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The Western Illusion of Human Nature: 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
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The Western Illusion of Human Nature: 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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  7 reviews
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 huma ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Prickly Paradigm Press
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Anthony D Buckley
Prickly Paradigm Press has taken to printing “pamphlets”, shortish polemical works by important thinkers. This is the first I have seen, and it is pretty good. Its convoluted title is an agreeable spoof based on the titles of pamphlets from earlier times. The discussion itself, however, is no spoof.

Sahlins is an influential American social anthropologist, best known for a collection of essays, Stone Age Economics, dealing with hunters and gatherers. Here, he addresses a more abstract question, t
...more
Jason Williams
It's one of the better cold baths I've taken. As a critical-cultural theory enthusiast, it wasn't all new to me, although I hadn't known that Adams plagiarized Hobbes plagiarized Thucydides, or that Western cynicism went back that far (I knew Plato was kind of a dick, but not with such tradition behind him). With the overall argument about human nature, coupled with the assault on Western cynicism that has a history of self-fulfilled prophecies of fascism, I think Sahlins presents (almost) every ...more
Phakin
"ในขณะที่มานุษยวิทยาแบบของเราเสนอว่า มนุษย์มีเนื้อแท้โดยกำเนิดเป็นสัตว์ ที่จำต้องอาศัยวัฒนธรรมควบคุมไว้ - เพราะหากเรายังคงความเป็นสัตว์ไว้อย่างครบถ้วน เราก็ยังคงเป็นสัตว์ที่อยู่เบื้องล่าง - ความคิดของชาวอเมริกันอินเดียกลับเห็นว่า สัตว์นั้นเคยเป็นมนุษย์ และยังจำต้องเป็นมนุษย์อยู่ต่อไป แม้ว่าจะไม่เป็นมนุษย์อย่างชัดเจนนัก"- Viveiros de Castro

ดีงามมาก ๆ แนะนำเลย โดยเฉพาะสำหรับคนที่ไม่ได้สนใจงานแนวมานุษยวิทยาเลย

ข้อเสนอหลัก ๆ ของซาห์ลินส์คือชี้ให้เห็นว่า คอนเซปต์เรื่องภาวะธรรมชาติ (State of Nature) ที
...more
Amari
Very, very good. Very good indeed. A bit involved at times, as one would expect, but mostly fairly easy reading. Calls into question just about everything, even if one has already considered the fundamental questions Sahlins addresses.
Ryan
An interesting and informal essay on the history of Western views of human nature. I appreciate Sahlins for calling out the cynical, self-loathing and essentialist views on this topic.
Orde
This is a pamphlet all right. But nonetheless it is worth reading. Sahlins retraces the idea of human nature in the West so familiar to us in its hobbesian form. There the Greeks, witnesses to the birth of western civilization already argue over man the dangerous creature that has to be restrained by the state. Thus it's always, all through history basically the question: Athens or Sparta? Rule of the equal (although still rather in its origin an aristocratic concept) or monarchy? Hobbes reads T ...more
Colin Bradley
Fascinating connections drawn and ethnographic data presented. Fallacious argumentative structure and conclusions drawn.
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