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Shamans as healers: When magical structure becomes practical function

  • Nicholas Humphrey (a1)


Singh's analysis has much to be said for it. When considering the treatment of illness, however, he begins from a shaky premise about uncontrollability and, so, fails to make the most of what shamanic treatments – as placebos – can deliver.



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Humphrey, N. (2002a) Behold the man. In: The mind made flesh: Essays from the frontiers of evolution and psychology, pp. 206–31. Oxford University Press. Available at:
Humphrey, N. & Skoyles, J. (2012) The evolutionary psychology of healing: A human success story. Current Biology 22(17):R695–98. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.018. Available at:


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