THE WESTERN ILLUSION OF HUMAN NATURE WITH REFLECTIONS ON THE LONG HISTORY OF HIERARCHY EQUALITY AND THE SUBLIMATION OF ANARCHY IN THE WEST AND CONCEPTIONS OF THE HUMAN CONDITION PARADIGM
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With Reflections on the Long History of Hierarchy, Equality and the Sublimation of Anarchy in the West, and Comparative Notes on Other Conceptions of the Human Condition
Author: Marshall David Sahlins
Publisher: Prickly Paradigm
Category: Social Science
Reflecting the decline in college courses on Western Civilization, Marshall Sahlins aims to accelerate the trend by reducing "Western Civ" to about two hours. He cites Nietzsche to the effect that deep issues are like cold baths; one should get into and out of them as quickly as possible. The deep issue here is the ancient Western specter of a presocial and antisocial human nature: a supposedly innate self-interest that is represented in our native folklore as the basis or nemesis of cultural order. Yet these Western notions of nature and culture ignore the one truly universal character of human sociality: namely, symbolically constructed kinship relations. Kinsmen are members of one another: they live each other's lives and die each other's deaths. But where the existence of the other is thus incorporated in the being of the self, neither interest, nor agency or even experience is an individual fact, let alone an egoistic disposition. "Sorry, beg your pardon," Sahlins concludes, Western society has been built on a perverse and mistaken idea of human nature.
This volume presents a comprehensive analysis of the Confucian thinker Xunzi and his work, which shares the same name. It features a variety of disciplinary perspectives and offers divergent interpretations. The disagreements reveal that, as with any other classic, the Xunzi provides fertile ground for readers. It is a source from which they have drawn—and will continue to draw—different lessons. In more than 15 essays, the contributors examine Xunzi’s views on topics such as human nature, ritual, music, ethics, and politics. They also look at his relations with other thinkers in early China and consider his influence in East Asian intellectual history. A number of important Chinese scholars in the Song dynasty (960–1279 CE) sought to censor the Xunzi. They thought that it offered a heretical and impure version of Confuciansim. As a result, they directed study away from the Xunzi. This has diminished the popularity of the work. However, the essays presented here help to change this situation. They open the text’s riches to Western students and scholars. The book also highlights the substantial impact the Xunzi has had on thinkers throughout history, even on those who were critical of it. Overall, readers will gain new insights and a deeper understanding of this important, but often neglected, thinker.
Drawing on the empirical findings generated by researchers in science studies, and adopting Kropotkin's concept of anarchism as one of the social sciences, Red, Black, and Objective expounds and develops an anarchist account of science as a social construction and social institution. Restivo's account is at once normative, analytical, organizational, and policy oriented, in particular with respect to education. With attention to the social practices and discourse of science, this book engages with the works of Feyerabend and Nietzsche, as well as philosophers and historians of objectivity to ground an anarchistic sociology of science. Marx and Durkheim figure prominently in this account as precursors of the contemporary science studies perspective on the perennial question, "What is science?" The result is an approach to understanding the science-and-society nexus that is at once an extension of Restivo's earlier work and a novel adaptation of the anarchist agenda. Red, Black, and Objective is an exploration by one of the founders of the science studies movement of questions in theory, practice, values, and policy. As such, it will appeal to those with interests in science and technology studies, social theory, and sociology and philosophy of science and technology.
This Palgrave Pivot demonstrates that the inherited vocabularies of economics and other social sciences contain socially constructed words and theories that bias our very understanding of history and markets, bridging the empirical and moral dimensions of economics in general and inequality in particular. Wealth, GDP, hierarchies, and inequality are socially constructed words infused with moral overtones that academic philosophers and policy analysts have used to raise questions about "fairness" and "justice." This short intellectual and epistemological history explores and elaborates a limited number of key inequality-related terms, concepts, and mental images invented by centuries of economists and others. The author challenges us to question the assumptions made concerning presumably value-free concepts such as inequality, wealth, hierarchies, and the policy goals a nation can be pursuing.
