Man and Nature: An Anthropological Essay in Human Ecology

Man and Nature: An Anthropological Essay in Human Ecology

Man and Nature: An Anthropological Essay in Human Ecology

Man and Nature: An Anthropological Essay in Human Ecology

Excerpt

Man and Nature presents hypothetical models of eight ways of life --of the nonhuman primate, the protohuman, and six stages of man--synthesized from factual information about the interaction of selected primates with the physical environment. The eight "ways of life" chapters, which form Part II, the core of the book, thus contain few statements of "fact" in a technical sense. The models are constructed on the basis of fundamental laws derived from regularities observable in man's natural interaction with the physical environment and show the logical structure of the various forms of this interaction. Two introductory chapters--on methodology and terms, respectively--comprise Part I. Chapters 11 and 12, which make up Part III, evaluate the sequence of the models as a possible representation of evolutionary and historical fact.

Although the models are based on fact, we do not present them as representations of any actual ways of life; we claim only that they are reasonable generalizations of distinct types. They are meant to be altered in the light of further scientific discoveries. Their heuristic value lies in their representation of structural relations among elements within each type and among the various types. An examination of these structural relations may suggest courses of . . .

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