Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor of Anthropology
California State University, Chico / Chico, California 95929-0400
530-898-6220 [Office]; 530-898-6192 [Dept.]; FAX: 530-898-6143
e-mail: curbanowicz@csuchico.edu / home page: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban  

[This Page is printed from: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/1969Levi-StraussPaper.html]

15 August 2003 [#1]

© [All Rights Reserved.] This paper was originally presented on November 22, 1969, at the Symposium on "Structuralism and Semiotics" at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 20-23, 1969 and was placed on the WWW on August 1, 2003 as an "example" of ideas and writing of 1969. Other papers presented at the Symposium were: "Dualism in the Work of Lévi-Strauss" by Joan R. Rayfield, "Lévi-Strauss and the Evolution of Mind" by Robin Fox, "Structuralism and Hermeneutics" by Bob Scholte, "Structuralism and Semiotics" by Thomas A. Sebeok, "The Ideological Bases of Lévi-Strauss's Structuralism" by Hugo G. Nutini, "Heuristics and Structural Anthropology" by Ira Buchler, and "Structuralism and Field-Work" by Pierre Maranda. The text below is essentially unchanged from the original 1969 paper (with additions being indicated in [ ]'s below) and resulted from a year-long (1968-1969) Graduate Seminar at the University of Oregon when I was in my third year of graduate work (and twenty-seven years old). In placing this paper on the WWW some 34 years after it was written I attempt to demonstrate to my students that life is, in fact, cumulative and ideas develop out of previous ideas; I also follow the 1963 words of Sir Karl Popper [1902-1994]: "we can learn from our mistakes [stress added]" (Conjectures And Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1963, page vii). Several of my earlier papers have already been placed on the WWW for student use, such as Urbanowicz 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970a , 1970b, 1971, 1973, 1976a, 1976b, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001, and 2002 (all referenced below). Incidentally, although for years I have requested that my students include an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY/ABSTRACT as well as SECTION HEADINGS and specific CONCLUSIONS in their papers, it is obvious that I did not do that in 1969 (but they have been added below in appropriate [ ]'s)! In placing them on the WWW, I was often reminded of the words of stanza 51 from the 1859 (first) edition translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám of Naishápúr by Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883)

"The Moving Finger writes; and having Writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

Please note the following: "The first Edition of the translation of Omar Khayyám, which appeared in 1859, differs so much from those which followed, that it has thought better to print it in full, instead of attempting to record the differences." W. Aldis Wright, n.d. [1932?], The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám And the Salámán And Absál of Jámí Rendered Into English Verse by Edward Fitzgerald (NY: A.L. Burt Company), page 119.

Historical footnote: Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1942, I graduated high school in 1960 and after attending New York University in 1960-1961, I enlisted in the United States Air Force (1961-1965), was Honorably Discharged, and eventually received the B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology in 1967 from Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University). I began Graduate Work in Anthropology at the University of Oregon in September 1967 and received the M.A. in Anthropology in 1969. In July 1970 I went (with my wife) to do fieldwork in the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga and was awarded the Ph.D. in 1972. For a complete résumé, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/resume.html). I taught in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota for 1972-1973 and joined the faculty of California State University, Chico, in August 1973 and have been happily here ever since!




Claude Lévi-Strauss [1908 -> ] has attempted to bring anthropology back to its philosophical roots, and, as such, not only are the sources of his general anthropological theorizing important but the philosophical background and general cultural milieu of 19th and 20th century Europe must be taken into consideration. In order to gain new perspective a selective view of the intellectual antecedents of Lévi-Strauss is presented, including those individuals explicit in his writings: Mauss (1872-1950), Durkheim (1858-1917), and Boas (1858-1942), as well as those who may only be implicit: Manhnheim (1893-1947), Koyré (1892-1964), Wittgenstein (1889-1951), and Dilthey (1833-1911). "Anthropologie," the seventh and ultimate science in the grand hierarchy of Comte (1798-1857) has been examined to determine its influence on the anthropology of Lévi-Strauss. It is suggested that what Lévi-Strauss is recently writing about actually involves what may be called the "anthropology of knowledge." This is to be distinguished from the "sociology of knowledge" which, concerned with the relation between thought and the context of the social situation, may not deal with a universal process of thought. Some similar approaches to a study of man[kind] which may be inherent in the works of H.G. Barnett [1906-1985] as well as Noam Chomsky [born 1928] are also examined. [From: Preliminary Program and Abstracts" 68th Annual Meeting (American Anthropological Association), Vol. 2, No. 3. page 107.] [1]



The philosophical roots of Claude Lévi-Strauss [born 1908], anthropologist, are deep within a philosophical milieu, and he has developed his ideas within the tradition of French social thought. Other individuals at different times and places have come up with similar ideas as to the nature of man [kind] independent of Lévi-Strauss. Throughout his anthropological work the theme of an "anthropology of knowledge" is present. It is an anthropology that seeks to transcend time and space and account for all men everywhere. This is my interpretation of Lévi-Strauss. There can be many Lévi-Strausses, as Sahlins (1966) pointed out. There is the one in France who is the "real" Lévi-Strauss and the one I am speaking of may be another one altogether, though I trust there is some degree of congruence between them.



