Man, Mind, and Science: A History of Anthropology

Man, Mind, and Science: A History of Anthropology

Man, Mind, and Science: A History of Anthropology

Man, Mind, and Science: A History of Anthropology

Excerpt

This book has developed into an intellectual history in the broad tradition ofLovejoy Revolt Against Dualism (1930) and Essays in the History of Ideas (1948). The convergence is welcome and provides a kind of reassurance, but the real point of origin lies in another quarter.

My first exposure to the literature of the history of anthropology, in an undergraduate course in 1959, came withLowie 1937 History of Ethnological Theory .The fact that this more than twenty-year-old work was still a popular text itself bespoke a certain attitude of anthropologists toward their past. Lowie's preoccupation with the conflict between diffusionism and evolutionism may have reflected major concerns current when his book was first written, but twenty years later it was hardly relevant to any of the major theoretical debates. Even more importantly, the organization of Lowie's work suggested that anthropology had been built up by the gradual accumulation of separate truths, with no evident critical awareness of the general problem of establishing truth and developing theory -- problems that were well represented in almost all other aspects of the anthropological literature.

The instructor in that first course,David French,had presented the deeper open questions quite clearly in other contexts, so it was natural to ask him about the discrepancies. His reply, in part, was to recommendDavid Bidney Theoretical Anthropology (1953). It was easy to . . .

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