The Western Illusion of Human Nature

Author: Marshall David Sahlins
Publisher: Prickly Paradigm
ISBN: UCSC:32106017480564
Release Date: 2008
Genre: 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.

Red Black and Objective

Author: Sal Restivo
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317069935
Release Date: 2016-04-08
Genre: Political Science

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.

Sins and Sinners

Author: Phyllis Granoff
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004229464
Release Date: 2012-08-17
Genre: Religion

Sins and Sinners: Asian Perspectives brings together essays by leading scholars of Asian religions to explore the diversity of beliefs about sin and its remedies.

Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Xunzi

Author: Eric L. Hutton
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9789401777452
Release Date: 2016-11-09
Genre: Religion

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.

The Great Debate about Art

Author: Roy Harris
Publisher: Prickly Paradigm
ISBN: STANFORD:36105215393112
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Art

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.

American Counterinsurgency

Author: Roberto J. Gonzalez
Publisher: Prickly Paradigm
ISBN: STANFORD:36105132251948
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: Philosophy

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.

Paths in Utopia

Author: Martin Buber
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 0815604211
Release Date: 1950
Genre: Philosophy

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.

Casino capitalism

Author: Susan Strange
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9781784996598
Release Date: 2015-11-01
Genre: Business & Economics

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.

What Kinship Is And Is Not

Author: Marshall Sahlins
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226925134
Release Date: 2013-01-25
Genre: Social Science

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.

Stone Age Economics

Author: Marshall Sahlins
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781351732697
Release Date: 2017-04-21
Genre: Business & Economics

Since its first publication over forty years ago Marshall Sahlins's Stone Age Economics has established itself as a classic of modern anthropology and arguably one of the founding works of anthropological economics. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Sahlins radically revises traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original "affluent society." Sahlins examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. A radical study of tribal economies, domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large, Stone Age Economics regards the economy as a category of culture rather than behaviour, in a class with politics and religion rather than rationality or prudence. Sahlins concludes, controversially, that the experiences of those living in subsistence economies may actually have been better, healthier and more fulfilled than the millions enjoying the affluence and luxury afforded by the economics of modern industrialisation and agriculture. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by David Graeber, London School of Economics.

What the Foucault

Author: Marshall Sahlins
Publisher:
ISBN: 0996635548
Release Date: 2018-02-15
Genre: Philosophy

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.

The Smell Culture Reader

Author: Jim Drobnick
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN: 1845202139
Release Date: 2006-08-07
Genre: Social Science

Here is a much-needed overview of what is arguably our most elusive sense. Sight and hearing have been the subject of numerous books, while the so-called "lower senses" have remained relatively unexplored despite powerful and complex social meanings. From hygiene to aromatherapy, the foul to the fragrant, smell is shown here to be much more than a physical act of perception.

The Provoked Economy

Author: Fabian Muniesa
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135090029
Release Date: 2014-05-16
Genre: Social Science

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.