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J., E. (1928). Primitive Man: His Essential Quest: By John Murphy, D.Litt. (Oxford University Press, London, 1927. Pp. 341. Price 15 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:130-131.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:130-131

Primitive Man: His Essential Quest: By John Murphy, D.Litt. (Oxford University Press, London, 1927. Pp. 341. Price 15 s.)

Review by:
E. J.

It is our function here to review only the relations between the contents of a given book and psycho-analysis, otherwise it would be a pleasure to dally on the numerous interesting features of the present volume. It is an attempt to deal with social anthropology from a psychological point of view, one which will be greeted sympathetically by any psycho-analyst. In the preface Dr. Marett writes appositely that 'if the so-called diffusionist school had its way, no room would be left for the psychologist within the four corners of the subject. But, surely, such a one-sided attitude is simply absurd. Suppose it were true, as they contend, that genuine origination is rare, and men live mostly by imitation. Even so, every act of borrowing has two aspects, of which one—and, in my opinion, far the more important—is essentially a matter for psychological consideration'.

The author ranges widely over the problems of instinct, intelligence, reasoning, the formation of primitive concepts and religion.

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