Researches Into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization

Edward Burnett Tylor

Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 11,7 MB
  • EAN: 9780243847105
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In the first place, when a general law can be inferred from a group of facts, the use of detailed history is very much super seded. When we see a magnet attract a piece of iron, having come by experience to the general law that magnets attract iron, we do not take the trouble to go into the history Of the particular magnet in question. To some extent this direct reference to general laws may be made in the study of Civili zation. The four next chapters of the present book treat of the various ways in which man utters his thoughts, in Gestures, Words, Pictures, and Writing. Here, though Speech and Writing must be investigated historically, depending as they do in so great measure on the words and characters which were current in the world thousands Of years ago, on the other hand the gesture-language and picture-iriting may be mostly ex plained without the aid of history, as direct products Of the human mind. In the following chapter on Images and Names, an attempt is made to refer a great part Of the beliefs and practices included under the general name Of magic, to one very simple mental law, as resulting from a condition of mind which we of the more advanced races have almost outgrown, and in doing so have undergone one of the most notable changes which we can trace as having happened to mankind. And lastly, a particular habit Of mind accounts for a class Of stories which are here grouped together as Myths of Obser vation, as distinguished from the tales which make up the great bulk of the folk-lore of the world, many of which latter are now being Shown by the new school Of Comparative mythoo logista in Germany and England to have come into existence also by virtue Of a general law, but a very different one.