This is chapter 8 of the "The Phenomenon of Science" by Valentin F. Turchin




LET US CONTINUE our excursion through the stages of evolution. The subject of our analysis now will be the history of the development of language and thinking, the most important component of ''spiritual" culture. As we have already noted, the division of culture into "material" and ''spiritual'' is quite arbitrary and the terms themselves do not reflect the substance of the division very accurately, so that when we want to emphasize this we place them within quotation marks. The use of a tool and, even more so, the creation of new ones demand the work of imagination and are accompanied by emotions, giving us grounds to consider these phenomena part of ''spiritual'' culture. At the same time, the process of thinking manifests itself as definite linguistic activity directed to completely material objects-- linguistic objects. Language and thinking are very closely interconnected with material culture. The historian who sets himself the task of investigating the mechanism of the development of culture can only consider these phenomena in their interrelationship. He must also take account of other aspects of culture--above all the social structure of society--as well as the influence of natural conditions, historical accidents, and other factors. But the present investigation is not historical. Our task is simpler: without going into the details of historical development to describe what happened from a cybernetic or, as is also said, from a systems point of view. As with the question of the origin of human beings, we shall not be interested in a profound, intricate presentation of the historical circumstances that led to the particular step in the development of culture at the particular place and time. Our approach remains very global and general. We are interested in just one aspect of culture (but it is the most important one in the mechanics of development!)--its structure as a control hierarchy. Accordingly, we will view the development of culture also as a process of increasing complexity in this hierarchy through successive metasystem transitions. We will show, as was also true in the case of biological development, that the most important stages in the development of language and thinking are separated from one another by precisely these metasystem transitions.


IN THE DEVELOPMENT of culture we discern above all two clearly distinct steps: the savage state (primitive culture) and civilization. The clear delineation between them does not mean that there are no transitional forms at all; the transition from the savage state to civilization is not carried out instantaneously, of course. But once it has begun, the development of culture through the creation of civilization takes place so rapidly that an obvious and indisputable difference between the new level of culture and the old manifests itself in a period of time which is vastly smaller than the time of existence in the savage state. The emergence of civilization is a qualitative leap forward. The total time of existence of civilization on Earth (not more than 5,000 to 6,000 years) constitutes a small part of the time (at least 40,000 years) during which the human race has existed as a biologically invariable species. Thus, the emergence of civilization is a phenomenon which belongs entirely to the sphere of culture and is in not linked to the biological refinement of the human being. This distinguishes it from the emergence of language and labor activity but the consequences of this phenomenon for the biosphere are truly enormous, even if they are measured by simple quantitative indexes rather than by the complexity of the structures which emerge. In the short time during which civilization has existed, the human race has had incomparably more effect on the face of the planet than during the many millennia of the savage state. The size of the human race and its effect on the biosphere have grown at a particularly swift pace in the last three centuries; this is a result of the advances of science, the favorite child of civilization.

This fact requires explanation. Such an abrupt qualitative leap forward in the observed manifestations of culture must be linked to some essential, fundamental change in the internal structure of culture. Language is the core of culture; it insures its uniformity, its "nervous system." We have in mind here not language as an abstract system possessing particular grammatical characteristics and used for expressing thoughts, but rather language as a living reality, as the social norm of linguistic activity. In other words, we have in mind the full observed (material if you like) side of thinking. Therefore, when we say ''language" we immediately add "and thinking". So language (and thinking) are the nervous system of culture and it may therefore be expected that there is some important difference between the language and thinking of primitive and of modern peoples. Indeed, a study of the culture of backward peoples reveals that they have a way of thinking which greatly differs from that of modern Europeans. This difference is by no means simply one in levels of knowledge. If a European is placed under primitive conditions he will hardly be able to use (or even show!) his knowledge of Ohm's law, the chemical formula for water, or the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not vice versa. But the difference in way of thinking, in the approach to the phenomena of reality, remains and will quickly show itself in behavior.

