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December 1962

Toward a Science of Mankind.

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

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

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