July 16, 2017

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By I. Ollich-Castanyer

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Extra info for Archaeology - New Apprs. in Theory, Techniques

Sample text

This fanciful, dummy creature, who has been very tenacious of existence in popular and semi-popular economic literature, and whose shadow haunts even the minds of competent anthropologists, blighting their outlook with a pre-conceived idea, is an imaginary, primitive man, or savage, prompted in all his actions by a rationalistic conception of self-interest, and achieving his aims directly and with the minimum of effort. Even one well established instance should show how preposterous is this assumption that man, and especially man on a low level of culture, should be actuated by pure economic motives of enlightened self-interest.

Thus, McCollum and Davis (1915:185) dismantled the notion that, in the living world, energy alone could promote growth when they wrote that: “…all of which make it evident that purified proteins, fats having the growth-promoting property, and salt mixtures of appropriate composition, cannot adequately supplement polished rice so as to produce a diet which will support growth”. In a case of bitter irony, then, McCollum and Davis (1915:192) argued that increasing attention to the non-energy producing accessory substances would lead to significant economic benefits through better health and nutrition.

This fanciful, dummy creature, who has been very tenacious of existence in popular and semi-popular economic literature, and whose shadow haunts even the minds of competent anthropologists, blighting their outlook with a pre-conceived idea, is an imaginary, primitive man, or savage, prompted in all his actions by a rationalistic conception of self-interest, and achieving his aims directly and with the minimum of effort. Even one well established instance should show how preposterous is this assumption that man, and especially man on a low level of culture, should be actuated by pure economic motives of enlightened self-interest.

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