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Culture and reality1

  • Edmund Leach (a1)

I only met Sir Aubrey Lewis on one occasion and that was in passing. Most of what little I know of his career is derived from the admirable biographical account which Professor Michael Shepherd provided in his Adolf Meyer Lecture delivered to the American Psychiatric Association in 1976 (Shepherd, 1977). But that little is reassuring. Aubrey Lewis clearly took a catholic view of the scope of the field of psychiatry, for at the age of 25 he was combining the study of psychological medicine with anthropological research among the Australian Aborigines! I cannot myself claim this kind of many-sided expertise and, knowing little or nothing about the language or theory or practice of psychiatry, I foresee a problem of communication which calls for the establishment of a frame of discourse.

Corresponding author
2Address for correspondence: Professor Sir Edmund Leach, The Provost's Lodge, King's College, Cambridge CB2 1ST.
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Based on the 5th Aubrey Lewis lecture, delivered at the Institute of Psychiatry in November 1977.

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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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