By Brian Morris
The German thinker Immanuel Kant famously outlined anthropology because the learn of what it capability to be a man or woman. Following in his footsteps, Anthropology and the Human Subject presents a severe, complete, and wide-ranging research of conceptions of the human topic in the Western highbrow culture, focusing particularly at the secular tendencies of the 20th century. Encyclopaedic in scope, and lucidly and engagingly written, the e-book covers the various and sundry currents of notion inside of this practice. every one bankruptcy offers with a particular highbrow paradigm, starting from Marx’s historic materialism and Darwin’s evolutionary naturalism and their a variety of offshoots, via to these currents of inspiration that have been admired within the past due 20th century, resembling, for instance, existentialism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and post-structuralism. With recognize to every present of idea, a spotlight is put on their major exemplars, outlining their biographical context, their mode of social research, and the ‘ontology of the subject’ that emerges from their key texts. The publication will allure not just to anthropologists, but additionally to scholars and students in the human sciences and philosophy, in addition to to any lay individual attracted to the query: What does it suggest to be human?
“Ambitious in scope and encyclopaedic in execution… his sort is usually lucid. He makes tricky paintings obtainable. His prose conveys the unmistakable influence of an outstanding and meticulous lecturer at work.” —Anthony P. Cohen, Journal Royal Anthropological Institute
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Extra info for Anthropology and the Human Subject
Thus the labour process, which should involve the creation of wealth for human enjoyment and the development of human potential, led only to the degradation of the worker. The individual was dehumanised and alienated from his or her true species-being. The essays of the Paris Manuscripts thus present essentially a moral indictment of capitalism, but there is also an embryonic analysis of the basic economic categories of capitalism that Marx was later to expand and develop in his mature works. Given the influence of Hegel, Marx expressed his ideas on alienated labour in a rather dense if not impenetrable philosophical discourse.
Marx had learnt his lessons well from ‘good old Hegel’. It is thus important to recognise that Marx, like Hegel, completely dissolved the opposition—the dualism—between subjective consciousness and the objective world. This had been the essential standpoint of classical philosophy from Descartes to Kant and is still assumed by some positivists as well as many academic philosophers (Corcoran 2001). However, Marx and Engels were not alone in advocating a dialectical form of materialism. In fact, they always paid tribute to the writings of the working class radical and a fellow German socialist, Joseph Dietzgen.
For Marx, labour should be ‘the free expression and hence enjoyment of life’. Yet under capitalism and the framework of private property, labour is the ‘alienation of life since I work in order to live, in order to procure for myself the means of life. My labour is not life’ (1975: 278). Private property, then, for Marx, involved ‘human self-estrangement’, and he therefore envisaged a future communist society that would entail the ‘complete restoration of man to himself as a social ie human being’ (1975: 348).
Anthropology and the Human Subject by Brian Morris