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by Robert L. Carneiro

Download The Muse of History and the Science of Culture fb2, epub

ISBN: 0306462737
Author: Robert L. Carneiro
Language: English
Publisher: Springer; 2002 edition (April 30, 2000)
Pages: 307
Category: Humanities
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 362
Size Fb2: 1810 kb
Size ePub: 1621 kb
Size Djvu: 1980 kb
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Robert Carneiro has had a long and distinguished career as one of this country’s leading anthropologists. Finally, let me say something about what Carneiro calls the culture process and the role of individuals in historical change

Robert Carneiro has had a long and distinguished career as one of this country’s leading anthropologists. He was a student of the great anthropologist Leslie White in the 1950s and absorbed White’s materialist and evolutionary approach to anthropology. As I see it, Carneiro’s most important contributions fall into three major areas. Finally, let me say something about what Carneiro calls the culture process and the role of individuals in historical change. As an anthropologist, Carneiro wants to make culture a central, if not the central, concept. But what is culture, what does it do, how is it formed, and how does it relate to individuals?

Robert L. Carneiro American Museum of Natural History New York, New . Butterfield himself wrote a famous little book-The Whig Interpretation of History- ‘ . The Philosophy of History.

Robert L. Carneiro American Museum of Natural History New York, New York. Kluwer Academic Publishers New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow. 7. THE CULTURE PROCESS AND ITS DETERMINANTS The Culture Process Exemplified. The Rise of Chiefdoms and States. The Theory Put to Use .

This book will have the affect of helping social scientist and scholars more self-consciously examine their assumptions regarding the nature of history and the role the social sciences and the humanities in historical investigations. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 37:3 (2001) ' the range of authorities cited makes the book a fascinating read. the polemics themselves, and the thoughtful development of the literature, makes this book a useful source, and the author's infectious enthusiasm for his project should be widely emulated

Born in New York City on June 4, 1927, Robert Leonard Carneiro earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology in 1949 from the University of Michigan and his Master’s degree in 1952.

Born in New York City on June 4, 1927, Robert Leonard Carneiro earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology in 1949 from the University of Michigan and his Master’s degree in 1952. in Anthropology in 1957 from the University of Michigan. At the University of Wisconsin, Carneiro served as a Professor from 1956 to 1957.

Robert Leonard Carneiro (born in New York City on June 4, 1927) is an American anthropologist and curator of the American Museum of Natural History. Carneiro earned a P. from the University of Michigan in 1957. Carneiro is an influential cultural. Carneiro is an influential cultural evolutionist. He is especially known for his theory of the state formation ("Carneiro's Circumscription Theory") that explains how the constraints of the environment interact with population pressures and warfare to form states.

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Carneiro's approach to anthropology is unabashedly scientific and he should be respected for his steadfastness in a discipline that blows hot and cold with each new wind. American Antiquity, 66:4 (2001) & deserves praise for dealing with one of the most important questions in both social science and history.

Robert Carneiro (2000, p. 216) recently observed that " Nothing inherent in. . 216) recently observed that " Nothing inherent in the totality of events constituting history renders them unsuitable to serve as raw material for a science of culture. After all, the phenomena of every science come to us not only as particular and unique, but also as intricately bound up with each other. Then in 2000, he produced his first real book, The Muse of History and the Science of Culture, in which he set forth a general theory of cul- tural evolution and opposed it to the traditional modes of thought of historians.

Is history more than (in Boswell's words) a & series of remarkable events'? Does it have a pattern? .

Is history more than (in Boswell's words) a & series of remarkable events'? Does it have a pattern? Is it .What determines its course? In short, can a substantial and coherent philosophy of history be devised that offers answers to these questions? These issues, which have intrigued -and bedeviled - historians for centuries, are explored in this thoughtful book.

Is history more than (in Boswell's words) a `chronological series of remarkable events'? Does it have a pattern? Is it fraught with `meaning'? Can we discern its trends? What determines its course? In short, can a substantial and coherent philosophy of history be devised that offers answers to these questions? These issues, which have intrigued -and bedeviled - historians for centuries, are explored in this thoughtful book.

Comments:

Kifer
I am neither a historian nor an anthropologist, but this book was definitely an engaging and thoughtful book. More of a research paper than a book, it was divided into concrete chapters building up to the main premise of the book: Can History be turned into a science?

The fact that this book was written by an anthropologist takes away somewhat from this historian's eye, but it had merit throughout. The topics covered are wide including the changing views on how history was and is written, and the interpretation of historical events throughout 'history' itself.

It's a difficult read for a novice, and it took a few months to get through, but overall it was enjoyable, more for the insight it gave on the changing views of how history is written. It doesn't touch upon simply history's `history' itself, but covers topics such as determinism, evolution, divinity and the changing attitudes towards the sciences themselves.

The book ends with an attempt to square off the authors belief that history can be turned into science- namely that there are historical laws that govern the tides of history that can be both mathematically derived and observable. However, as much as I enjoyed the work, this theory itself seemed a bit of a stretch.

There are significant problems with the overall theory; chiefly being that Carneiro himself is an anthropologist. His attempt at historical 'laws' are really simply social laws, or as he exerts 'cultural processes'. Granted there are trends to the growth of villages, and simpler structures, what seems glaring to his hypothesis are histories multitude of examples that seem to defy laws.

For instance, the book uses as a religious determinate the rise of Muhammad and the Muslim faith, framing this rise as more of a trend than a unique event, something which he states as little more than an instance. However, I felt he did a disservice to the idea that there are in fact unique instances, and events that do change the course of history completely. As evidenced, Carneiro overlooks a prime example in Jesus Christ, whose life in no little way changed the course of human history. Also the eradication of the Spanish Armada on its way north to conquer Briton, pure happenstance, or the appearance of Napoleon, who, but for as he points out the whim of genes, could have been replaced by a much more benevolent ruler, thus changing European history completely. These are anomalies that test the idea that 'history' is not bound by static laws, I feel. The laws he presents at the end of the book are to me more demographics and population laws, which are very small in the realm of what constitutes history itself.

Further, history, to be a science, needs to predict things, as Carneiro himself states. I find it hard to predict things such as the Wheel, the Automobile, the Internet, given the fact that these things were so radical in their invention, and so thorough in there change to history itself so as to defy either their coming, nor their projected consequences.

Still, it was a thoroughly engaging read, with copious notes, many, many excellent quotations and a mountain of antidote, insight and well thought-out and crafted chapters.
Windforge
Written by an eminent anthropologist possessed of a deep love of history, this book assesses history's halting and controversial struggle to become a science, and argues convincingly that anthropology provides the key for this transformation. The historian's traditional assumption of free will is rejected as fruitless (chapter 3), and various outmoded explanatory schemes are exposed as exercises in futility--racial and supernatural determinism (chapter 4) as well as Great Man and idealist causation (chapter 5). Needed instead, Carneiro maintains, is an approach that is both evolutionist (chapter 6) and materialist (chapter 7). Individual people and particular events must be transcended through conceptualization not as inherently unique entities but rather as recurrent phenomena (chapter 8). Although the "laws" so far proposed by historians have proven unimpressive (chapter 8), anthropology by now can boast a handful of interesting tentative laws that do not differ, in kind, from those characteristic of the more advanced natural sciences (Chapter 9). This beautifully structured book glows with its author's characteristic clarity and urbanity. It will be of interest and value not only to social scientists, but to anyone who has pondered the relationship between science and history.

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