Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries


Although social sciences such as anthropology are often thought of as having been organized as late as the nineteenth century, the time of the advent of the academic departmentalization of social sciences, the ideas upon which such studies were founded were actually proposed centuries earlier. In fact, such concepts can be traced at least to the sixteenth century, when the discovery by Europeans of unfamiliar peoples in the new world necessitated the development of a way to both describe and understand the social similarities and differences among humans.

Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries examines the history of some of those concepts. It includes a discussion of ideas adopted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to help understand issues such as the origin of culture. the diversity of traits, the significance of similarities, the sequence of high civilizations, the course of cultural change, and the theory of social evolution. It is a book that not only illuminates the thinking of a by-gone age but also sheds much light on the sources of the mindsets of today.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Philadelphia
Publication year:
  • 1971


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