December 1962

Toward a Science of Mankind.

Author Affiliations

By Laura Thompson, Ph.D. Price, $5.95. Pp. 276, with no illustrations. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 330 West 42d St., New York 36, 1961.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;7(6):460. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01720060072007

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In Toward a Science of Mankind, Laura Thompson has summarized her experience and philosophy as a cultural anthropologist. She prefaces her book with a "deceptively simple statement" by Pendleton Herring: "One of the greatest needs of the social sciences is for the development of skilled practitioners who can use social data for the cure of social ills as doctors use scientific data to cure our bodily ills." She proposes as a first step in achieving this goal "to advance our knowledge of mankind to the point where it has sufficient predictive value that we may apply it systematically to social problems of global scope."

The book is written for the social scientist and is divided into 2 parts, entitled "The Search for Method" and "An Emerging Hypothesis." The 15 chapters have a strong theoretical flavor. Miss Thompson describes how single and cross-discipline studies contribute to the concept

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview