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Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture

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

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Edited By Cyril Levitt and Sabine Sander

The essays contained in this collection 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 (1919-1998) 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 order, 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.

Cyril Levitt is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Sociology and 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, Hamilton, Ontario. She is also a Privatdozentin in Cultural Studies at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. 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).