ESSAYS ON SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

Romanticism, Race, and Recapitulation

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Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2101-2102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066826

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Summary

In this essay, Finkelstein describes how Romantics writing about race approached the subject by using analogy, polarities, and hierarchies of class and power to define racial differences. Although recapitulation is no longer accepted as a principle in embryology and evolution, the idea that social development and civilization parallel an order of races is a carryover from Romantic ideas about recapitulation.