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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 139, 2005 Lectures$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263945

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263945.001.0001

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Beyond Nature and Culture

Beyond Nature and Culture

Radcliffe-Brown Lecture In Social Anthropology

(p.137) Beyond Nature and Culture
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 139, 2005 Lectures


British Academy

This chapter discusses the concepts of nature and culture. It reveals that Radcliffe-Brown had a poor opinion of the concept of culture; he neglected to consider that the concept of nature was no more concrete or directly observable than ‘culture’. The chapter shows that other civilisations were able to adopt a variety of ways to distribute qualities to beings in the world, thus resulting in forms of discontinuity and continuity between humans and non-humans. It stresses that people should treat the modern ontological grid — moral singularity versus physical universality — as one of several other formulae employed to describe the structures of the world.

Keywords:   nature and culture, Radcliffe-Brown, discontinuity, continuity, modern ontological grid, moral singularity, physical universality, structures of the world

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