Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Expand Messages
  • Patrick Murphy
    I don t want to seem niggarly about Mary Douglas. She is one of the finest anthropologists of our times. Her work on the Lele is outstanding. Her more
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      I don't want to seem niggarly about Mary Douglas. She is one of the finest
      anthropologists of our times. Her work on the Lele is outstanding. Her more
      theoretical work, Purity and Danger, offers powerful explanations for
      understanding the concept of taboo; and it makes sense of aspects of the
      Hebrew scriptures better than any study that I know.

      However, though there are superb elements in Natural Symbols, there is
      wrongheadeness too. You have only to look at her chapter on the Bog Irish (I
      happen to be one). It would get you nowhere in trying to understand the
      Celtic Tiger.Too many anthropologist have had difficulty in explaining
      change. One has only to remember Radcliffe-Brown's 'structure and function'
      theory.

      As for F.C.Senn: All models are inadequate but some are more inadequate than
      others. 'Group' and 'grid' is useful to begin with but not to end with.
      Incidentally all ideas are models but at their best they have to remain
      'open' (to use the terminology of C.S. Peirce). Anyhow, and finally, there
      is Voltaire: All generalisations, including this one, are false.

      Anyhow I was glad to be directed to that interview with Professor Douglas.

      Patrick Murphy



      Patrick Murphy




      _________________________________________________________________
      Join the world�s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.
      http://www.hotmail.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.