polygenism

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polygenism

(pə-lĭj′ə-nĭz′əm)
n.
The discredited theory that humans of different races are descended from different ancestors. Also called polygeny.

po·lyg′e·nist n.
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Gould 1981: 42-72) An excellent comprehensive history of the entire 'American School' of polygenist ideology can be found in William Stanton's The Leopard's Spots: Scientific Attitudes toward Race in America (1815-1859).
As noted above, d'Eichthal was an early adherent of the newly invented discipline of ethnology, advocating the polygenist, or multiple origins, thesis of race.
It also states claims that follow logically from polygenist as well as evolutionary theoy.
The polygenist argument accepts the "socialist" principle that it is unjust to subject natural equals to the inequalities of social life.
Polygenist theories like Knox's, in contrast, claimed that the races of humankind each derived from a separate origin and that their distinguishing traits were thus innate and possibly unalterable.
The polygenist position provided a rationalization for westward expansion, Manifest Destiny, Indian removal, slavery, and race discrimination.
Polygenist accounts of human diversity certainly became more widespread and systematic in the early nineteenth century.
My aim here is not to open a discussion on the theories of these authors and their differences, such as, for example, the debate between monogenist and polygenist anthropologists or their appropriation of the ideas of Buffon and/or Darwin.
Douglass of course had long been thinking about race and cultural origins, and in one of his best known antebellum lectures, "The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically Considered," a graduation speech delivered in 1854 before the Philozetian and Phi Delta literary societies of Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio, he had sought to counter the racist, polygenist arguments of the leading exponents of the so-called "American School" of ethnology--Josiah Nott, Samuel Morton, George Gliddon, and others--who had made avowedly scientific claims about the racial and cultural inferiority, separate evolution, and absolute difference of black peoples in relation to whites.
21) Neither was a polygenist, yet their philosophy of language did not suit Prichard's monogenism.
Nott was a polygenist who wanted to "cut loose the natural history of mankind from the Bible" and place anthropology on a scientific footing.
Haller (1971) characterizes the polygenist pro-slavery argument as insistent that "the Negro was not only a separate species but was incapable of modification through time.