Anthropology as a comparative science
Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2007
Copyright © 1957 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 2, Issue 4, pages 249–254, 1957
How to Cite
Murdoch, G. P. (1957), Anthropology as a comparative science. Syst. Res., 2: 249–254. doi: 10.1002/bs.3830020402
- Issue online: 17 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2007
- Manuscript Received: 23 MAY 1957
There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, of the three tribal chiefs who were asked what their people did with their fathers when they died. One chief replied, “We eat them.” Another said, “We burn them.” And the third said, “We bury them.” Each chief was unbelievably shocked by the repulsive, barbarous, and sacrilegious practices of the other two. Anthropology as a comparative science of man seeks, along with sociology and psychology, systematically to study and to understand the many different kinds of behavior found in the thousands of human societies known to history and ethnography, for only with such a cross-cultural approach will it be possible to create a science of human behavior.