired people are calm, kind people. Blond (as well as light-haired and dark-blond) people really are most often distinguished by a kind-hearted disposition, shyness and shyness, a tendency to fantasize. However, their desire to hide from the harsh reality in some cases manifests itself either in the form of depression, anxiety and sociopathy, or in the form of aggressiveness and arrogance towards others.
In physiognomy, several different methods of assessing facial features are used. Many ways to analyze a person's appearance are divided into 2 large groups:
- microanalysis, the purpose of which is to determine the qualities of a person's personality by his appearance;
- macroanalysis (macro perspective) - methods that allow, in the process of analyzing the appearance of an individual, to determine what significant events and at what point in time can occur in his life, and also to identify the potentially possible level of a person's success in professional activity, personal life, etc.
In the process of diagnostics of this kind, a person's face is "zoned", i.e. is divided into several investigated parts in different ways. For example, when diagnosing a health condition, in plastic surgery, a topographic division of the face is used.Moreover, to study each of the selected parts, different methods are used: iridology focuses on the state of the human eyes, hair is the subject of study of trichology, auriculodiagnostics is carried out along the auricle, etc.
Astrologers divide a person's face into 7 parts, each of which is influenced by a certain planet or sign of the Zodiac (for example, the nose is in the power of Mars and Libra, the chin is the sphere of influence of Saturn and Pisces, etc.). In addition, vertical (on the left and right sides) and horizontal (into 3 equal parts) division of the face are also used, etc.
Having studied several treatises on physiognomy, you can easily determine the character and disposition of the interlocutor. Firstly, as in any other area related to interpersonal communication and, moreover, the definition of explicit or hidden qualities of the character of a counterpart (especially if he carefully hides them), in physiognomy, even a large amount of information gleaned from books will not replace personal experience ... Secondly, it should be borne in mind that it is advisable to analyze some facial features only in people who have reached a certain age (some features are clearly defined only after 40 years). Thirdly, even an experienced physiognomist is not immune from mistakes generated by the subjective perception of others, upbringing, cultural features, beliefs, etc.
For example, they incorrectly assess the character of the interlocutor due to the effect of beauty (beautiful people, in the opinion of others, are kind, wise, healthy, honest, etc., although in reality this opinion does not always turn out to be correct), the effect of stereotyping (manifests itself in the case of , if the person behaved inappropriately at the first meeting), etc.
And, finally, through intense work on oneself, a person can improve character traits, although external signs will remain practically unchanged and, again, can serve as a source of delusion. A striking example of this is the legend of Socrates: when the physiognomist suspected that the philosopher had bad inclinations, he replied that in his youth he really did not have the best character. However, in the process of self-knowledge and work on himself, he managed to improve his temper.
In China, physiognomy has long been revered as a science. The first mentions of the art of determining a person's character and predicting his fate by appearance (xianshu, xiangfa and xianzhensho) were found in the Zuozhuan treatise, dated back to the 5th century BC, and these "arts" were considered one of the branches of medicine. However, already in the III century BC. some philosophers (for example, Xun-tzu) questioned the practicality and consistency of this science.