That difference can be summarized as follows. To a primitive person the observed phenomena of the world appear to be caused by invisible, supernatural beings. The primitives resort to incantations, ritual dances, sacrifices, strictly observed prohibitions (tabus), and so on to appease or drive off such beings. E. Taylor, one of the founders of the scientific study of primitive cultures, has called this view of the world animism, assuming the existence of spirits in all objects. To primitive people, certain mysterious relations and influences can exist between different objects ("mystic participation,'' in the terminology of the French ethnographer L. Levy Bruhl). Such relations always exist, in particular between the object and its image, or name. From this follow primitive magic and belief in the mystical connection between the tribe and a particular animal species (the totem ).

But what is most surprising to the European is not the content of the representations of primitive people, rather it is their extreme resistance and insensitivity to the data of experience. Primitive thinking is inconceivably conservative and closed. Obvious facts which, in the European's opinion, would inevitably have to change the notions, of the primitive individual and force him to reconsider certain convictions do not, for some reason, have any effect on him at all. And attempts to persuade and prove often lead to results diametrically opposite to what was expected. It is this, not the belief in the existence of spirits and a mystical connection among objects, which is the more profound difference between primitive and modern thinking. In the last analysis, everything in the world is truly interrelated! When presenting the law of universal gravity we could say that there is a spirit of gravity in every body and each spirit strives to draw closely to the other spirit with a force proportional to the mass of the two bodies and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This would not hinder us at all in correctly calculating the movement of the planets. But even if we do not use the word ''spirit,'' we still use the word ''force.'' And, in actuality, what is the Newtonian force of gravity? It is the same spirit: something unseen, unheard, unfelt, without taste or smell, but nonetheless really existing and influencing things.

These characteristics of the thinking of primitive people are amazingly widespread. It can be said that they are common to all primitive peoples, regardless of their racial affiliation and geographic conditions and despite differences in the concrete forms of culture where they manifest themselves. This gives us grounds to speak of primitive thinking, juxtaposing it to modern thinking and viewing it as the first, historically inevitable phase of human thinking. Without negating the correctness of such a division or of our attempts to explain the transition, it should be noted that, as with any division of a continuous process into distinct phases, there are transitional forms too; in the thinking of a modern civilized person we often discern characteristics that go back to the intellectual activity of mammoth and cave-bear hunters.


THE PRIMITIVE PHASE is the phase of thinking which follows immediately after the emergence of language and is characterized by the fact that linguistic activity has not yet become its own object. The transition to the phase of modern thinking is a metasystem transition, in which there is an emergence of linguistic activity directed to linguistic activity. The language of primitive people is first-level language, while the language of modern people is second-level language (which specifically includes grammar and logic). But the transition to modern thinking is not simply a metasystem transition in language if we view language statically, as a certain possibility or method of activity. It includes a metasystem transition in real linguistic activity as a socially significant norm of behavior. With the transition to the phase of modern thinking it is not enough to think about something: one must also ask why one thinks that way, whether there is an alternative line of thought, and what would be the consequences of these particular thoughts. Thus, modern thinking is critical thinking, while primitive thinking can be called precritical. Critical thinking has become so accepted that it is taken for granted today. It is true that we sometimes say that a particular individual thinks uncritically: however, the term itself means that uncritical thinking is the exception, not the rule. An uncritical quality in thinking is ordinarily considered a weakness, and attempts are made to explain it in some way-- perhaps by the influence of emotions, a desire to avoid certain conclusions, and so on. In the case of certain convictions (dogmas. for example), uncritical thinking may be justified by their special (or sacred) origin. But the general stream of our thinking continues to be critical. This does not mean that it is always original and free of stereotypes, but even when we think in stereotyped ways we are nonetheless thinking critically because of the nature of the stereotype. It includes linguistic activity directed to linguistic activity, it teaches to separate the name from the meaning and remember the arbitrary nature of the connection between them, and it teaches us to think. ''Why do I talk or think this way?'' Not only do we use this stereotype, we also employ the results of its use by preceding generations.

