Yes, the Primal Crime Did Take Place: A Further Defense of Freud's Totem and Taboo



Abstract Recent contributions to the study of the evolution of early human society from its prehuman primate predecessors make it possible to reassess Freud's theory of the “primal crime” put forward in the fourth essay of Totem and Taboo. Shorn of its antiquated language, and of its unnecessary “Lamarckism,” Freud's picture of the transition from prehuman to early hominid social structure turns out to have been remarkably plausible and prescient. [psychoanalytic anthropology, Freud's cultural theory, “Totem and Taboo,” human evolution, egalitarianism]