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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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The “Unknown” Krader: New Encounters (Sabine Sander / Cyril Levitt)


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The “Unknown” Krader: New Encounters



This volume contains somewhat revised versions of papers that were presented at an international conference on the works of Lawrence Krader entitled Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture, held on May 5th and 6th of 2016 at McMaster University and at the Workers Art and Heritage Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in collaboration with the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt in Germany. The conference was the result of an interdisciplinary and international collaborative effort led by scholars at The Lawrence Krader Research Project.

The Project, established in 2008 under the auspices of the Department of Sociology and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University, with an archive in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, initially focused on creating a digital and paper archive of unpublished manuscripts by Lawrence Krader (1919–1998), an American philosopher and anthropologist (

Building on these archival efforts, the Krader Research Project has served as a hub for a group of international researchers, some of whom studied with Krader, and others from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, who find in Krader’s writings an ongoing source of inspiration in cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, ethnology, psychology, and economics. The group included young scholars and graduate students from McMaster University who have taken an interest in Krader’s...

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