J. D. Unwin

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Unwin in 1917 as Captain of the Northamptonshire Regiment

Joseph Daniel Unwin MC (1895–1936) was an English ethnologist and social anthropologist at Oxford and Cambridge.


Sex and Culture (1934)[edit]

Edited by Humphrey Milford. London: Oxford University Press. Full text available for free
  • Under the influence of further mental energy, many things, hitherto unaccountable, and included within the realm of the power in the universe, become explicable, and the area of the 'natural' continually expands, a new conception of the power in the universe, based on the yet unknown, being the inevitable result. And, when first the conception of the 'natural' appears, the society is divided against itself; and it is divided against itself once more whenever the area of the 'natural' expands. The new ideas conflict with the old notions; and those who would prefer to preserve their archaic faith struggle against the iconoclasts who desire to destroy it. Such a society is in the rationalistic condition. ...The great mental energy of such a society is directed to every detail of its environment, to every item of human activity, and to every problem of human life. It changes its ideas on every conceivable subject, increases its mental range, and expands in all its multifarious activities. Its method of treating sickness is altered in accordance with its new knowledge; by using the inherent power of reason it formulates and applies its knowledge of the physical universe; it produces more than it consumes, thus creating capital; it unearths new sources of wealth which less energetic societies neglect; it discovers new ways of treating old materials, bends nature to its purpose, and assumes a mastery of the earth. This is productive social energy...
    • p. 374

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