ATH 448-01

Comparative method

  • assumptions
    • psychic unity of mankind: humans are one species and think in similar ways
    • ethnocentrism: my culture is the highest, it is the model why which others are judged
    • Nonwestern societies can provide info about origins of European culture

Nonwestern theories of evolution

  • Lugbara (Uganda)

Cultural Evolution: Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881)

  • Ancient Society (1877)
  • Progress stems from technological discovery
  • institutions diffused from common germs in original stock
  • institutions unfold from original ideas

Morgan’s theory of Cultural Evolution

  • civilization = writing
  • upper barbarism = iron
  • middle barbarism = irrigation
  • lower barbarism = agriculture
  • upper savagery = pottery
  • middle savagery = bow & arrow
  • lower savagery = fishing & fire

John Lubbock (1834 – 1913)

  • Origins of civilization (1870)
  • studied at Eton
  • MP
  • Social insects
  • archaeology

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