Anthropology, Ethnology All books
Where do our ideas come from ? Some, just from ourselves, or at least we believe so, but the majority come from others which we then pass on in our turn. The age-old philosophical question on the origins of ideas is analysed here in relation to their mode of dissemination. In his search for the natural element of culture, Dan Sperber presents in this book an epidemiology of ideas which describes how they spread by passing from one person to another, undergoing transformations which are in the same category as mutations. He also investigates how these ideas establish themselves in the long-term by occupying our mental world without our conscious knowledge, which allows us to participate in our culture. Dan Sperber, an anthropologist, is the research director of CNRS.
The author explores the taboo regarding the incest of the second type which concerns blood relations of a same sex who share the same sexual partner. She makes us understand that the categories which we use to determine what is incestuous and what is not are founded on representations of the identical and the different, which are themselves derived from the difference in the sexes.
Is the sense of morality universal, is it inherent to human nature? The members of this symposium gathered around Jean-Pierre Changeux ponder the diversity of moralities and question themselves about the conflicts due to cultural differences and the possibility of attaining a common morality which would be intrinsic to human nature.
A famous anthropologist, known as one of the greatest minds of our time, C. Lévi-Strauss is a discreet man whose autobiographical writings are few. His talks with D. Eribon not only present the reader with the keys to his works, but also convey a new perspective of our time, a 20th century of discovery and catastrophy. Through intellectual anecdotes, tales of trips and meetings, secret tastes and dislikes, we discover at the same time a great scholar, a privileged witness, and a passionate, witty man.