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Monboddo, James Burnett, Lord

(1714—1799)


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(1714–99),

a Scottish judge and pioneer in anthropology, who published Of the Origin and Progress of Language (1773–92) and Ancient Metaphysics (1779–99). The orang‐utan for which he is remembered figures in both these works as an example of ‘the infantine state of our species’, who was gentle, sociable, and intelligent, could play the flute, but never learned to speak; he suggested to Peacock the character of Sir Oran Haut‐ton in Melincourt. See also primitivism.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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