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Alexander M. Carr-Saunders and the “Cambridge Mind” (Part 1) December 2, 2015

Posted by Christopher Donohue in Uncategorized.

In this post I begin to tie one of the central concerns of the Grote Club, the concept of instinct and the role of evolution in human social behavior key to Simon Cook’s “Cambridge Mind” to one of the central texts of demography and population science.

The Grote Club

Alexander Carr-Saunders (1886 to 1966) has been the topic of numerous posts at EWP. He was Director of the London School of Economics from 1937 to 1956, initially reading zoology. Carr-Saunders studied bio-metrics under Karl Pearson, was involved in the Eugenics Education Society as its Secretary, and in 1922 published, The Population Problem (PP). PP is among the most dense of texts and does not make for easy reading, particularly for contemporary readers. Nor does it really engender feelings of worthiness among historians of the 20th century social and behavioral sciences as it is (among other things) an account of the social evolution of primitive and civil peoples (or as Simon has pointed out in many other contexts- Carr-Saunders narrates in a text on quantity and quality the historical transition from races and peoples to nations, blending many, many approaches and disciplinary tools.

In this essay, I will…

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