Things are different in primitive society, where the relation between language and reality is not yet the object of thought. There the social norm of thinking is to treat the words, notions, and rules of one's culture as something unconditionally given, absolute, and inseparable from other elements of reality. This is a very fundamental difference from the modern way of thinking. Let us consider primitive thinking in more detail and show that its basic observed characteristics follow from this feature, its precritical nature.

We use below material from the writings of L. Levy-Bruhl, Primitive Thinking.[1] This book combines material from Levy-Bruhl's La mentalité primitive and Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures). This book is interesting because it collects a great deal of material on primitive culture which convincingly demonstrates the difference between primitive and modern thinking. A feature of Levy-Bruhl's conception is that he describes the thinking of individual members of primitive society as controlled by the collective representations of the given culture (actually, of course, this does not apply only to primitive society, but Levy-Bruhl somehow does not notice this). Also to Levy-Bruhl's credit is his observation that collective representations in primitive society differ fundamentally from our own and therefore it is completely incorrect to explain the thinking of a primitive person by assuming (often unconsciously) that he is modern. The rest of Levy-Bruhl's conception is quite unimportant. He describes primitive thinking as ''prelogical," "mystically oriented," and "controlled by the law of participation." These concepts remain very vague and add nothing to the material which has been collected. Only the term ''prelogical" thinking arouses our interest: it resembles our definition of primitive thinking as precritical.


THE ASSOCIATION name-meaning Li-Ri already exists in primitive thinking for language has become a firmly established part of life; but the association has not yet become an object of attention, because the metasystem transition to the second level of linguistic activity still has not taken place. Therefore the association Li-Ri is perceived in exactly the same way as any association Ri-Rj among elements of reality, for example the association between lightning and thunder. For primitive thinking the relation between an object and its name is an absolute (so to speak physical) reality which simply cannot be doubted. In fact--and this follows from the fundamental characteristic of the association--the primitive person thinks that there is a single object Li-Ri whose name Li and material appearance Ri are different parts or aspects. Many investigators testify to the existence of this attitude toward names among primitive peoples. ''The Indian regards his name not as a mere label, but as a distinct part of his personality, just as much as are his eyes or his teeth, and believes that injury will result as surely from the malicious handling of his name as from a wound inflicted on any part of his physical organism. This belief was found among various tribes from the Atlantic to the Pacific.''[2] Therefore many peoples follow the custom of not using a person s ''real" name in everyday life, but instead using a nickname which is viewed as accidental and arbitrary. A. B. Ellis, who studied the peoples of West Africa, states that they '

"believe that there is a real and material connection between a man and his name, and that by means of the name injury may be done to the man.... In consequence of this belief the name of the king of Dahomi is always kept secret.... It appears strange that the birth-name only, and not an alias, should be believed capable of carrying some of the personality of the bearer elsewhere . . . but the native view seems to be that the alias does not really belong to the man.''[3]

This division of names into ''real'' and ''not real" is obviously the first step on the path toward the metasystem transition.

