is so much harder, to be candid about ourselves. Let us look at ourselves as if we were so many bees and ants, not forgetting, of course, to make use of the inside information that in the case of the insects we so conspicuously lack.
This does not mean that human history, once constructed according to truth-regarding principles, should and could not be used for the practical advantage of mankind. The anthropologist, however, is not, as such, concerned with the practical employment to which his discoveries are put. At most, he may, on the strength of a conviction that truth is mighty and will prevail for human good, invite practical men to study his facts and generalizations in the hope that, by knowing mankind better, they may come to appreciate and serve it better. For instance, the administrator, who rules over savages, is almost invariably quite well-meaning, but not seldom utterly ignorant of native customs and beliefs. So, in many cases, is the missionary, another type of person in authority, who
This is one of the finest introductions to anthropology I know despite its being published in 1912. Marett is a clear, kind writer. His prose is graceful, understandable, deeply knowledgeable, and has the friendly tone of a person who loves anthropology and wants to introduce you to it.