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November 1927

The Escape from the Primitive.

Arch NeurPsych. 1927;18(5):865. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1927.02210050199019

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Abstract

Civilized man has evolved from more primitive forms of life not only in his body structure but also in his behavior, the manner in which he reacts to his surroundings in the primeval struggle for self and race preservation. In this striking book, the author not only endeavors to outline the evolution of conscious reactions from reflex or instinctive responses, but also points out that man today is still dominated in part by phylogenous or, as the psychoanalyst calls them, archaic mechanisms. He stresses the importance of discarding the old fallacy that more primitive means more natural. "The savage who lives primitively is no more a part of nature than the civilized man." In the first part of the book, the author discusses effectively and sanely the questions of chance or purpose, determinism and teleology, instinct and intelligence, free will and fate, and human responsibility in the phenomena of evolution.

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