Collaborative Social Archaeology as Therapeutic Practice
Author: Rachael Kiddey
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
Homeless Heritage describes the process of using archaeological methodologies to collaboratively document how contemporary homeless people use and experience the city. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken in Bristol and York, the book first describes the way in which archaeological methods and theory have come to be usefully applied to the contemporary world, before exploring the historical development of the concept of homelessness. Working with homeless people, the author undertook surveys and two excavations of contemporary homeless sites, and the team co-curated two public heritage exhibitions - with surprising results. Complementing a growing body of literature that details how collaborative and participatory heritage projects can give voice to marginalised groups, Homeless Heritage details what it means to be homeless in the twenty first century.
In this lucid and insightful essay, renowned linguist Roy Harris reflects on the early nineteenth-century doctrine of “art for art’s sake.” This was attacked by Proudhon and Nietzsche, but defended by Théophile Gautier and E. M. Forster. It influenced movements as diverse as futurism and Dada. Over the past two centuries, three main positions have emerged. The “institutional” view declares art to be a status conferred upon certain works by the approval of influential institutions. The “idiocentric” view gives absolute priority to the judgment of the individual. The third is the “conceptual” view of art, which insists that what counts is the idea that inspired a work, not the physical execution. But as Harris shows, the tacit assumptions which once supported this Debate and these positions have now collapsed. “Art” as a coherent category has imploded, leaving behind a historical residue of empty questions that contemporary society can no longer answer. The Great Debate about Art provides much needed signposts for understanding this sorry state of affairs.
Critiques the Pentagon's Counterinsurgency Field Manual, which offered a blueprint for mobilizing the cultural expertise of anthropologists for the war in Iraq. Explores the ethical and intellectual conflicts of the Pentagon's Human Terrain System, and probes the increasing militarization of academic knowledge.
In this pithy two-part essay, Marshall Sahlins reinvigorates the debates on what constitutes kinship, building on some of the best scholarship in the field to produce an original outlook on the deepest bond humans can have. Covering thinkers from Aristotle and Lévy- Bruhl to Émile Durkheim and David Schneider, and communities from the Maori and the English to the Korowai of New Guinea, he draws on a breadth of theory and a range of ethnographic examples to form an acute definition of kinship, what he calls the “mutuality of being.” Kinfolk are persons who are parts of one another to the extent that what happens to one is felt by the other. Meaningfully and emotionally, relatives live each other’s lives and die each other’s deaths. In the second part of his essay, Sahlins shows that mutuality of being is a symbolic notion of belonging, not a biological connection by “blood.” Quite apart from relations of birth, people may become kin in ways ranging from sharing the same name or the same food to helping each other survive the perils of the high seas. In a groundbreaking argument, he demonstrates that even where kinship is reckoned from births, it is because the wider kindred or the clan ancestors are already involved in procreation, so that the notion of birth is meaningfully dependent on kinship rather than kinship on birth. By formulating this reversal, Sahlins identifies what kinship truly is: not nature, but culture.
In this work, Buber expounds upon and defends the Zionist experiment - a federal system of communities on a co-operative basis. He looks to the anarchists Proudhon, Kropotkin and Gustav Landauer, but selects only that part of their doctrines appropriate to his case.
Originally released by Basil Blackwell in 1986, and then re-released by Manchester University Press in 1998, Casino capitalism is a cutting-edge discussion of international financial markets, the way they behave and the power they wield. It examines money's power for good as well as its terrible disruptive, destructive power for evil. Money is seen as being far too important to leave to bankers and economists to do with as they think best. The raison d'?tre of Casino Capitalism is to expose the development of a financial system that has increasingly escaped the calming influences of democratic control. This new edition includes a powerful new introduction provided by Matthew Watson that puts the book it in its proper historical context, as well as identifying its relevance for the modern world. It will have a wide reaching audience, appealing both to academics and students of economics and globalization as well as the general reader with interests in capitalism and economic history.
