Author Presents the Story of the Twentieth Century “Primitive” Mentality Debate

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Bradley William Patterson focuses on the most cogent phase of an ancient controversy in the Western world in his new book

A debate as old as humanity itself, one that was never formally announced, coordinated, or neatly staged. Author Bradley William Patterson tells the story of such a debate in Redefining Reason: The Story of the Twentieth Century “Primitive” Mentality Debate, an Xlibris release. In this book, the author focuses on the most thoughtful, interesting, and cogent phase of this ancient controversy in the Western world.

In this book, readers will see that there was nothing uniquely “primitive” about the mentality of people from traditional oral societies, but to deprive the twentieth century debate of its own terms and questions would be to lose sight of what it was. In retrospect, the “debate” was a sort of chain-reaction type of dispute over the mental and “rational” capacity of people from traditional nonliterate cultures, that aroused and drew in various (at first) Western thinkers—primarily anthropologists, philosophers, and psychologists—over the course of the century.

Divided in several sections, this book first attempts to set the twentieth century “primitive” mentality debate within its historical context or background so that it may be better understood. It then focuses on some of the highlights of the twentieth century “primitive” mentality/rationality debate. The following section suggests that this debate was, in reality, itself but a chapter in (or aspect of) a much larger story; the story of what may be appropriately referred to as the “hyperrationalization” of human society. To conclude, this book follows the debate into the twenty-first century and offers the clarifications and resolutions developed in earlier chapters to contemporary students, scholars, and educated lay leaders.

In this book, it is the author’s intent to try to comprehend and to intellectually engage the story of the twentieth century     “primitive” mentality/rationally debate as he attempted to tell it. For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

Redefining Reason * by Bradley William Patterson
The Story of the Twentieth Century “Primitive” Mentality Debate
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 394 pages; 978-1-4535-8938-0    
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 394 pages; 978-1-4535-8939-7
eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4535-8940-3

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.


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