Filosofen Claude Lévi-Strauss

Claude Lévi-Strauss

Flere aviser skriver i dag om at antropologen Claude Lévi-Strauss er død. Best er artikkelen i The Guardian.

Maurice Bloch kommer blant annet inn på Lévi-Strauss’ tanker om – og betydning for – filosofi.

He was without doubt the anthropologist best known to non-specialists. This is mainly because he is usually considered to be the founder of the intellectual movement known as structuralism […]. He was one of those French intellectuals – like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida and Paul Ricoeur – whose influence spread to many other disciplines because they were philosophers in a much broader sense of the word than the academic philosophers of the British and American tradition.

Lévi-Strauss var spesielt opptatt av mytene som ble fortalt hos isolerte indianerstammer. Her mente han å ha funnet eksempler på menneskets mest grunnleggende filosofiske virksomhet.

This is, for him, a speculation not so much utilitarian as philosophical. Human thought is, of course, governed by the structuring capacity of the human brain but not explained by it. In this light, the myths are the record of the true history of the principal philosophical endeavour of mankind…

På sine eldre dager ytret Lévi-Strauss visstnok misnøye med tenkningen etter steinalderen(!).

He repeatedly expressed his distaste for the narrowness and sterility of much post-neolithic thought, and its obsession with the exploitation of other living things rather than simply reflecting on the latter’s complexity and mutual relationships. […] For Lévi-Strauss, writing and formal education are just as likely to lead to philosophical impoverishment as to anything else.

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