(Read Book) ð The Savage Mind ô eBook or E-pub free

OK The blurbs on the back tell us no outline is possible and no pr cis is possible So let s attempt the impossible.Savage Mind is intended to arrest our sense of time in the macro historical sense, asking us to see humanity and the culture that humanity presupposes as something nearly eternal at its very depth The truth which Levi Strauss hereafter L S develops is intended to destroy our common sense prejudices about how natives think For L S we are all natives There is no Hobbesian h OK The blurbs on the back tell us no outline is possible and no pr cis is possible So let s attempt the impossible.Savage Mind is intended to arrest our sense of time in the macro historical sense, asking us to see humanity and the culture that humanity presupposes as something nearly eternal at its very depth The truth which Levi Strauss hereafter L S develops is intended to destroy our common sense prejudices about how natives think For L S we are all natives There is no Hobbesian hell that we crawled out of We are all born into a heritage of both language all languages are equally old and culture all cultures are systematically patterned, open to a creative transformation by the participants in this system We are all natives in the sense that our linguistic and sociocultural patterns have corollaries in the most un modern of contexts A tribe might conceptually divide itself into clans, grouped into oppositions usually binary But voila, our thoroughly modern political systems divide our own enormous tribe in exactly the same ways Although we moderns have tremendously elaborate sciences and almost as complex ideologies, we are all blessed or is it cursed by the same savage mind We cannot escape this In our own local existence, we tend to think in dualities and contrasts, in terms of a lexicon of social and aesthetic categories, as well as in terms of a symbolic syntax analyzable into features and oppositions We differ of course in the manic specialization of our cultures into organic composites, and we also tend to think with abstract made up ideas instead of appropriating the concrete world of natural kinds kinds of plants, kinds of animals to generate our matrices of thought.In my view, one shared by the anthropological tradition, our self estimation of our own intellectual talents is overblown Television, for example, is a complex scientific achievement for the dissemination of sometimes sophisticated ideological content But I don t make televisions and I don t produce programs on TV Few people do The science and propaganda of our civilization is left to the experts There is no comparable specialization in the primitive world Every man and every woman is expected to fabricate their very own tools and to fashion their very own ideological products So although a television is a far greater technical accomplishment, it is a tool made by others to articulate ideas made by others True enough, the savages are not engineers, but it takes the same degree of intellect to be a bricoleur, a jack of all trades who is capable of making or improvising all that is needed for survival and for intellectual satisfaction Although modernity preaches self reliance, it is the savage mind that practices it.I feel there is little to criticize here An obvious starting point would be to point out that rationalism, although alive and well in linguistics, no longer seems so relevant to cultural anthropology The reflexive turn in anthropology has led to an awareness that the intellect is perhaps a much greater concern of the professors than it is of the Natives, us or them The festishization of the mind had reached its high water mark in The Savage Mind Another criticism I have heard is that L S is a pseudo Marxist Although he always claimed to have been a Marxist, it is hard to see his work as materialist it is idealist most of the time , as dialectical his notion of dialectic is not really Hegelian in any clear sense , or as concerned with labor apart from the non commodified and non alienated form of the natives products Finally, it has been said that L S deploys a method that cannot really be replicated in the research programs of others I personally have found it rewarding to apply his system to questions of ancient Greek mythology There are certainly good structuralists and there are bad ones, but the high bar set by L S should not discourage anthropologists from attempting to follow his lead I had forgotten just how seminal Levi Strauss was to literary and critical social theory which seems to be what s left of Western philosophy until I read this Whether or not his systems approach is right in all its details for traditional societies is impossible for me to say But his major contribution to anthropology to have basically shredded its colonialist presuppositions by demonstrating that traditional peoples way of thinking was not primitive in its relationship to logic and scie I had forgotten just how seminal Levi Strauss was to literary and critical social theory which seems to be what s left of Western philosophy until I read this Whether or not his systems approach is right in all its details for traditional societies is impossible for me to say But his major contribution to anthropology to have basically shredded its colonialist presuppositions by demonstrating that traditional peoples way of thinking was not primitive in its relationship to logic and science, or to social behavior, but other