Andrey Pavlovich Zabiyako is Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Head of the Department of Religious Studies at Amur State University.
The article reconstructs the basic precepts of Franz Boas‘ cognitive theory. The main ideas of Boas‘ cognitive theory were developed, it is believed, in a discussion around evolutionism. A major role in shaping Boas‘ theory belongs to the controversy of racist theories that used to proclaim mental, psycho-physiological and cultural superiority of the 'white' race, as well as modern European intellectual supremacy when compared to archaic peoples. According to Boas, the mentality of all nations and humanity as a whole is basically universal. Inherent similarity of historical and ethno-local types of mentality results from the general patterns of thinking. Consequently, all peoples have almost equally complex cultures, which differ from each other not as "lower" and "higher", but in terms of their immanent specific features which arise due to historical and geographical specificity of development.
folklore, mythology, religion, primitive culture, mentality, cognitive theory, religion, anthropology, ethnography.