Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/475

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Reviews. 433

an important part in the genesis of the classificatory function in general. These conditions are social. The social relations of mankind are not based on the logical relations of things : they have served as the prototypes of the latter. Men have not divided themselves into clans according to a prior classification of things. On the contrary, they have thus classified things because they themselves were first of all divided into clans. Nor has society been merely the model on which the classifying thought has wrought : the framework of society has been the very framework of the system of things. Men were themselves first of all grouped. For that reason they could only think under the form of groups. And when they came to group ideally other beings, the two modes of grouping began by confusion to the pointof being indistinguish- able. Phratries were the first genuses, clans the first species. Things were deemed an integral part of society, and their place in society determined their place in nature.

Moreover, not only the exterior form of the classes but the relations which unite them to one another are social in their origin. The logical hierarchy is only another aspect of the social hierarchy, and the unity of knowledge is nothing else than the unity of the social whole extended to the universe. The bonds of relationship of things are conceived as social bonds, as the words genus, family, &c., remind us. To us indeed these words are no more than metaphors : to the primitive savage they were literal facts. This means that the same sentiments which are at the basis of domestic and social organisation presided also at the logical classification of objects. It is states of the collective feeling which have given birth to these groupings. In such states of feeling there are sentimental affinities between things as between individuals, and they are classified according to these affinities. In other words, the differences and the resemblances which determine the manner of grouping are more emotional than intellectual. It is often said that man began by imagining objects as they were related to himself. We are now in a posi- tion to state more precisely in what anthropocentrism, better called sociocentrism, consists. The centre of the earliest system of nature is not the individual : it is the society. Nothing demonstrates this better than the manner in which the Sioux hold in some sort the entire world within the limits of the tribal space, and universal space itself is nothing else than the site occupied by VOL. xiv. 2 F