Barbarism: Its Moral Causes

  • Philip D. Curtin


While most Britons assumed that African culture and African race were somehow interdependent, the accepted social theories still gave priority to man’s moral, rather than his physical nature. In spite of the growing prestige of the new biology, most educated men were still trained in the classical tradition of humane letters. They were neither accustomed to the scientific outlook nor imbued with the fullest faith in the conclusions science might reach. They believed, to be sure, what science had to say in new areas of knowledge, but belief stopped short when it came into conflict with older preconceptions. Not only the authority of the Bible, but the more general attitude of seeking truth by reference to literary authority retained much of its old strength, even after a century of rationalism.


Slave Trade African Culture African Institution Progressive Principle Cultural Diffusion 
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  • Philip D. Curtin

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