Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jane Marie Todd, Maurice Olender

By Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jane Marie Todd, Maurice Olender

Anthropology Confronts the issues of the fashionable World is the 1st English translation of a chain of lectures Claude Lévi-Strauss brought in Tokyo in 1986. Written with a watch towards the long run as his personal distinctive profession was once drawing to an in depth, this quantity provides a synthesis of the author’s significant rules approximately structural anthropology, a box he helped identify. Critiquing insights of his prior writings at the dating among race, background, and civilization, Lévi-Strauss revisits the social concerns that by no means ceased to fascinate him.

He starts off with the remark that the cultural supremacy loved via the West for over centuries is at an finish. worldwide wars and genocides within the 20th century have fatally undermined Western religion in humanity’s development via clinical development. Anthropology, although, could be the motor vehicle of a brand new “democratic humanism,” broadening conventional frameworks that experience limited cross-cultural understandings of the human situation, and delivering a foundation for inquiries into what different civilizations, resembling these of Asia, can teach.

Surveying an international close to the twenty-first century, Lévi-Strauss assesses the various dilemmas of cultural and ethical relativism a globalized society faces—ethical dimensions of monetary inequality, the increase of other types of spiritual fundamentalism, the promise and peril of genetic and reproductive engineering. A laboratory of notion commencing onto the longer term, Anthropology Confronts the issues of the trendy World is a vital addition to the canon of 1 of the twentieth-century’s such a lot influential theorists.

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Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World

Anthropology Confronts the issues of the trendy global is the 1st English translation of a chain of lectures Claude Lévi-Strauss brought in Tokyo in 1986. Written with an eye fixed towards the longer term as his personal distinct occupation used to be drawing to a detailed, this quantity offers a synthesis of the author’s significant principles approximately structural anthropology, a box he helped identify.

Additional resources for Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World

Sample text

It elevates objectivity not only above the values proper to the observer’s own society or social milieu but also above his methods of thought, in order to achieve formulations valid not only for an honest and objective observer but for all observers possible. The anthropologist therefore does not merely silence his feelings. He fashions new mental categories, conÂ�tribÂ�utes toward introducing notions of space and time, opposition and contradiction, as alien to his traditional way of thinking as those currently found in certain branches of the physical and natural sciences.

A divorce has occurred, a rift is opening, between the data of the senses—which no Â�longer have any general meaning for us, apart from the limited and rudimentary meaning they provide us about the state of 40 THE END OF THE W EST ’ S C ULTURAL SUPRE M A C Y our organism—and an abstract mode of thought in which all our efforts to know and understand the universe are concentrated. There is nothing that distances us more than that from the peoples that anthropologists study, for whom evÂ�ery color, evÂ�ery texture, ever odor, evÂ�ery flavor has a meaning.

Even impoverished, they are invaluable, inasmuch as the thousands of soÂ�ciÂ�eÂ�ties that existed and the hundreds that continue to exist on the surface of 17 THE END OF THE W EST ’ S C ULTURAL SUPRE M A C Y the earth constitute so many readymade experiments, the only ones available to us. For unlike our colleagues in the physical and natural sciences, we cannot manufacture our objects of study, that is, soÂ�ciÂ�eÂ� ties, and set them in operation in a labÂ�oÂ�raÂ�tory. These experiments, drawn from soÂ�ciÂ�eÂ�ties chosen because they are the most different from our own, provide us with the means to study human beings and their collective achievements in an attempt to understand how the human mind functions in the extremely diverse concrete situations in which hisÂ�tory and geÂ�ogÂ� raÂ�phy have placed it.

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