An early manuscript in the history of American comparative psychology: Lewis Henry Morgan’s “Animal Psychology”

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Timothy Johnston, Dean (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Abstract: Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) is best known as the 1st ethnographer of Native American culture, but he also wrote on animal psychology, beginning in 1843, some 50 years before the founding of comparative psychology as a scientific discipline. Although not an evolutionist, Morgan argued that animals possess many human mental abilities, such as reason and moral judgment, and he rejected the scientific utility of the concept of instinct, a view that did not gain much currency in psychology until the rise of behaviorism in the 1920s. This 1857 manuscript, which is in the Lewis Henry Morgan Papers at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, formed the basis for the last chapter of his 1868 monograph on the American beaver but gives additional information on his sources and an expanded criticism of the concept of instinct.

Additional Information

History of Psychology, 5:323-355
Language: English
Date: 2002
Lewis Henry Morgan, animal psychology, instinct

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