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Mythology in Our Language : Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough - by Ludwig Wittgenstein (Paperback)
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Once upon a time, anthropology had something to offer philosophy. It was a time when Continential thinkers drew on anthropology’s theoretical terms—mana, taboo, potlatch—in order to reflect on the limits of human belief and imagination. Among these philosophic dialogues with anthropology, we find Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Sir James Frazer’s magnum opus,The Golden Bough. Now, Hau Books brings you the first translation by an anthropology—Stephan Palmié—of this masterpiece.
Wittgenstein’s remarks on ritual, magic, religion, belief, ceremony, and Frazer’s own logical presuppositions are as lucid and thought-provoking now as they were over half-a-century ago. Anthropologists find themselves repeating many of Wittgenstein’s same questions and confronting similar doubts today: Is metaphysics a kind of magic? What do we call “ritual”? Are humans simply “ceremonial animals”? This book is not only a fresh translation, but a fresh set of engagements with Wittgenstein’s ideas from some of the world’s most brilliant anthropologists. Contributors include: David Graeber, Veena Das, Michael Lambek, Heonik Kwon, Carlo Severi, Michael Taussig, Wendy James, Giovanni da Col, and Michael Puett.
Here is a unique and well-overdue discussion of the mythologies in our language. Taking interdisciplinarity seriously, this volume returns to the ethnographic imagination that made great thinkers like Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and indeed Ludwig Wittgenstein take heed—and returns the favor to the philosophical tradition that found wonder and pause for thought in the anthropological canon.
In 1967 Ludwig Wittgenstein published Remarks on Frazer?s Golden Bough?. At that time, anthropology and philosophy were in close contactcontinental thinkers drew heavily on anthropology?s theoretical terms, like mana, taboo, and potlatch, in order to help them explore the limits of human belief and imagination. Now the book receives its first translationby an anthropologist, in the hope that it can kick-start a new era of interdisciplinary fertilization.
Wittgenstein?s remarks on ritual, magic, religion, belief, ceremony, and Frazer?s own logical presuppositions are as lucid and thought-provoking now as they were in Wittgenstein?s day. Anthropologists find themselves asking many of the same questions as Wittgensteinand in a reflection of that, this volume is fleshed out with a series of engagements with Wittgenstein?s ideas by some of the world?s leading anthropologists, including David Graeber, Veena Das, Michael Lambek, Heonik Kwon, Carlo Severi, Michael Taussig, Wendy James, Giovanni da Col, and Michael Puett.