Progress and Power: Three Lectures Delivered at Stanford University, on the Raymond Fred West Memorial Foundation, April 1935

By Carl L. Becker | Go to book overview

LECTURE TWO
The Sword and the Pen

The generations pass away, While others remain.

--Ancient Egyptian love song


I

THE activities of man during the first and by far the most extended of the four periods need not detain us long. Since the duty of the historian is to "exhaust the sources of information," the consciousness of having made an "original contribution to knowledge" is likely to be in inverse proportion to the wealth of information at his disposal. We can thus be fairly certain of the activities of Pithecanthropus and his descendants for 450,000 years, because we cannot see what they were doing: we can see only some fragments of skeleton remains and a few chipped-flint hand tools. The examination of these, undisturbed by other perverse intruding facts in the vast empty surrounding void, enables us to perceive, according to Mr. Gerald Heard, that the Erect-Ape-Men (Trial-Men, Dawn-Men, Sub-Men) originally lived in trees. We can, he thinks, also see them becoming "too heavy for the branches, a fall was too serious. So Nature furled their tails and . . . .

-28-

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Progress and Power: Three Lectures Delivered at Stanford University, on the Raymond Fred West Memorial Foundation, April 1935
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Lecture One - Tools and the Man 1
  • Lecture Two - The Sword and the Pen 28
  • Lecture Three - Instruments of Precision 61
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