The relation between an object and its image is perceived in exactly the same way as between an object and its name. In general primitive thinking does not make any essential distinction between the image and the name. This is not surprising, because the image is connected with the original of the same association that the name is. The image is the name and the name is the image. All images are names of an object taken together with the object itself form a single whole something (specifically a representation created by an association). Therefore it seems obvious that when we act on a part we act by the same token on the whole, which also means on its other parts By making an image of a buffalo pierced by an arrow the primitive believes that he is fostering a successful hunt for a real buffalo. G. Catlin, an artist and scientist who lived among the Mandans of North America, notes that they believed the pictures in the portraits he made borrowed a certain part of the life principle from their original. One of the Mandans told him that he knew he had put many buffalo in his book because the Indian was there while he drew them and after that observed that there were not so many buffalo for food. Obviously the Indian understood that the white man was not literally putting buffalo's in his book; but it was nevertheless obvious to him that in some sense (specifically in relation to the real-buffalo-buffalo-picture complexes) the white man was putting the buffalo in his book, because their numbers declined. The word "put" [the Russian ulozhit'--to put in, pack, fit] is used here in a somewhat metaphorical sense if the primary meaning refers to an action on a ''material" buffalo, but this does not affect the validity of the thought. Many terms in all the world's languages are used metaphorically, and without this the development of language would be impossible. When we use the Russian expression ulozhit' sya v golove [literally--to be packed, fit in the head; the idiomatic meaning is ''to be understood"] we do not mean that something has been put in our head in the same way that it is packed in a suitcase.


NOW LET US MOVE ON to "spirits," which play such an important part in primitive thinking. We shall see that the appearance of supernatural beings is an inevitable consequence of the emergence of language and that they disappear (with the same inevitability as they appeared) only upon the metasystem transition to the level of critical thinking.

First let us think about the situation where language already exists but its relation to reality still has not become an object of study. Thanks to language, something like a doubling of objects occurs: instead of object Ri a person deals with a complex RiLi where Li is the name of Ri . In this complex, the linguistic object Li is the more accessible and, in this sense, more permanent component. One can say the word "sun" regardless of whether the sun is visible at the particular moment or not. One can repeat the name of a person as often as one likes while the person himself may be long dead. Each time his face will rise up in the imagination of the speaker. As a result the relation between the name and the meaning becomes inverted: the object Li acquires the characteristics of something primary and the object Ri becomes secondary. The normal relation is restored only after the metasystem transition, when Ri and Li are equally objects of attention, and the connection between them is of special importance. Until this has happened the word Li plays the leading role in the complex RiLi , and the faithful imagination is ready to link any pictures with each word used in social linguistic practices. Some words of the language of primitive culture signify objects which really exist from our modern point of view while others signify things which from our point of view do not really exist (spirits and so on). But from the point of view of the primitive individual there is no difference between them or perhaps simply a quantitative one. Ordinary objects may or may not be visible (perhaps they are hidden; perhaps it is dark). They may be visible only to some. The same is true of spirits, only it is harder to see them; either no one sees them or they are seen by sorcerers. Among the Klamath Indians in North America, the medicine man who was summoned to a sick person had to consult with the spirits of certain animals. Only one who had gone through a five-year course of preparation to be a medicine man could see these spirits, but he saw them just as plainly as the objects around himself. The Taragumars believed that large snakes with horns and enormous eyes lived in the rivers. But only shamans could see them. Among the Buryats the opinion was widespread that when a child became dangerously ill the cause was a little animal called an anokkha which was eating the top of the child s head away. The anokkha resembled a mole or cat, but only shamans could see it. Among the Guichols there is a ritual ceremony in which the heads of does are placed next to the heads of stags and it is considered that both the does and the stags have antlers, although no one except the shamans see them.

There is an enormously broad variety of invisible objects in the representations of primitive peoples. They are not just formless spirits, but also objects or beings which have completely defined external appearances (except that they are not always perceived and not perceived by all). Language provides an abundance of material for the creation of imagined essences. Any quality is easily and without difficulty converted into an essence. The difference between a living person and a dead one produces the soul, and the difference between a sick person and a healthy one gives us illness. The representation of illness as something substantial, objective, which may enter and depart from a body and move in space, is perhaps typical of all primitive peoples. The same thing is true of the soul. It is curious that just as there are different illnesses among some peoples there also exist different "souls" in the human being. According to the observations of A. B. Ellis the Negroes of the West African coast distinguish two human spirits: kra and sraman. Kra lives in the person as long as he is alive but departs when the person sleeps; dreams are the adventures of the kra. When a person dies his kra may move to the body of another person or animal, but it may instead wander the world. The sraman forms only upon the death of the person and in the land of the dead continues the way of life which the deceased had followed.

