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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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About the author


Lawrence Krader (1919–1998) was Professor and Director of the Institut für Ethnologie at the Freie Universität Berlin (1972–1982). He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Krader is the author of The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx (1972), Dialectic of Civil Society (1976), The Treatise of Social Labor (1979), and Labor and Value (2003). Cyril Levitt is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. He is also a psychoanalyst in private practice in Toronto, Canada. Sabine Sander is a visiting professor at The Lawrence Krader Research Project at McMaster University, as well as Privatdozentin in Cultural Studies at the University of Koblenz-Landau. She received her Ph.D. in cultural studies at the University of Leipzig. She was the winner of the Max Weber Award for her book on dialogue concepts in the German Jewish context (2017).

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