Discovering man’s place in nature

05th January 2014

D. John Mulvaney


It is exactly a century since Charles Darwin published The Descent of Man and the pioneer anthropologist, E.B. Tylor, wrote his influential Primitive Culture. Darwin’s departure point in 1871 was his assumption that the ‘high antiquity of man has recently been demonstrated … and this is the indispensable basis for understanding his origin’ (Darwin 1883:2). Tylor shared Darwin’s views and proposed to apply to human culture the principles which Darwin applied to which Darwin applied to biology. The comparative study of human societies, stated Tylor, ‘is a subject apt for the study of laws of human thought and action’ (Tylor 1871:1).

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Mulvaney, D.J.
Discovering man's place in nature
June 1998
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