This belief shows even more clearly among the American Indians. The Maenads, for example, believe that every person carries several spirits: one of them is white, another is swarthy, and the third is a light color. The Dakotas believe that a person has four souls: the corporal soul, which dies along with the person; the spirit, which lives with the body or near it; the soul, responsible for the actions of the body; and the soul that always remains near a lock of the deceased's hair, which is preserved by relatives until it can be thrown onto enemy territory, whereupon it becomes a wandering ghost carrying illness and death. G. H. Jones, a scientist who studied beliefs in Korea, writes of spirits that occupy the sky and everywhere on earth. They supposedly lie in wait for a person along the roads, in the trees, in the mountains and valleys, and in the rivers and streams. They follow the person constantly even to his own home, where they have settled within the walls, hang from the beams, and attach themselves to the room dividers.


AS WE HAVE NOTED, it is not the fact of belief in the existence of invisible things and influences that distinguishes primitive thinking from modern thinking, but the content of the representations and particularly the relation between the content and the data of experience. We believe in the existence of neutrons although no one has ever seen them and never will. But we know that all the words in our vocabulary have meaning only to the extent that, taken together, they successfully describe observed phenomena and help to predict them. As soon as they stop fulfilling this role, as a result of new data from experience or owing to reorganisation of the system of word use (theory), we toss them aside without regret. That is what happened, for example, with "phlogiston'' or ether. Even earlier, all kinds of imagined beings and objects which were so typical of the thinking of our ancestors disappeared from language and thinking. What irritates us in primitive thinking is not the assumption of the existence of spirits but rather that this assumption, coming together with certain assumptions about the traits and habits of the spirits, explains nothing at all and often simply contradicts experience. We shall cite a few typical observations by investigators. In his Nicobar Island diaries, V. Solomon wrote: ''The people in all villages have performed the ceremony called "tanangla,'" signifying either "support" or "prevention." This is to prevent the illness caused by the north-east monsoon. Poor Nicobarese! They do the same thing year after year, but to no effect.'' [4]

And M. Dobrizhoffer observed that

Because primitive people are unable to make their representations an object of analysis, these representations form a kind of trash heap. The trash heap accumulates easily but no one works to clean it up. For the primitive there are not and cannot be meaningless words. If he does not understand a word it frightens him as an unfamiliar animal, weapon, or natural phenomenon would. An opinion which has arisen as a result of the chance combination of circumstances is preserved from generation to generation without any real basis. The explanation of some phenomenon may be completely arbitrary and nonetheless fully satisfy the primitive. Critical thinking considers each explanation (linguistic model of reality) alongside other competing explanations (models) and it is not satisfied until it is shown that the particular explanation is better than its rivals. In logic this is called the law of sufficient grounds. The law of sufficient grounds is absolutely foreign to precritical thinking. It is here that the metasystem transition which separates modern thinking from primitive thinking is seen most clearly.

Thanks to this characteristic the primitive's belief in the effectiveness of magic incantations, sorcery, and the like is unconquerable. His "theory" gives an explanation (often not just one but several!) for everything that happens around him. He cannot yet evaluate his theory--or even individual parts of it--critically. P. Bowdich tells of a savage who took up a fetish which was supposed to make him invulnerable. He decided to test it and let himself be shot in the arm; it broke his bone. The sorcerer explained that the offended fetish had just revealed to him the cause of what had happened: the young man had had sexual relations with his wife on a forbidden day. Everyone was satisfied. The wounded man admitted that it was true and his fellow tribesmen were only reinforced in their belief. Innumerable similar examples could be given.[6]


