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Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture

Lawrence Krader, Interdisciplinarity, and the Concept of the Human Being


Edited By Cyril Levitt and Sabine Sander

The essays contained in Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture represent an attempt by scholars from Canada, Germany, and Mexico to come to grips with the innovative work of the American philosopher and anthropologist Lawrence Krader who has proposed nothing less than a new theory of nature, according to which there are at least three different orders—the material-biotic, the quantum, and the human—which differ from one another according to their different configurations of space-time, and which cannot be reduced the one to the others. Each author takes up Krader’s theory in relation to its impact on their own discipline: sociology, anthropology, the study of myth, the theory of labor and value, economics, linguistics, and aesthetics. The question of how nature and culture can be integrated within a theoretical framework which links them in difference and nexus and allows each their non-reductive space leads each of the contributors to move in their thinking beyond the old dualisms of materialism and idealism, fact and value, nature and culture.

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Appendix: Theory of Nature. Theory of Human Being. Workplan (Lawrence Krader)


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Appendix: Theory of Nature. Theory of Human Being. Workplan


Editors’ note: This document is the shortened, digitized version of a document by Lawrence Krader in the years following his retirement from his last academic post as a professor and the director of the Institute for Ethnology at the Free University of Berlin in 1982. It was not intended for publication; but it provides an overview that helps the reader to understand the “bigger picture” of the ideas that Krader developed in his unpublished writings (for a more detailed account on the Workplan cf. the editors’ Introduction to this book). Even though it is more a rough draft than a systematic plan, and the style of writing was rather tentative than polished, we decided nevertheless to keep Krader’s original written style instead of carefully editing the document. (Where a word in the original is clearly misspelled, ungrammatical or otherwise inaccurate, we have left it as but put another word more appropriate in square brackets with a question mark next to it or where a word or punctuation mark is missing or the sense as written confusing we have suggested a fitting substitute at the appropriate place in the text in square brackets alone. Where an extraneous word is in the original we have also put it in square brackets alone). The document exists in two parts, with many paragraphs in the second part identical or similar to those in...

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