This is the long-awaited fifth edition of Marshall Sahlins' classic series of bon mots, ruminations, and musings on the ancients, anthropology, and much else in between. It's been twenty-five years since Sahlins first devised some after-dinner entertainment at a decennial meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists in Great Britain, published soon thereafter by Prickly Paradigm's first incarnation, Prickly Pear. What the Foucault? contains all the old chestnuts, but has been thoroughly updated, and is laced through with all the wit and wisdom we've come to expect.
Naming and defining the alienating features of everyday life in consumer society, an impassioned critique of modern capitalism argues that the countervailing impulses that exist within deep alienation present an authentic alternative to nihilistic consumerism. Original.
An Introduction to Gabriel Tarde's Economic Anthropology
Author: Bruno Latour,Vincent Antonin Lépinay
Publisher: Prickly Paradigm
Category: Business & Economics
How can economics become genuinely quantitative? This is the question that French sociologist Gabriel Tarde tackled at the end of his career, and in this pamphlet, Bruno Latour and Vincent Antonin Lépinay offer a lively introduction to the work of the forgotten genius of nineteenth-century social thought. Tarde’s solution was in total contradiction to the dominant views of his time: to quantify the connections between people and goods, you need to grasp “passionate interests.” In Tarde’s view, capitalism is not a system of cold calculations—rather it is a constant amplification in the intensity and reach of passions. In a stunning anticipation of contemporary economic anthropology, Tarde’s work defines an alternative path beyond the two illusions responsible for so much modern misery: the adepts of the Invisible Hand and the devotees of the Visible Hand will learn how to escape the sterility of their fight and recognize the originality of a thinker for whom everything is intersubjective, hence quantifiable. At a time when the regulation of financial markets is the subject of heated debate, Latour and Lépinay provide a valuable historical perspective on the fundamental nature of capitalism.
In anthropology as much as in popular imagination, kings are figures of fascination and intrigue, heroes or tyrants in ways presidents and prime ministers can never be. This collection of essays by two of the world's most distinguished anthropologists--David Graeber and Marshall Sahlins--explores what kingship actually is, historically and anthropologically. As they show, kings are symbols for more than just sovereignty: indeed, the study of kingship offers a unique window into fundamental dilemmas concerning the very nature of power, meaning, and the human condition. Reflecting on issues such as temporality, alterity, piracy, and utopia--not to mention the divine, the strange, the numinous, and the bestial--Graeber and Sahlins explore the role of kings as they have existed around the world, from the BaKongo to the Aztec to the Shilluk to the eighteenth-century pirate kings of Madagascar and beyond. Richly delivered with the wit and sharp analysis characteristic of Graeber and Sahlins, this book opens up new avenues for the anthropological study of this fascinating and ubiquitous political figure.
Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann is widely regarded as one of the most important 20th century authors writing in German. This book examines her poetry and prose in historical context, arguing that the feminist interpretations of her writings are the result of shifts in theoretical emphases over a period of three decades.
Do things such as performance indicators, valuation formulas, consumer tests, stock prices or financial contracts represent an external reality? Or do they rather constitute, in a performative fashion, what they refer to? The Provoked Economy tackles this question from a pragmatist angle, considering economic reality as a ceaselessly provoked reality. It takes the reader through a series of diverse empirical sites – from public administrations to stock exchanges, from investment banks to marketing facilities and business schools – in order to explore what can be seen from such a demanding standpoint. It demonstrates that descriptions of economic objects do actually produce economic objects and that the simulacrum of an economic act is indeed a form of realization. It also shows that provoking economic reality means facing practical tests in which what ought to be economic or not is subject to elaboration and controversy. This book opens paths for empirical investigation in the social sciences, but also for the philosophical renewal of the critique of economic reality. It will be useful for students and scholars in social theory, sociology, anthropology, philosophy and economics.