I once read in Lévi-Strauss's work some comments, refrains, statements, and general "feelings" which t me had their intellectual roots in the writings of Mannheim, Koyré, Wittgenstein, and Dilthey. This intellectual guesswork has proven misleading and in my correspondence with Lévi-Strauss he has stated that he has not drawn upon any of these writers ( Lévi-Strauss, personal communication, 1969a). [2] Marx (1818-1883), Freud (1856-1939), and Boas, of course, have had an effect on Lévi-Strauss's work, but this paper concentrates only on the particular French social influence of Comte, Durkheim, and Durkheim's nephew, Mauss. (For the approaches of Chomsky and Lévi-Strauss, referred to in the original abstract, I refer the reader elsewhere.) [3]

I should like to point out that although I have written of the attempt of Lévi-Strauss to return anthropology to its philosophical roots, I by no means wish to suggest that Claude Lévi-Strauss is a philosopher first and an anthropologist second, a position imputed to him by many (Pocock, 1968: 27; Netl, 1966: 880). Leach resolves this binary distinction of philosophy and anthropology by writing (1965) that Lévi-Strauss is both anthropologist and philosopher. No, Lévi-Strauss is an anthropologist who has an understanding, or an awareness of the philosophical problems which underlie anthropological work. This philosophical awareness comes out, of course, in Tristes Tropiques (1955) as well as in the published conversations with Charbonier (1961) and Steiner (1966) and on other occasions.

Lévi-Strauss was trained in philosophy, taught philosophy, and has an understanding of the philosophical roots of French social thought (see Lévi-Strauss, 1945), but he is foremost an anthropologist who realizes that although there are philosophical questions in anthropology, the role of the anthropologist is to observe, record, and interpret cultural phenomena, and perhaps get to the underlying basis of all human thought; and in getting to this basis, perhaps develop anthropology into a true "theory of relationships" (1958, 1963 edition, pages 95-96). It should also be pointed out that the philosophers among Lévi-Strauss's critics call him an ethnologist while ethnologists call him a philosopher (Alexandre, 1968: 297). [4]



Regarding those individuals who had an influence on Lévi-Strauss, we must look to French sociology as developed by Émile Durkheim and his nephew Marcel Mauss. This, of course, developed out of and resulted from the work of Comte, Rousseau (1912-1778), Diderot (1713-1784), and innumerable other French thinkers. Lévi-Strauss has written, "In France, sociology will remain the offspring of these first attempts at Anthropological thinking" (1945: 505). Lévi-Strauss has termed Rousseau "the father of anthropology" and has called Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917) the 'founder of modern ethnology" (1962, 1966: 164). Although Lévi-Strauss has drawn upon Durkheim, he has pointed out (1955, 1961: 63) that when he began his own fieldwork in Brazil in 1935 he was an avowed anti-Durkheimian, but by 1955 he found himself to be nearer than any of his colleagues to the tradition of Durkheim. As a source of Lévi-Strauss's thought we are forced to look at philosophy and sociology in France in the 19th century because the anthropology of that era was almost exclusively the anthropology of physical comparisons and the physical aspects of man. [5]

Nineteenth and twentieth century sociology provides us with a specific linkage between Comte, Durkheim, Mauss and Lévi-Strauss. August Comte was the titular father of sociology, along with Henri de Saint Simon (1760-1825). Comte had formulated a 19th century positivism (not to be confused with 20th century positivism) which was a non-reducible positivism, wherein the individual sciences were arranged in a hierarchy. [6] The logical progression of development began with mathematics at the base and progressed through astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology, and finally terminated in the most eminent of the sciences: Anthropology. [7]

Much has been written of Comte's Sociology and extremely little of his Anthropology, which terminated the logical progression of this non-reducible hierarchy. What is interesting to note, is that the logical development of these seven sciences was actually the reverse order in which they were to be known: thus, one "knew" anthropology before one could know sociology: and one had to know anthropology and sociology before biology, and so on through the hierarchy (in reverse order). Though it does not appear that Lévi-Strauss has utilized this ordering of Comte, namely that one first knows anthropology, we may read Lévi-Strauss writing in The Savage Mind that:

"The pre-eminent value of anthropology is that it represents the first step in a procedure which involves others." (1962, 1966: 247).

To Lévi-Strauss, anthropology is the "principle of all research" (1962, 1966: 248) and men must first realize the anthropological significance of their discoveries before anything else (1958, 1963: 361; original in 1954). Lévi-Strauss is consistent in developing this anthropological approach in his works, and while not drawing on Comte directly, perhaps we can see parallel thoughts developing some hundred years apart (just as there are possible parallel developments between the early work of Wittgenstein and Lévi-Strauss in this century).

Comte's influence on Lévi-Strauss may have been transmitted through Durkheim and Durkheim's nephew Marcel Mauss. Lévi-Strauss is not the nephew of Mauss as reported in the literature (Bender, 1964: 133; 1965: 149) and corrected by Lukes (1967: 196).

There is a definite connection between the ideas first developed by Durkheim (who also drew upon Fustel de Coulanges [1830-1889)), expanded upon by Mauss and brought to current fruition by Lévi-Strauss. [8] Durkheim entered sociology by way of philosophy and he sought to transfer to sociology the methodology of the natural sciences. Key to an understanding of Durkheim's sociology is his central idea that all sociology could become an empirical study if it were done properly and that all social phenomenon could only be dealt with within the context of the group. This group, the "collective representations" stood for a reality for Durkheim, and society was expressed in the solidarity of the group. The psychological side to Durkheim was the psychology of the group, of the social situation--a theme which later found its embodiment in Mauss's "faits sociax totaux" and then later in Lévi-Strauss's "exchange / communication" between groups. We see in Lévi-Strauss's work the continuation of this concept of the study of the group and a further refinement upon Mauss' tradition. (See Bierstedt, 1966; Marjolin, 1937; Merton, 1934; Peyre, 1960; Parsons, 1937; 1968).

