Analiza i Egzystencja (Jan 2023)

The problem of „primeval mind” and symbolic thinking in early anthropological-philosophical approaches.

  • Ilona Błocian

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 62


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The problem of different types of thinking is situated on the limits of reflections of many disciplines - philosophy, anthropology and psychology. Each of them presents a different approach in trying to define thinking. It refers in the early formulations of the development of anthropology to the concept of the so-called “primeval mind” and attempts to determine the specificity of the operations it performs. This concept was rejected, but the problem of isolating certain characteristics of symbolic, mythological, figurative thinking or “savage mind” remained. The conceptions associated with these notions indicate a set of common features, for example, the pars pro toto principle or associating objects on the basis of spatial tangency and many others. The aim of the research is to look at several such sets and to indicate their common ranges.