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Demystifying Mentalities (Themes in the…

Demystifying Mentalities (Themes in the Social Sciences)

by Geoffrey Ernest Richard Lloyd

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A slightly repetitive book, but packed with great insights. The author argues that any talk about distinct mentalities among historical or primitive peoples is misguided. Human thought is much more complex than such a simple concept allows. He discusses at length the diversity of ancient scientific thought and draws some parallels to the social and political conditions of the time. As an added bonus he also frequently refers to anthropological studies to illustrate his points. He also emphasizes how little we can know for sure about other peoples' thought. You will learn a lot from this book.
  thcson | Mar 16, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521366801, Paperback)

If faraway peoples have different ideas from our own, is this because they have different mentalities? Did our remote ancestors lack logic? The notion of distinct mentalities has been used extensively by historians to describe and explain cultural diversity. Professor Lloyd rejects this psychologising talk of mentalities and proposes an alternative approach, which takes as its starting point the social contexts of communication. Discussing apparently irrational beliefs and behaviour (such as magic), he shows how different forms of thought coexist in a single culture but within conventionally defined contexts.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:28 -0400)

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