Mauss attended the University of Bordeaux while Durkheim taught there, studied under his uncle and was guided by him in his work. They wrote reviews together, a major monograph (1903) and Mauss did the statistical work for Le Suicide (1897). Mauss was qualified and apparently considered to be the logical successor of Durkheim's mantle of authority after Durkheim's death in 1917 (although it was Paul Fauconnet [1874-1938] who acceded to Durkheim's chair at the Sorbonne in 1921). Lévi-Strauss pointed out in 1945 (page 526) that Mauss had always considered himself to be the keeper of the Durkheimian tradition. Mauss refined and carried Durkheim's theoretical work further than Durkheim himself could have perhaps done. Mauss developed some explicit statements as to the nature of man, "L'homme total" as well as "prestation total" and "faits sociaux totaux" which are all utilized by Lévi-Strauss at a later date. (See Cazeneuve, 1968; Karady, 1968; Leacock, 1954; Lévi-Strauss, 1945; Lukes, 1968; and Raphael, 1969.) [9]

Having examined Comte's anthropology, Durkheim and Mauss' sociology, and analyzing Lévi-Strauss's approach to an anthropology of man[kind], I thought I detected in Lévi-Strauss's method a new combination of all these previous techniques: a new combination that sought to transcend time and space--an approach that knows no boundaries. It was at that time that I also thought there was a direct linkage between Lévi-Strauss and Mannheim's sociology of knowledge, but Lévi-Strauss has denied this. Although Mannheim must be stricken from the list of progenitors of Lévi-Strauss, the idea of a sociology of knowledge is useful to compare to an anthropology of knowledge. Concerned as it is with the relation between thought and a specific socio-cultural historical setting (Mannheim's "situationsgebunden"), the sociology of knowledge may not be able to deal with the universal processes of thought. Lévi-Strauss writes (in 1954):

"If a French sociologist [of knowledge, or any branch of sociology for that matte] of the twentieth century works out a general theory of social life, it will inevitably, and quite legitimately, reveal itself as the work of a twentieth century French sociologist; whereas the anthropologist undertaking the same task will endeavor, instinctively and deliberately (although it is by no means certain that he will ever succeed), to formulate a theory applicable not only to his fellow countrymen and contemporaries, but also to the most distant native population [in time and in space]." (1958, 1963: 362-363).

This is essentially the anthropology of knowledge, an anthropology that transcends time and space, that I have discussed with Lévi-Strauss in correspondence and with which he agrees with as a description of his work (Lévi-Strauss, personal communication, 1969a). This same approach to a theory of man which transcends time and space appears elsewhere in his general works; in 1949 (reprinted in 1958, 1963: 23) he wrote of the goal of the anthropologist, which was "to grasp, beyond the conscious and always shifting images which men hold, the complete range of unconscious possibilities." This is the same anthropology of knowledge that is developed in the closing pages of Tristes Tropiques (1955), La Pensé Sauvage (1962), wherein he examined man's mental processes in an attempt to get at a universal syntax, and elsewhere in his works. In 1964, writing about the natural sciences and comparing the "social" sciences to the "human' sciences (with anthropology being a human science) he wrote:

"...the human sciences are those which stand outside all particular societies, either because they seek to see things from the point of view of any society, or from that of any individual in any society, or, lastly, because their aim is to apprehend some reality immanent in Man and they are therefore not primarily concerned with the individual man or the individual society." (1964: 549)

Germane to this distinction that Lévi-Strauss has drawn between the social and the human sciences as compared with the natural sciences, is the distinction that Dilthey made between the "Naturwissenschaftern" or natural sciences, and the "Geisteswissenschaften" or cultural sciences. It was this similarity in technique which led me to posit the connection between Dilthey and Lévi-Strauss but which Lévi-Strauss denies. [10] As in the case of Comte and his anthropology, Wittgenstein and his structures, and Dilthey and his division, we can see similar approaches to a study of man[kind] which find their current independent manifestation in Lévi-Strauss' thinking. Briefly put, Lévi-Strauss has not been the only thinker who sought an approach for a universal understanding if man[kind]. The same quest for the universal syntax as evidenced in The Savage Mind is also present in the work of H.G. Barnett, as developed in Innovation (1953) and subsequent publications. For Barnett an innovation "is a combination of ideas" and a theory of innovation "should be a formulation of the rules of thinking as they pertain to a new combination of thought" (1953: 16). This, and other points in Barnett's book, is similar to what Lévi-Strauss was writing about at the same time in Race et Histoire (1952, 1958: 39) and of the leap from the paleolithic to the neolithic and the recombination of elements involved. Lévi-Strauss's bricoleur in The Savage Mind (1962, 1966: 18), when the individual "interrogates all the heterogeneous objects of his treasury" acting as the bricoleur to create art which mediates between myth and science, is similar to Barnett's innovator. Perhaps it is because were are all bricoleurs at heart and Barnett's innovator is another way of stating it. As Barnett (1961: 41) has written elsewhere:

"For the truth of the matter is that every many is an inventor many times over. The problem is not to invent something, but to invent something that someone wants." [11]



This paper, dealing with the intellectual antecedents (progenitors and precursors) would not be complete without bringing one slightly up to date on current activities: this symposium is but one such affair within the discipline (there have been others) to ascertain the position of Lévi-Strauss in anthropology. Perhaps the best method of assessing Lévi-Strauss is to step outside of the discipline and look elsewhere for an evaluation of his approach. One such evaluation comes from the Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner, who, in his (1966) publication Toward A Theory of Instruction (chapter 4 and 8) writes of the utility of the concept of "bricoleur" to education, and to the general study of man and teaching of man.