WHEN WE SAY that a primitive person believes in the existence of spirits or certain actions by them we predispose ourselves to an incorrect understanding of his psychology. When speaking of belief we juxtapose it to knowledge. But the very difference between belief and knowledge emerges only at the level of critical thinking and reflects a difference in the psychological validity of representations, which follows from the difference in their sources. For a primitive there is no difference between belief and knowledge and his attitude toward his representations resembles our attitude toward our knowledge, not our beliefs. From a psychological point of view the primitive person knows that spirits exist, he knows that incantations can drive out illness or inflict it, and he knows that after death he will live in the land of the dead. Therefore we shall avoid calling the primitive person's worldview primitive religion; the terms "primitive philosophy'' or "primitive science'' have equal right to exist. These forms of activity can only be distinguished at the level of critical thinking. This refers both to the difference between belief and knowledge and to the difference between the ''otherworldly'' and that which is ''of this world.'' The fact that the representations of primitive people involve spirits, ghosts, shadows of the dead, and other devil figures still does not make these representations religious, because all of these things are perceived as entirely of this world and just as real (material if you like) as the animals, wind, or sunlight. L. Levy-Bruhl, who defines the psychological activity of primitive man as mystic, nonetheless emphasizes that this is not at all the same as mysticism in the modern meaning of the word. ''For lack of a better term,'' he writes, ''I am going to use this one; this is not because of its connection with the religious mysticism of our societies, which is something quite different, but because in the narrowest meaning of the word "mystic" is close to belief in forces, influences, and actions which are unnoticed and intangible to the senses but real all the same.'' Many observers are struck by how real the shadows or spirits of their ancestors seem to primitive peoples. R. Codrington writes about the Melanesians:[7] When a native says that he is a person, he wants it understood that he is a person not a spirit. He does not mean that he is a person not an animal. To him, intelligent beings in the world are divided into two categories: people who are alive and people who have died. In the Motu tribe this is ta-mur and ta-mate. When the Melanesians see white people for the first time they take them for ta-mate, that is, for spirits who have returned to life, and when the whites ask the natives who they are, the latter call themselves ta-mur, that is, people not spirits. Among the Chiriguanos of South America when two people meet they exchange this greeting: "Are you alive?''--"Yes, I am alive.'' Some other South American tribes also use this form.


CONSERVATISM is inherent in precritical thinking; it is a direct consequence of the absence of an apparatus for changing linguistic models. All conceivable kinds of rules and prohibitions guide behavior and thinking along a strictly defined path sanctified by tradition. Violation of traditions evokes superstitious terror. There have been cases where people who accidentally violated a tabu died when they learned what they had done. They knew that they were supposed to die and they died as a result of self-suggestion.

Of course, this does not mean that there is no progress whatsoever in primitive society. Within the limits of what is permitted by custom, primitive people sometimes demonstrate amazing feats of art, dexterity, patience, and persistence. Within the same framework tools and weapons are refined from generation to generation and experience is accumulated. The trouble is that these limitations are extremely narrow and rigid. Only exceptional circumstances can force a tribe (most likely the remnants of a tribe which has been destroyed by enemies or is dying from hunger) to violate custom. It was probably in precisely such situations that the major advances in primitive culture were made. A people which has fallen into isolation and owing to unfavorable natural conditions is not able to multiply and break up into bitterly hostile peoples may maintain its level of primitive culture unchanged for millennia.

