By Bronislaw Malinowski
Malinowski offers during this ebook his definitive assertion of the speculation of functionalism. because the crucial clue to the knowledge of human habit, primitive and civilized, he analyzes the sensible precept that tradition is an exam of the basics of anthropology for the aim of making a basic procedure to provide an explanation for the evidence of tradition through this principle.
Originally released 1944.
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Additional resources for A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays
Such survivals, however, do occur. The horse cab appears at certain times of the day or night and in certain places. Is it a survival? Yes and no. If we were to treat it as the best and most rapid or cheapest means of locomotion, it certainly would be both an anachronism and a survival. It obviously has changed its function. Does this function fail to harmonize with presentday conditions? Obviously not. Such an antiquated me^ns of locomotion is used for retrospective sentiment, as a CONCEPTS AND METHODS OF ANTHROPOLOGY 29 "ride into the past"; very often, I am afraid, it moves where the fare is slightly intoxicated or else romantically inclined.
Fox). The merit of the moderate anthropological diffusionism lies in its geographical rather than in its historical contributions. As a survey of facts correlated to their geographical substratum, it is a valuable method of bringing out the influence of physical habitat as well as the possibilities of cultural transmission. The distributions mapped out for America by Boas, Spinden, Lowie, Wissler, Kroeber, Rivet and Nordenskiold; the survey of Melanesian cultures given by Graebner; of Australian provinces given by W.
We would have to register the technical, ethical, scientific, and legal rules or by-laws governing the behavior of the group; it would be well to check such rules as against the actual performances of the people. Finally, we would have to assess the position of such a group with relation to the community as a whole, that is, to define its function. True to our principles, we have started from our own civilization, convinced that anthropology might as well begin at home. We also started by analyzing whether any idea, principle, device, religious revelation, or moral principle has any social or cultural relevancy without being organized.