Nor should this paper close without an attempt at interpreting the "why" of Lévi-Strauss's approach: why the distinction (purely methodological) between nature and culture (1962, 1966: 247)? Between the complementary approaches of history and anthropology (1949 in 1958, 1963: 13)? Between the analogical, totalizing thought of the savage mind and the domesticated thought (digital?) of the reader / writer / anthropologist? Between continuous and discrete qualities (1964, 1969: 28)? All cases of extreme, neat, complementarity, yet all ideal types in the sense that no single concept (be it nature or culture; history or anthropology; analogical or digital; continuous or discrete) can exist one without the other. All by there presence must mean some higher third or concept of unity which perhaps mediates between the two extremes or exists on a different level. [12] Whence came this need to think in two's (oppositions or complementarities) and three's (unification or mediation between oppositions)? Rayfield has broached the subject: "There is a propensity in human beings, possibly biologically based, to think in terms of oppositions...." (Ms., page 1) This biological propensity, manifesting itself as cultural phenomena, is very possibly the key to an understanding of man as we know of him. We may be, in effect, pre-programmed to react to phenomena the way in fact we do react. [13] 



This essentially completes the presentation of my paper. Lévi-Strauss's intellectual precursors extend a considerable length of time into the past, and he has been influenced not only by the traditional academic scholars, but by the general intellectual and literary world as well (Lévi-Strauss, personal communication, 1969b). There have been other individuals (and they are still individuals) who have approached the study of man[kind] with similar ideas, but they have been independent and not directly linked with his approach. Lévi-Strauss's "anthropology of knowledge" is a continuous theme in his approach to a theory of relationships and the universal syntax of thought. Commenting on the Steiner query (1966: 37) as to the idea of a "universal grammar" (à la Leibniz [1646-1716]) in his own approach, Lévi-Strauss replied: No doubt about that, no doubt."

This view of Lévi-Strauss may not be shared and as a consequence you may be getting more of my personal anthropology than Lévi-Strauss's but, if as Lévi-Strauss has written in The Raw and the Cooked (1964, 1969) that it matters not if the processes of thought come through my mind or through his, then we have nothing to fear. "If the final aim of anthropology," he writes, "is to contribute to a better knowledge of objectified thought and its mechanisms" (1964, 1969: 13) then I hope I can make my small contribution in attempting to ascertain the position of Claude Lévi-Strauss: the man, his method, and his moment in time. [14]

# # # 


1. I should like to thank the Drs. H.G. Barnett, C. Lévi-Strauss, B. Scholte, A.G. Simonds, and R.H. Thompson for reading and commenting on earlier drafts and versions of this paper. Sole responsibility for final interpretation rests, of course, with the author. [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

2. I do not feel too bad in writing of a possible connection between Wittgenstein and Lévi-Strauss, as there have been others who have intimated at a possible connection and now perhaps the issue is cleared. I made my own erroneous connections on the basis of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (English edition of 1922 which first appeared in German in 1921 as "Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung") and select items of Lévi-Strauss. (I at one time saw La Pensée Sauvage subtitled as Tractatus Logico-Anthropologicus, being a work in anthropology that took or used logic as its basis.) The anonymous reviewer in the Times (London) Literary Supplement wrote: "No less than Wittgenstein's Tractatus, La Pensée Sauvage and Le Cru et le Cuit infer that man's place in reality is a matter of syntax, of the ordering of propositions" (29 April 1965: 332). The concept of milieu is also difficult, for where I might posit a similar milieu contributing to the approaches of both Lévi-Strauss and Wittgenstein, Poole (1966: 600) writes" "We may notice in passing the analogies of this passage [a selection from Lévi-Strauss] with the problem that Wittgenstein was wrestling with all by himself in a different milieu of thought...." [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

3. The interested reader is referred to Nutini (Ms.). What Chomsky has to say on Lévi-Strauss may give one pause, for in Language and Mind (1968: 65) Chomsky essentially sees in Lévi-Strauss' approach a "nothing but" and if we equate or compare Chomsky to Lévi-Strauss.... Chomsky writes that The Savage Mind "is a serious and thoughtful attempt to come to grips with" the problem of categories of primitive mentality. But he continues: "Nevertheless, I do not see what conclusions can be reached from a study of his materials beyond the fact that the savage mind attempts to impose some organization on the physical world--that human classify, if they perform any mental acts at all." Needless to say, I do not agree with Chomsky on this point as he seems to miss the entire point of the work (and Lévi-Strauss's other publications). [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

4. Neither is Lévi-Strauss the new "Pope of Anthropology" which is the position imputed to him by the (once again) anonymous reviewer for the Times (London) Literary Supplement (2 May 1968). [To return to the body of the text, please click here.] 

5. Originally there had been the Société des observateurs de l'homme of Paris, founded in 1799 by Louis François Jauffret (1770-1850). It lasted only a few short years (see Stocking, 1964 in 1968: 13-41). In 1839 the Société ethnologique de Paris was formed by William F. Edwards (1777-1842), and it lasted until 1848. The etymology of "ethnology" is interesting: Rohan-Csermak has written that André Marie Ampere (1775-1836) should be given the credit for first using the word "ethnologie" as early as a letter in 1830 and in print in 1832. Rohan-Csermak essentially states that Edwards's definition was racist in orientation and Ampere had the first true meaning of the word. No one seems to have had a good word about Edwards's word: Topinard [1830-1911] called Edwards' definition terrible and D. G. Brinton (1837-1899) called it illiterate. Brinton also pointed out the use of the term ethnology as early as 1787 by Chavannes and Brinton writes that this definition was "very nearly its true scientific sense" (Brinton, 1892: 264). To Chavannes ethnology expressed "l'histore des progrès des peuples vers la civilasation." It was Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) and Paul Topinard (1830-1911), both physicians turned anthropologists, who were the "key" anthropologists of the 19th century. Though the anthropology of the 19th century was primarily physical (see Stocking, 1968: 40), Topinard did develop a scheme for anthropology which included four sub-disciplines: anthropology proper, ethnography, physical anthropology, and accessories: linguistics and archaeology. This framework was introduced into the United States by Brinton, also a physician turned anthropologist, in 1892. John W. Powell (1834-1902), geologist turned anthropologist, opposed the Topinard-Brinton schema and preferred his own classification of the discipline. (See Brinton, 1892; Darnell, 1967; Shapiro, 1935.) Bender (1964: 16) points out that "During the latter part of the nineteenth century the term 'anthropologie' [in France] was used to refer to a broad and encompassing discipline not too different from the anthropology of the contemporary United States." Harris's recent statement (1968: 464) that "because of the rigidities and conservatism inherent in the structure of French higher education, it was not until the 1920's that academic anthropology began to appear" is only slightly correct: slightly, because what there was of 'anthropologie' did resemble the American version--it had been the model for the American version, and secondly, the 'anthropologie' of 19th century France was there, but it was not connected to the university system. (Also see Bender, 1965; Holmes, 1893; Mason, 1889; Ronze, 1968; Thomas and Pikelis, 1953; Ward, 1895; and Wissler, 1930.) [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