directed and coherent in itself is magnificently evident here His original insight is now the accepted way of thinking about cultural difference in academe Whether it has really penetrated beyond the academy, is another and a sadder question In any case, he is a great writer and refreshing to read it s like clearing mental cobwebs A difficult book to get through, as I needed to make sure I understood what he was saying There are many intriguing thoughts nestled among the scientific reportings It would be a great adventure to do an in depth comparison of Levi Strauss and Mead, but that study will have to wait for a couple lifetimes down the road unfortunately. Instead of reading this long and brutal book, read Rumi s beautiful first poem in Divane Shams What Rumi said in 10 lines so beautifully and elegantly 800 years ago, this French dude is trying to say in this long and horribly written book categories are arbitrary. Originally published on my blog here in June 2001.Many books that, like The Savage Mind, go on to become influential on the way that people think, have at their time of writing two purposes, of which one only ensures their survival The immediate cause of the genesis of such a book is to make a specific point or answer some then current school of thought in this case, L vi Strauss wanted to counter some ideas about totemism in anthropology This first purpose then suggests ageneral thesis Originally published on my blog here in June 2001.Many books that, like The Savage Mind, go on to become influential on the way that people think, have at their time of writing two purposes, of which one only ensures their survival The immediate cause of the genesis of such a book is to make a specific point or answer some then current school of thought in this case, L vi Strauss wanted to counter some ideas about totemism in anthropology This first purpose then suggests ageneral thesis,philosophical and theoretical,illuminating of the way in which people think in this case, it concerns how human beings classify and understand the world around them.I have no claims to be an expert or even to be greatly interested in anthropology The argument about totemism is hard to follow mainly because the opinions with which L vi Strauss is disagreeing are assumed to be known to the reader , and in the end is only interesting as a series of illustrations to the philosophical thesis about the need we have to classify our environment.I am not sure that I would agree with everything that L vi Strauss has to say He argues against the idea that the various classification schemes he looks at are antecedents of scientific method, feeling instead that they are substantially different There are clearly differences, but I would feel that the history of science shows the development of modern method in the late medieval period, as experiment and verifiability began to be seen as important, but that the body of knowledge attained by that time in Western Europe is in many ways analogous to say the medical theories of a tribe in thePossibly what L vi Strauss meant is that the ideas of the medieval West weretheoretical and analytical, the theory of humours for example generalising ideas like bitter tasting substances being good for stomach upsets.On the other hand, he may be against the implication that science is a superior development, an advance on earlier thought systems In some ways, this is clearly the case we certainly seem to be able to understand the nature of the physical worldaccurately than our medieval ancestors could every time we turn on an electric light bears witness to this On the other hand, to say that this makes science better goes against the trend of thought since the sixties, and L vi Strauss could easily be anticipating this.As a logician, one thing which struck me is that the classifications which form the examples are almost exclusively binary something is either in a group or out of it with no middle ground, even if this requires some strange manipulation to shoehorn some objects into one group This is clearly related to one of the main functions of classification, which is to reduce the complexity of the world and make it easier to understand a tendency to view things as black or white is much simpler than admitting to hundreds of shades of grey.I wouldn t claim to completely understand The Savage Mind There is too much from fields of knowledge unfamiliar to me, and L vi Strauss argument is very complex to take in at a single reading From the very first page, however, it is clear that the book is the product of a first rate mind, and it is absolutely fascinating intensely complex and dense but, once you start to get past the bricoleur and Levi Strauss s heavy French ness, its definitely something to think about Good discussion of classification and the human mind and critique of Sartres. The book outlines the concept of cultural bricolage While the term was adapted to other areas, the examples stem from classic ethnography studying indigenous cultures in remote settings If you only want to read a part of the book, I suggest to spend time on the first few chapters which include the bricolage definition. Harder to read than Tristes tropiques but interesting. (Read Book) Ô The Savage Mind È An examination of the structure of the thought of primitive peoples, and has contributed significantly to our understanding of the way the human mind works Essential reading regardless of one s view of L S it is Claude L S s masterpiece