Academy,  2 (1870–71), 314–16.

[Review of The People of India, edited by John F Watson and John W Kaye]

A Bastian



Publications reviewed:

Watson and Kaye eds. 1868–69


Ethnology, Induction, Chemistry, Alchemy, History of Science, Analogy, Race, Human Species, Taxonomy, Natural Law, Botany, Physiology, Societies, Photography, Anthropology, Measurement, Comparative Philology, Religion, Population, Imperialism

People mentioned:

Robert Boyle

Publications cited:

Boyle 1661

    Claims that ethnology is 'at present in that critical stage of transition through which all the inductive sciences, some earlier, some later, have passed in modern times', and suggests that its current position is 'analogous' to that of chemistry in the early seventeenth century. The 'indispensable necessity of all sciences' is not classification, but 'observation of, and insight into, law'. At present, however, 'Ethnology still awaits its Jussieu to replace its artificial classifications by a natural one', although just as 'systematic botany gave place to vegetable physiology, so, in like manner, ethnology will have to look upon its classification of race—with which the school-books hitherto have been almost exclusively occupied—as merely a preliminary step towards a physiology of mankind, and to a science of the laws which govern its spiritual growth'. The people of India present 'a problem of extreme difficulty' in 'the helpless condition of modern ethnology—deprived of its old principles before being able to create new ones', but at least 'the Ethnological and Anthropological Societies of London (for to them the credit belongs)' have drawn attention to 'the inexhaustible storehouse for ethnological research' that exists in the subcontinent. (314) Notes that 'the claims of anthropology pure and simple, which require the body to be undraped, have been sacrificed in these photographs to ethnological considerations which require the dress to be represented', and suggests that when there are two photographs 'one full-face, and one in exact profile [....] it is even possible to take measurements from them, and when opportunity is afforded for the employment of Lambert's method of measurement, or Huxley's more simple mode, it should never be lost' (315).

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