6. Common to Comte's positivism and the 20th century positivists (A.J. Ayers, b. 1910; R. Carnap, b. 1891; H. Reichenback, 1891-1953; M. Schlick, 1852-1936, to name but a few) was the continuation of the 18th century concept of the Enlightenment, with science providing the standard for the analysis of the phenomena. For anthropology and the Enlightenment see Voget (1967; 1968). Comte's positivism, however, was a non-reducible one, with 7 basic sciences. The 20th century positivists (with the Vienna Circle expanding upon the work of Ernst Mach (1838-1916) "held as one of its main contentions, the doctrine of the unity of the science, i.e., the view that the concepts and laws of all the special sciences are logically reducible to the concepts of one system of science" (Ashby, 1964: 493). This is but another point where Wittgenstein might have been tied in with Lévi-Strauss, for does Lévi-Strauss see all phenomena as a variation on a communication theme? Communication of women, goods and services, and messages--and hence all reducible to a basic science? Or is it that there is a basic distinction between social and physical phenomena? Lévi-Strauss writes (personal communication 1969a; and see 1952 social structure article and the 1964 UNESCO article as well) that "I certainly agree with you that there is a fundamental difference between social and physical phenomena or else social sciences would have become exact long ago." [To return to the body of the text, please click here.] 

7. Comte coined the term 'sociologie' in 1839 (in Volume IV of his Cours de Philosophie Positive) and it was to serve as an equivalent for the words "social physics" which had previously been in use. Social physics had come from both Comte and Saint Simon while they were collaborating on a science of the positive (from approximately 1817 to 1822). After the publication of Prospectus des Travaux Necessaires Pour Organiser la Societe in 1822 the two men parted as enemies. (See Timasheff, 1955; Markham, 1952; Martindale, 1960: 56-77; and Sorokin, 1928.) On his 'anthropologie' he wrote (1852 Système de Politique Positive; 1875 English translation, pages 356-357): ""The consequences could not be seen, until, by founding Sociology, I was able to add the last group to the Encyclopedic series of the sciences, When this was affected, it was possible to have a systematic basis for an Anthropology, or true science of Man, though this science ought ever to retain its sacred name of morals. Now that this last condition has been fulfilled, and now that it has already enabled me to construct on subjective methods a sound Cerebral Theory, the seventh and last gradation in the Grand Hierarchy of Abstract Science is a distinctively defined as any of the others." Elsewhere (1853, 1876: 40-41) he wrote: "Leaving Sociology, it only remains for me to describe the third term of the grand progressive series, which gives us the true encyclopedic hierarchy: I mean the study of Moral Laws, the necessary goal of all healthy speculation. The field of Morals [Note: Anthropology] is at once more special, more complex, and more noble than that of Sociology strictly so called, the exact rank of which has just been determined.... Morals is the most eminent of the sciences, both because of the superior dignity of its object, Man, from which we get our type of true nobleness, and because, as I am about to explain, of its theoretic plentitude." The 1852 (Vol. II: 437) French was: "Elle n'était point apprécable avant que ma fondation de la sociologie eut terminéla préparation encyclopédique qu'exigeait l'avénement systématique de la véritable anthropologie, àlaquelle il faut conserver son nom sacréde morals. Cette condition finale étant désormais remplie, et m'ayant déjàconduit àconstruire subjectivement la saine théorie cérébrale, le septieme et dernier degréde la grand hiérarchie abstraite devient aussi caractérise que tous les autres." [To return to the body of the text, please click here.] 

8. As with Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges (1830-1899), Durkheim also showed his interest to lie with the analysis of institutions and collective groups. Like Fustel de Coulanges, Durkheim did not pay much attention to the act of the individual within a group, a point that Durkheim later criticized William James [1842-1910] for. Durkheim established the prestigious journal L'Année Sociologique in 1897 and remained its editor until 1910. Prior to this, René Worms (1869-1926) had established the Revue International de Sociologique (in 1892), the Institut International de Sociologie (in 1893) and the Société de Sociologie de Paris (in 1895). Simon writes that "The man who, after and even more than Durkheim, was the organizing and administrative genius of French Sociology was René Worms, who was at the same time the leader of one of the two contending schools which descended from conflicting tendencies within Comts's own analysis of sociology." (W.M. Simon, 1963, European Positivism in the Nineteenth Century, Cornell, page 1 47). [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

9. Durkheim's death in 1917 apparently threw French sociology wide open. Factions began to develop within the discipline, causing Bouglé to write (1930: 67) of the considerable opposition to Durkheimians by a considerable spectrum of people in France. Merton pointed out in 1934 (page 537) that "In no other nation, probably do sociologists so clearly divide into several distinct 'schools' as in France." Mauss founded, with Paul Rivet (1876-1958) and Lucien Levy-Bruhel (1857-1939), the Institut d'Ethnologie of the University of Paris in 1926 (with the three apparently serving as joint directors). Prior to this date, Mauss established the Institut de Sociologie (1925, after serving as its first president to 1927) and had been elected the president of the Societé de Psychologie (in 1923). See Lukes, 1968; Leacock, 1954; Ronze, 1968; and Stoetzel, 1957: 629). [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

