Westermarck, Edward Alexander (vĕsˈtərmärk, wĕsˈ–) [key], 1862–1939, Finnish social philosopher and anthropologist. He was professor of sociology at the Univ. of London (1907–30) and professor of philosophy at the Åbo Akademi (until 1935). Westermarck was an authority on the history of morals and of marriage customs, his best-known work being The History of Human Marriage, written in English (1891; 5th ed., 3 vol., 1921). On it he based A Short History of Marriage (1926). He wrote several books on Moroccan customs. Other books (all in English) include The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas (2 vol., 1906–8; 2d ed. 1912–17), Ethical Relativity (1932), The Future of Marriage in Western Civilization (1936), and Christianity and Morals (1939).
See his autobiography (tr. 1929).
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