Lucien Lévy-Bruhl

Lucien Lévy-Bruhl
Birth 1857
Death 1939

French philosopher and ethnographer. He studied the ‘primitive’, ‘pre-logical’ mentality of illiterate people and showed how it was categorically different to a ‘civilised’ mentality. That former was based on mysticism and free association rather than causal relationships: I didn’t kill the bird because I aimed well, but because I prayed hard to the totem. He later rejected his own theories, but it was too late; they’d already embedded themselves in the history of science.

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