10. There were other similarities, of course: Rickman (1961: 138) translates Dilthey as writing: "If there were a science of man it would be anthropology which aims at understanding the totality of experience through the structural context." For further information on Dilthey, the interested reader is referred to Rickman (1961) and his interpretation of some of Dilthey's work. Landgrebe (1935) and Hodges (1968) give brief statements on Dilthey whereas Horkheimer (1939) goes into a little more depth, as does Bergstraesser (1947). [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

11. Barnett's book (and his entire approach) or the approach to Barnett's theory is an interesting aspect of anthropological history: Kluckhohn (1955-57: 762) termed Innovation a "profound contribution" to the study of culture change.l Kroeber (1955, 1963: 123-124) stated that Barnett's book interlaced the various "psychological, social and cultural considerations" of change. Harris (1968) fails to mention it at all and the recent book of readings (Bohannan and Plog, Editors, 1967) carrying the 1953 Social Science Research Council Seminar on Acculturation (originally in American Anthropologist, 1954: 974-1002) fails to include Barnett's "mildly heretical remarks" published with the original paper, since in fact Barnett took part in the seminar as well. Nurge (1955: 258), in comparing Malinowski, Linton, and Barnett on change theories, while slightly critical, saw an advancement in Barnett's conceptualization over Linton's and Malinowski's theories. Collins (1962) has applied Barnett's theory to the design of a "standard symbolic language (trait complex) for an Automatic Data Processing System" within a select computer industry (a specific technological subculture) and concludes that the theory, with select modification) "can be used as an applicative and calculative tool" (1962: 15). Pierce (1966) has tested Barnett's theory and found support for it within a select part of an American school system. [To return to the body of the text, please click here.] 

12. This is nothing new, of course: a purely Buddhist (Zen) concept. As Humphrey (1949: 169) states it: "Look for the higher third above all opposites, for in fact there is no such thing as two. There is one or three, for all things are visible in the light of their relationships." It is this same, or a somewhat similar approach which leads Gardiner (1964, 1969: 210-215) to speculate on the intellectual heritage of the Orient viz-a-viz that of the Occident and the contribution of Oriental heritage to the overthrow of the symmetrically oriented parity concept in physics. The universe is not perfectly balanced (at least not the beta decay of Cobalt 60 at absolute zero, of -273' below zero centigrade)! The mathematician Freund (1956: 413) in dealing with transfinite cardinal cumbers writes: "It seems that our imagination does not permit us to count beyond three when dealing with infinite sets." For another view on the number "three" see the excellent article by Dundes (1968: 401-424). [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

13. The brain is a statistical organ with digital and analogical properties. Nerve impulses are definitely propagated in an either "on" or "off" situation, but this on-off quality is mediated (transformed?) by the analogical influences on the synapse. As Von Neumann stated it in his book The Computer and The Brain (New Haven Yale University Press, 1958: 79) "Thus the nervous system appears to be using a radically different system of notation from the ones we are familiar with in ordinary arithemetics and mathematics: instead of the precise systems of markers where the position--and presence or absence--of every marker counts decisively in determining the meaning of the message, we have here a system of notations in which the meaning is conveyed by the statistical properties [stress in original] of the message." More recently Pedelty (1963: 44-45) writes; "The neuron response has been referred to as 'all or note,' which implies digital operation. However it has been seen that the past history of the neuron and other factors can influence the amplitude of the spike, the propagation speed of the spike along the axon, and the length of the refractory period. These are continuous or analog rather than discrete or digital qualities.... The neuron can thus be thought of as operating in both digital and analog modes, and certain parameters of its functioning may be affected by various conditions other than its instantaneous stimulus." Bourdillon's recent treatment (1968: 154) of nerve cells in connection with linguistics and Lévi-Strauss would appear to be in error. De Bono (1969), which I have been unable to examine to date, might be pertinent for this entire matter of pre-programming. [To return to the body of the text, please click here.] 

14. Perhaps Anthropology really has no history per se, only individuals who make, manifest, transform and reflect the discipline (what it was, what it is, and what it will be) through their own personalities. If this is the case, then it is difficult to reconcile an approach to a study of the discipline (or some studies within the discipline itself) which does not take into account the idiosyncrasies and position of the individual, an individual, within the socio-cultural system. [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]


"I have yet to see any problem,
however complicated, which when you
looked at it in the right way did
not become still more complicated."

Poul Anderson [#2]

Franz Adler, 1957, The range of sociology of knowledge. Modern Sociological Theory in Continuity and Change, Becker and Boskoff, Editors, pages 396-423 (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston).

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H.G. Barnett, 1953, Innovation: The Basis of Culture Change (McGraw-Hill).

H.G. Barnett, 1961, The Innovative Process. Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers, pages 25-43.

Donald Bender, 1964, Early French Ethnography in Africa and the Development of Ethnology in France (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University).

E. Benoit-Smullyan, 1948, The Sociologism of Émile Durkheim and His School. An Introduction to the history of Sociology, H.E. Barnes, Editor, pages 205-243 (In the 1966 abridged University if Chicago Edition).

Arnold Bergstraesser, 1947, Wilhelm Dilthey and Max Weber: An Empirical Approach to Historical Synthesis. Ethics, Vol. 57: 91-110.

Robert Bierstedt, 1966, Émile Durkheim (NY: Dell Publishing Co.).

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Célestin Bouglé, 1930, The Present tendency of the Social Sciences in France. The New Social Science, L.D. White, Editor (University of Chicago Press), pages 64-83.

Michael Bourdillon (S.J.), 1868, "Lévi-Strauss and Myuth. Month (Great Britain), Vol. 39: 149-163.

