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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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Myth in Krader’s Mito e Ideología Compared with Myth in Noetics (Mayán Cervantes)


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Myth in Krader’s Mito e Ideología Compared with Myth in Noetics



To write his book, Mito e Ideología (2003), Krader took as an empirical foundation the research he carried out as an ethnologist in Northeast Asia and the North American Pacific with the Pawnee, the Chukchi, the Tsimshian, and the Yukaghir people in order to learn about their myths. Krader concurrently worked on a survey—not an exhaustive one, but one which covered the work of the main scholars who have studied myths: Aristotle, Giambattista Vico, G.W.F. Hegel, Benedetto Croce, Emile Durkheim, Franz Boas, Vladimir G. Bogoraz, Geoges Sorel, Paul Radin, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Ernst Cassirer, among others. With these elements, he prepared an essay on the myths of the aforementioned peoples and offered an important theoretical viewpoint for the study of myth. My interest is in presenting the leading ideas in the book I translated into Spanish, with the author’s painstaking revision and support, a book I feel has not received adequate exposure. I will also offer a few comments on comparisons of the Spanish version (2003) with Noetics (2010) on the topic of myths.

In Krader’s words, the purpose of his book was

[…] to write a brief work dealing with a rich, complex and fantastic field, and to compare, under the same lens, certain points of view which have not usually been taken into consideration,...

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