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ANTH227 Week 1 Summary

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McGill University
ANTH 227
Tobias Rees

The study of medicine as an anthropological field only arose recently It was common thinking amongst the arm chair anthropologists of the late 18th century that the evolution of medicine amongst cultures was unilinear with the placement of peoples within this scale as a goal This meaning that societies that were seen as premodern would eventually develop healing practices and gain scientific knowledge that had already been discovered by European However Rivers findings are that these native societies do not share the concept of medicine instead they have a magicoreligious viewpoint of healing with no distinction between the social processes of medicine magic nor religion This absence of the European paradigm of medicine meant that the social processes of healing were studied instead as assuming that certain societies had medicine would be incorrect even if the method or practice were correctEuropean views of anthropology in the late 1800s veered towards assessing other societies from a viewpoint o
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