Daniel G. Brinton, 1892, The Nomenclature and Teaching of Anthropology. American Anthropologist, O.S., Vol. 5, Nol. 3: 263-266.

Jerome Bruner, 1966, Toward a Theory of Instruction (1963 W.W. Norton Co. Edition).

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Jean Cazeneuve, 1968a, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 9: 263-266. (MacMillan & Free Press.)

Jean Cazeneuve, 1968b, Sociologie de Marcel Mauss (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France).

Georges Charbonier, 1961, Entretiens Avec Claud Lévi-Strauss. (1969 English edition, Conversations With Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jonathan Cape Ltd., london).

Terry N. Clark, 1968, Réne Worms. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 16: 579-581. (MacMillan & Free Press.)

Lloyd R, Collins, 1962, An Application of Barnett's Innovation Theory to the Standardization of a Logic Symbology. (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Arizona.)

Auguste Comte, 1852, Système de Politique Positive, Volume Two (Paris); 1875 English translation of Volume Two in 1875 as System of Positive Polity (Paris).

Auguste Comte, 1853, Système de Politique Positive, Volume Three (Paris).

Armand Cuviller, 1967, La Sociologie. Tableau de la Philosophe Contemporaine.... D. Husman, Editor (Paris: Editions Fischbacher), pages 607-621.

Regna Darnell, 1967, Daniel Garrison Brinton: An Intellectual Biographjy (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, university of Pennsylvania).

Edward de Bono, 1969, The Mechanism of Mind (NY: Simon & Schuster).

Alan Dundes, 1968, The Number Three in American Culture. Everyman His Way, Alan Dundes, Editor (NJ: Prentice-Hall), pages 401-424.

Émile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss, 1903, De quelques formes primitives de classification: Contribution à l'étyde des representations collectives. Année Sociologique (Paris), Vol. VI (1901-02), pages 1-72

Earle Eubank, 1937, Sociological Instruction in FGrance. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 42, No 5: 705-708.

Paul Faiconnet, 1927, The Durkheim School in France. Sociological Review, Vol. 19, No. 1: 15-20.

John E. Freund, 1956, A Modern Introduction To Mathematics (NJ: Prentice-Hall).

Martin Gardiner, 1964, The Ambidextrous Universe: Left, Right, And The Fall of Parity (NY: 1969 Mentor revised Edition).

Henri Gouhier, 1955, La philosophie de l'historie d'Auguste Comte. Journal of World History, II: 503-520.

Georges Gurvitch, 1939, The social legacy of Lucien Lévy-Bruhl. Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 5, No. 1: 61-70.

Marvin Harris, 1968, The Rise of Anthropological Theory (T.Y. Crowell Co.).

H.A. Hodges, 1968, Wilhelm Dilthey. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 4: 185-187. (MacMillan & Free Press.)

W.H. Holmes, 1893, The World's Fair Congress of Anthropology. American Anthropologist, O.S., Vol. 6, No. 4: 423-439.

Max Horklheimer, 1939, The Relation Between Psychology and Sociology in the Work of Wilhelm Dilthey. Zeitschrift Für Sozialforschung, Vol. 7: 430-443.

A.G. Horon, 1957, La France et les science de l'homme. Contrat Social, Vol. 1, No. 2: 84-95.

H. Stuart Hughes, 1961, Consciousness And Society (NY: A.A. Knopf).

H. Stuart Hughes, 1966, The Obstructed Path (NY: Harper & Row).

Ake Hulkrantz, 1968, The Aims of Anthropology: A Scandinavian Point of View (with CA* Treatment). Current Anthropology, Vol. 9, No. 4: 289-310.

Christmas Humphreys, 1949, Zen Buddhism (1962 MacMillan Paperback Edition).

Melville J. Herskovits, 1930, Pierre Paul Broca. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 3: 7. (MacMillan & Free Press.)

Victor Karady, 1968, Marcel Mauss: Oevres, 1. Les Functiones Sociales du Sacré (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit).

C. Kluckhohn, 1957, Developments in the field of anthropology in the twentieth century. Journal of World History, Vol. 3, No. 3: 754-777.

A.L. Kroeber, 1955, Integration of the knowledge of man. (Originally in The Unity of Knowledge) reprinted in An Anthropologist Looks At History, pages 101-130.

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Edmund R. Leach, 1965, Claude Lévi-Strauss--Anthropologist and Philosopher. New Left Review, Vol. 56, No. 1: 58-73.

Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1945, French Sociology. Twentieth Century Socology, Gurvitch and Moore, Editors, pages 503-537. (NY: The Philosophical Library).

Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1952, Race et Historie (1958 English, UNESCO edition: Race And History).

Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1955a, Tristes Tropiques (1961, 1965 Atheneum English Edition).

Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1955b, La Pensée Sauvage (1962 English Edition, The Savage Mind; Chicago).

Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1958, Anthropologie Structurale (1963 English Edition; NY: Basic Books).

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Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1969a, Personal Communication.

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Paul Mercier, 1957, Französiche Ethnologie Heute. Kölner Zeitschrift Für Soziologie Und Sozialpsychologie, Vol. 9, No. 2: 199-218.

Paul Mercier, 1966, Historie de L'Anthropologie (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France).

Peter Nettl, 1966, Lévi-Strauss. New Statesman, 9 December, pages 880-881.

Ethel D. Nurge, 1955, Culture Change In Contact Situations: Generalizations In Syntheses By Malinowski, Linton and Barnett (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University).

Hugo Nutini, n.d., A Comparison of Lévi-Strauss's Structuralism and Chomsky's Transformational Generative Grammar . (156 pages)

Talcott Parsons, 1937, The Structure of Social Action (1968 Free press Edition, Vol. 1).

Talcott Parsons, 1968, Émile Durkheim. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 4: 311-320. (MacMillan & Free Press.)