In the stage of precritical thinking, language plays a paradoxical role. In performance of its communicative function (communication among people, passing experience down from generation to generation, stablizing social groups) it is useful to people. But then its noncommunicative, modeling function causes more harm than good. This refers to those models which are created not at the level of the association of nonlinguistic representations but only at the level of language, that is, primarily the primitive "theory of spirits.'' As we have already noted, the communicative function itself becomes possible only thanks to the modeling function. But as long as linguistic models merely reflect neuronal models we speak of the purely communicative functions; when new models (theories) are created we speak of the noncommunicative function. In primitive society we see two theories: the rudiments of arithmetic (counting by means of fingers, chips, and the like) and the ''theory of spirits.'' Arithmetic is, of course, a positive phenomenon, but it does not play a major part in primitive life and is in fact absent among many peoples: the ''theory of spirits,'' on the contrary, permeates all primitive life and has a negative influence on it. And this is the paradox. The first independent steps of the linguistic system, which should according to the idea lead to (and later in fact do lead to) an enormous leap forward in modeling reality, at first produce poisonous discharges which retard further development. This is a result of the savage so to speak, growth of the ''theory of spirits.'' It can be compared with a weed which sprouts on well-fertilized soil if the garden is not managed. As we have seen, the weed's seeds are contained in the soil itself, in language. Only the transition to the level of critical thinking (careful cultivation of the soil, selection of plants for crops, and weed control) produces the expected yield.


WE KNOW THAT this transition took place. The emergence of critical thinking was the most important milepost of evolution after the appearance of the human being. Critical thinking and civilization arise at the same time and develop in close interdependence. Increasing labor productivity, contacts among different tribal cultures, and the breakup of society into classes all inexorably weaken traditional tribal thinking and force people to reflect upon the content of their representations and compare them with those of other cultures. In this critical thinking takes root and gradually becomes the norm. On the other hand, critical thinking emancipates people and leads to a high rise in labor productivity and to the appearance of new forms of behavior. Both processes support and reinforce one another: society begins to develop swiftly. There is a kind of 180 degree turn in the vector of society's interest: in primitive society it is directed backward, to the past, to observance of the laws of ancestors; in a developing situation, at least among part of society (the "creative minority'' according to A. Toynbee), it is pointed forward, into the future, toward change in the existing situation. Thanks to a metasystem transition culture acquires dynamism and its own internal impetus toward development. The redirection of language activity to itself creates the stairway effect: each level of logical (language) thinking, which has emerged as a result of the analysis of logical thinking, becomes, in its turn an object of logical analysis. Critical thinking is an ultrametasystem capable of self-development. Primitive tribal cultures evolve by the formation of groups and the struggle for existence among them, just as in the animal world. Civilization evolves under the influence of internal factors. It is true that the civilizations of the past typically stopped in their development upon reaching a certain level; but all the same the leaps forward were extremely great in comparison with the advances of primitive cultures, and they grew larger as critical thinking became ever more established. Modern civilization is global, so that the factor of its struggle for existence as a whole (that is to say, against rivals) disappears and all its development occurs exclusively through the action of internal contradictions. Essentially, it was only with the transition to the level of critical thinking that the revolutionary essence of the emergence of thinking manifested itself, and the age of reason began in earnest.

In the process of a metasystem transition there is, as we know, a moment when the new attribute demonstrates its superiority in a way which cannot be doubted, and from this moment the metasystem transition may be considered finally and irreversibly completed. In the transition to critical thinking this moment was the culture of Ancient Greece, which it is absolutely correct to call the cradle of modern civilization and culture. At that time, about 2.500 years ago, philosophy, logic, and mathematics (mathematics in the full sense of the word, that is to say, including proof) emerged. And from that time critical thinking became the recognized and essential basis of developing culture.

1 in Russian, Pervobytnoe myshlenie [Primitive Thinking]. Ateist Publishing House, 1930.

[2] Original in James Mooney, "The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee," 7th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Washington, GPO, 1885-1886, p. 343--trans.

[3] Original A B. Ellis, The Ewe-Speaking People, London. 1890. p. 98--trans.

[4] Original V. Solomon, "Extract from Diaries Kept in Car Nicobar," Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Brittain and Ireland 32 (January-June 1902); trans .

[5] Original in M Dobritzhoffer, An Account of the Abipones, (London, 1822), Vol 2, p. 223-trans.

[6] T. Edward Bowdich, Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, (London: Frank Cass and Co., Ltd, 3rd ed, 1966), p 439 - trans.

[7] The Melanesian Languages (Oxford, 1891).