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Reductionism and Structural Anthropology

  • Ivan Strenski

Abstract

Is structural anthropology reductionist? Opinion is divided; and even Lévi-Strauss seems to shift his ground.1 This is not altogether surprising, since both reductionism and structuralism are taxing and elusive subjects to explicate. For one thing, several interpretations of reduction circulate in the literature: Which, if any, is appropriate to the issue of reduction in the human sciences? For another, structural anthropology can be controversial: What does a thorough application of structural methods imply — especially in terms of worldview? Taken together, what are the consequences of such discussions for the wider issue of human nature? A maze of issues thus lies at the centre of territory one might explore with innocent and straightforward intent. To take the reader there I want to begin, at any rate, in a straightforward way with an analysis of the concept of reduction.

Keywords

Structural Anthropology Human Nature Human Science Privileged Status Logical Positivist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Ivan Strenski 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Strenski
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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