Michael J. Pedelty, 1963, An Approach To Machine Intelligence (Washington, D.C.: Spartan Books).

Henri Peyre, 1960, Durkheim: The Man, His Time, and His Intellectual Background. Émile Durkheim, 1858-1917, K.H. Wolff, Editor. (Ohio State University Press).

D.F. Pocock, 1968, Claude Lévi-Strauss--Anthropologist. Oxford Review #7, August, pages 23-29.

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Freddy Raphaël, 1969, Marcel Mauss, Précurseur de l'anthropologie structurale. Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie, V. 46: 125-132.

Joan R, Rayfield, n.d., Philosophies of Opposition: Part II. (22 pages)

H.P. Rickman (Editor), Wilhelm Dilthey - Patterns And Meaning in History (1962 Harper Edition).

G. De Rohan-Csermak, 1967, La premiere apparition du terme 'ethnologie.' Ethnologia Europae, Vol. 1, No. 3: 388-390.

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Marshall D. Sahlins, 1966, On The Delphic Writing of Claude Lévi-Straus. Scientific American, June, pages 131-134.

V.D. Sewny, 1935, Réne Worms. The Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 15: 498-499.

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G.W.Stocking, Jr., 1964, French Anthropology in 1880. Isis, Vol. 55, Part 2: 134-150; reprinted in Race, Culture, And Evolution (The free Press), 1968: 13-41.

Jean Stoetzel, 1957, Sociology in France. Modern Sociological Theory In Continuity And Change. Becker and Boskoff, Editors, pages 623-657.

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N.S. Timasheff, 1955, Sociological Theory: Its Nature And Growth (NY: Random House).

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Fred W. Voget, 1967, Progress, science, history and evolution in eighteenth and nineteenth century anthropology. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 3: 132-155.

Fred W. Voget, 1968, Anthropology in the Age of Enlightenment: Progress and Utopian Functionalism. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 4: 321-345.

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The world dertainly has changed since this 1969 paper and perhaps some of these web sites might be of interest:

http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/information/biography/klmno/levi-strauss_claude.html [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/hopkins_guide_to_literary_theory/claude_levi-strauss.html [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Levi-Strauss [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://varenne.tc.columbia.edu/bib/auth/levstcld0.html [Selection of Works of Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.anthrobase.com/Dic/eng/pers/levi-strauss_claude.htm [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/socthink/levistrauss.html [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/people/A0829580.html [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/L/LeviS1tra.asp [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.1upinfo.com/encyclopedia/L/LeviStra.html [Claude Lévi-Strauss]
http://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/l/e.htm [Claude Lévi-Strauss and other individuals beginning with "L"]


2002 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/VestigesReview.html (Book review of Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, by James A. Secord [2000, University of Chicago Press], Configurations, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165.) Configurations, Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2002, pages 195-198.

2001 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/WordsOnAnnie'sBox.html (Essay on Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution, by Randal Keynes [2001]).

2000 Teaching As Theatre: Some Classroom Ideas, Specifically Those Concerning Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) for the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA (November 15-19).

1993 Charles R. Darwin: Happy 116th Anniversary! (For the 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C., November 17-21.)

1992 Four-Field Commentary. Anthropology Newsletter [American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.], Vol. 33, No. 9: 3.

1990 Perspectives on Science Fiction and Science Fact. (For the CSU, Chico Anthropology Forum, March 8.)

1983 Christian Missionaries in The Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga: Late 18th & Early 19th Century Activities. (For the Symposium entitled "Missions and Missionaries in the Pacific: An Overview" for the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, San Francisco, California, December 28.)

1980 Women in the Pacific: Some Polynesian Examples. (For the "Asia and Pacific" Section of the 28th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory, San Francisco, California, October 23-25, 1980.)

1977 Evolution of Technological Civilizations: What is Evolution,Technology, and Civilization? (For the Symposium on "The Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence at NASA/Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California, February 24-25.)

1976 John Thomas, Tongans, and Tonga! The Tonga Chronicle (July 15, 1976), Nuku'alofa, Tonga, Vol. 13, No. 7: 7.

1972 Tongan Social Structure: Data From An Ethnographic Reconstruction. For the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association,Toronto, Canada, December 2, 1972).

1971 Tongan Culture: From The 20th Century to the 19th Century. For the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New York, New York, November 17, 1971).

1970a Discussion. Current Direction in Anthropology: A Special Issue [Bulletins of the American Anthropological Association, Vol. 3, No. 3, Part 2], edited by Ann Fischer (Washington, D.C., American Anthropological Association), pages 55-56.

1970b Mother Nature, Father Culture. (For the 28th Annual Meeting of the Oregon Academy of Science, Eugene, February 28).

1968 Comments on Bronislaw Malinowski (For a University of Oregon ANTH 507 Graduate Seminar, October 29).

1967 The Classical Maya. Honors Papers (Bellingham: Western Washington University), Vol. 6: 26-32.

1965 Darwin - 1859: An Important Historical Event. (For SPEECH 100, Western Washington State College [now Western Washington University], Bellingham, Washington, June 30).

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(#1) © [All Rights Reserved.] [Original 1969 footnote:] This paper was originally presented on November 22nd (Symposium on Structuralism and Semiotics) at the 68th Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 20-23, 1969. Not for quotation in publication without permission. [To return to the top of the paper, please click here.]

(#2) [Original 1969 footnote:] A few items have been added to this bibliography which were not specifically cited in the body of the test. [To return to the body of the text, please click here.]

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[~ 8,775 words]} 15 August 2003]

To go to the home page of Urbanowicz, please click here;

to the Department of Anthropology;

to California State University, Chico.

[This Page is printed from: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/1969Levi-StraussPaper.html]

Copyright © 1969 / 2003; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz

15 August 2003 by cfu

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