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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF
MAN AND CIVILIZATION
EDWARD B. TYLOR, D. C. L., F. R. S.
In times when subjects of education have multiplied, it may seem at first sight a hardship to lay on the already heavily-pressed student a new science. But it will be found that the real effect of Anthropology is rather to lighten than increase the strain of learning. In the mountains we see the bearers of heavy burdens contentedly shoulder a carrying-frame besides, because they find its weight more than compensated by the convenience of holding together and balancing their load. So it is with the science of Man and Civilization, which connects into a more manageable whole the scattered subjects of an ordinary education. Much of the difficulty of learning and teaching lies in the scholar's not seeing clearly what each science or art is for, what its place is among the purposes of life. If he knows something of its early history, and how it arose from the simpler wants and circumstances of mankind, he finds himself better able to lay hold of it than when, as too often happens, he is called on to take up an abstruse subject not at the beginning but in the middle. When he has learnt something of man's rudest means of conversing by gestures and cries, and thence has been led to see how the higher
devices of articulate speech are improvements on such lower methods, he makes a fairer start in the science of language than if he had fallen unprepared among the subtleties of grammar, which unexplained look like arbitrary rules framed to perplex rather than to inform. The dislike of so many beginners to geometry as expounded by Euklid, the fact that not one out of three ever really understands what he is doing, is of all things due to the scholar not being shown first the practical common-sense starting point, where the old carpenters and builders began to make out the relations of distances and spaces in their work. So the law-student plunges at once into the intricacies of legal systems which have grown up through the struggles, the reforms, and even the blunders of thousands of years, yet he might have made his way clearer by seeing how laws begin in their simplest forms, framed to meet the needs of savage and barbaric tribes. It is needless to make a list of all the branches of education in knowledge and art; there is not one which may not be the easier and better learnt for knowing its history and place in the general science of Man.
With this aim in view, the present volume is an introduction to Anthropology, rather than a summary of all it teaches. It does not deal with strictly technical matter, out of the reach of readers who have received, or are receiving, the ordinary higher English education. Thus, except to students trained in anatomy, the minute niodern researches as to distinction of races by skull measurements and the like would be useless. Much care