Translated by Mary Turton. A palaeo-anthropologist argues theories of human origins development by archaeologists and anthropologists from the early 19th century to the present are structurally similar to Western folk theories, and to the speculations of earlier philosophers.
Wiktor Stoczkowski, a palaeo-anthropologist, argues that the theories of human origins developed by archaeologists and physical anthropologists from the early nineteenth century to the present day are structurally similar to Western folk theories, and to the speculations of earlier philosophers. Reviewing a remarkable range of thinkers writing in a variety of European languages, he makes a convincing argument for this case. Even though the book criticises the lack of development in theories of human origins, its conclusion is optimistic about the power of the scientific approach to deliver more reliable theories - but only if the influences of popular discourse on its thinking are properly identified.
1. Introduction; 2. Prehistory and the conditioned imagination; 3. Anthropogenesis and science; 4. In search of causes; 5. A double game.