The Mind of Primitive Man: A Course of Lectures Delivered Before the Lowell Institute, Boston, Mass., and the National University of Mexico, 1910-1911

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Macmillan, 1911 - Anthropology - 294 pages

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Page 268 - It may be well to state here once more with some emphasis that it would be erroneous to assume that there are no differences in the mental make-up of the Negro race and of other races, and that their activities should run in the same lines. On the contrary, if there is any meaning in correlation of anatomical structure and physiological function, we must expect that differences exist. There is, however, no evidence whatever that would stigmatize the Negro as of weaker build, or as subject to inclinations...
Page 268 - The traits of the American Negro are adequately explained on the basis of his history and social status. The tearing-away from the African soil and the consequent complete loss of the old standards of life, which were replaced by the dependency of slavery and by all it entailed, followed by a period of disorganization and by a severe economic struggle against heavy odds, are sufficient to explain the inferiority of the status of the race, without falling back upon the theory of hereditary inferiority.
Page 151 - In short, there is no proof that the lack of the use of numerals is in any way connected with the inability to form the concepts of higher numbers. If we want to form a correct judgment of the influence that language exerts over thought, we ought to bear in mind that our European languages as found at the present time have been moulded to a great extent by the abstract thought of philosophers.
Page 144 - ... many independent words may develop, while in other cases modifications of a single term may suffice. Thus it happens that each language, from the point of view of another language, may be arbitrary in its classifications; that what appears as a single simple idea in one language may be characterized by a series of distinct phonetic groups in another. The tendency of a language to express a complex idea by a single term has been styled "holophrasis," and it appears therefore that every language...
Page 207 - ... in terms of cause and effect. ". . . Primitive man views every action not only as adapted to its main object, every thought related to its main end, as we should perceive them, but ... he associates them with other ideas, often of a religious or at least a symbolic nature. Thus he gives to them a higher significance than they seem to us to deserve.
Page 201 - The difference in the mode of thought of primitive man and that of civilized man seems to consist largely in the difference of character of the traditional material with which the new perception associates itself.
Page 197 - ... processes of the mind. They must be due to a grouping of sense-impressions and of concepts which is not in any sense of the term voluntary, but which develops from quite different psychological causes.
Page 204 - ... to eliminate traditional elements, and to gain a clearer and clearer insight into the hypothetical basis of our reasoning. It is therefore not surprising that, with the advance of civilization, reasoning becomes more and more logical, not because each individual carries out his thought in a more logical manner, but because the traditional material which is handed down to each individual has been thought out and worked out more thoroughly and more carefully.
Page 276 - ... bloods — to their physical types, their mental and moral qualities, and their vitality. When the bulky literature of this subject is carefully sifted, little remains that will endure serious criticism; and I do not believe that I claim too much when I say that the whole work on this subject remains to be done. The development of modern methods of research makes it certain that by careful inquiry, definite answers to our problems may be found. Is it not, then, our plain duty to inform ourselves...
Page 272 - I think we have reason to be ashamed to confess that the scientific study of these questions has never received the support either of our government or of any of our great scientific institutions...

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