Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Death of Claud Levi-Strauss.

Today the last of the great French intellecuals died at 100.

For those of you for whom Levi-Strauss means denim, you should know he was one of the preeminent social anthropologists of the 20th century and whose erudite, often mind-bendingly labored studies of indigenous Brazilian tribes led to influential theories examining human behavior and culture Mr. Lévi-Strauss was often paired with writers Jean-Paul Sartre and André Malraux as the towering
French intellectuals of the last century. He said his life's work was "an attempt to show that there are laws of mythical thinking as strict and rigorous as you would find in the natural sciences." He was best-known for popularizing a social science theory known as "structuralism," a philosophical method of approaching anthropology that identified behavioral codes that were crucial to the functioning of any society and that are inherent in the human mind.

(Wash Post)


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