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The Mind Of Primitive Man

THE MIND of PRIMITIVE MAN by FRANZ BOAS. Originally published in 1911. PREFACE: Since 1911, when the first edition of The Mind of Primitive Man was published much work has been done in all the branches of science that have to be considered in the problem with which the book deals. The study of heredity has made important strides and has helped to clear up the concept of race. The influence of environment upon bodily form and behavior has been the subject of many investigations and the mental attitudes of primitive man have been studied from new points of view. For this reason a large part of the book had to be rewritten and rearranged. The first statement of some of the conclusions reached in the book were made in an address delivered by the author as vice-president of the Section of Anthropology of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 1895. Ever since that time the subject has re mained one of his chief interests. The result of his studies has been an ever-increasing certainty of his conclusions. There is no fundamental difference in the ways of think ing of primitive and civilized man. A close connection between race and personality has never been established. The concept of racial type as commonly used even in scientific literature is misleading and requires a logical as well as a biological redefinition. While it would seem that a great number of American students of biology, psychol ogy and anthropology concur with these views, popular prejudice, based on earlier scientific and popular tradition, has certainly not diminished, for race prejudice is still an important factor in our life. Still worse is the subjection of science to ignorant prejudice in countries controlled by dictators. Such control has extended particularly to books dealing with the subject matter of race and culture. Since nothing is permitted to be printed that runs counter to the ignorant whims and prejudices of the governing clique, there can be no trustworthy science. When a publisher whose pride used to be the number and value of his scien tific books announces in his calendar a book trying to show that race mixture is not harmful, withdraws the same book after a dictator comes into power, when great cyclopedias are rewritten according to prescribed tenets, when scientists either do not dare or are not allowed to publish results contradicting the prescribed doctrines, when others, in order to advance their own material in terests or blinded by uncontrolled emotion follow blindly the prescribed road no confidence can be placed in their statements. The suppression of intellectual freedom rings the death knell of science. FRANZ BOAS NEW YORK COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY January, 1938. Contents include: CONTENTS PAGE 1. INTRODUCTION 3 Double meaning of primitiveness, 3. The White race having achieved the highest civilization said to represent the highest physical type, 4. Does cultural achievement depend upon hereditary apti tude alone 6. Many races contributed to the or igin of civilization, 7. Early civilization in Amer ica, 8. Interpretation of rapidity of development, 8. Decline of primitive cultures, 11. Spread of civilization, 13. Summary, 15. The problem, 17. 2. HISTORICAL REVIEW 19 Boulainvilliers and Gobineau, 19. Klemm, 20. Carus, 21. Morton, 22. Nott and Gliddon, 23. Houston Stewart Chamberlain, 24. Madison Grant, 25. Palaeontologist, 26. Stoddard, 26. von Eickstedt, 27...
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