Darwin’s handwriting analysis

At first, Darwin’s handwriting confirms we face a personality, in the Jungian terminology, whose main function is thought, as the sign “Spacing between words” is predominant above average, suggesting his specific disposition to reasoning and criticism. This means he is charmed, as a scientist, by the theories which can be extrapolated out of facts, since handwritings that exhibit a wide space between words belong to personalities who love and can afford (in a context of a well-balanced triple width) to frame wide theories, embracing many facts. The power of rational thinking, as Moretti writes, comes from the fact that “the mind of a rational thinker separates, by abstraction, what is essential from what is accidental in something, what is permanent and unchangeable from what is changeable; and it divides the one from the other by a clean, precise cut.”(2)
Darwin’s handwriting, in this sense, indicates a strong tendency to science philosophy.

Handwriting sample: Charles Darwin

The sensory approach nurturing Darwin’s elaboration and subsequent theoretical scheme is focused, that is to say precisely addressed to specific views of reality. He is not dealing with abstract, deep philosophical topics, but starts from strictly defined problems (“Narrow letters, Sharp”), as his interests show clearly: the eight years he spent in classifying cirripeds, for instance, are actually a very specific base, even frustrating for a wide-minded theorist; however they can be seen as a field in which his mind could exercise in problems related to the definition and classification of species. Mental games, however, were settled between his sharp observation, rooted in details that elicited very concrete questions, with its evidence not framed in the theories of the time, and his reasoning mind feeling forced to take the challenge and set a wider approach for the investigation and theoretic research of new explanations which take account of the newly observed facts. And here, related to the triple width in Darwin’s handwriting, another important point that should belong to any scientific mind, that is being generous (“Spacing between letters”) in searching the possible causes of the observed facts, and consequently being open to the complexity of the world; all this, checked by a critical thinking which tends to discuss exhaustively, by means of strict logic and concept originality, the points and contradictions of reality which caught its attention.(“Spacing between words” at least 8/10)
The triple width’s powerful combination finds inner creative support in his intuition (“Methodically uneven”), continuity (“Connected”), tenacity (“B angles”), firmness (“Stable on the line”). It tends to essentiality in concept (“Essential”), making him feel at ease with the natural sciences, even though the accuracy in definition is totally preserved. (“Spontaneous accurate”).
By sheer evidence, we have here a deep, sophisticated, articulated theorist, who could understand the weak points in his own thinking and foresee possible critics, almost loving them as they gave him the chance to refine his theory from any imperfection that escaped his attention.
From a social point of view, he is not a loner (“Forward slant, Sinuous”), nonetheless he can find the strength to keep clearly defined his thought, avoiding accommodations coming from other than strict logic and criticism, his main characteristics. According to his need of articulated and precise arguments, he could better find the strength and innermost resources to remain alone and isolated than give himself away, adapt or change his focus because of pressures coming from otherwise than rationally based views.