Friedrich Tiedemann

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Friedrich Tiedemann
Friedrich Tiedemann.jpg
Tiedemann in 1820
Born (1781-08-23)23 August 1781
Cassel, Hesse-Kassel
(now Kassel, Hesse, Germany)
Died 22 January 1861(1861-01-22) (aged 79)
Nationality German
Fields Anatomy
Doctoral advisor Johann Wilhelm Christian Brühl[1]
Other academic advisors Conrad Moench
Georg Wilhelm Stein (de)
Adalbert Friedrich Marcus (de)
Karl Kaspar von Siebold
Franz Kaspar Hesselbach
Georges Cuvier
Influences Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring

Friedrich Tiedemann (23 August 1781 – 22 January 1861) was a German anatomist and physiologist.

Tiedemann spent most of his life as professor of anatomy and physiology at Heidelberg, a position to which he was appointed in 1816, after having filled the chair of anatomy and zoology for ten years at Landshut, and died at Munich.[2] He was elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1827.

Early life and education[edit]

Tiedemann was born at Cassel, the eldest son of Dietrich Tiedemann (1748–1803), a philosopher and psychologist of considerable repute. He graduated in medicine at Marburg in 1804, but soon abandoned practice.[2]


Tiedemann devoted himself to the study of natural science, and, upon moving to Paris, France, became an ardent follower of Georges Cuvier. On his return to Germany he maintained the claims of patient and sober anatomical research against the prevalent speculations of the school of Lorenz Oken, whose foremost antagonist he was long reckoned. His remarkable studies of the development of the human brain, as correlated with his father's studies on the development of intelligence, deserve mention.[2]

Tiedemann was one of the first persons to make a scientific contestation of racism, in his article entitled "On the Brain of the Negro, compared with that of the European and the Orang-outang" (1836) he argued based on craniometric and brain measures taken by him from Europeans and black men from different parts of the world that the then-common European belief that Negroes have smaller brains and are thus intellectually inferior is scientifically unfounded and based merely on the prejudice of travelers and explorers.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Two of Tiedemann's sons, Gustav and Heinrich, were casualties of the 1848 uprisings.[citation needed]


In 2007, Brazilian geneticist Sergio Pena called Tiedemann an "anti-racist ahead of his time".[4]


  1. ^ Neurotree profile Friedrich Tiedemann
  2. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Tiedemann, Friedrich (1836). "On the Brain of the Negro, compared with that of the european and the orang-outang". Phil. Trans 126. 
  4. ^ Pena, Sergio (2007). "Um anti-racista à frente de seu tempo". Ciencia Hoje. Instituto Ciencia Hoje. Retrieved April 6, 2013. Um anti-racista à frente de seu tempo 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tiedemann, Friedrich". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]