Human Thought and Social Organization: Anthropology on a New Plane

Lexington Books (2012)

Abstract

Human beings, as a species, have two outstanding characteristics compared to all other species: the apparently enormous elaboration of our thought through language and symbolism, and the elaboration of our forms of social organization. The obvious question is whether these two characteristics are connected. ... Our view is that they are connected intimately. Thought and social organization are two aspects of the same larger phenomenon, or better the same larger bundle of phenomena. ... Here we bring the two streams of analysis together, in what is at once an exposition of the basic structure of the systems of thought that organizations are built upon and, eo ipso, an exposition of the organizational basis and origin of human thinking as such. The resulting reconfiguring of questions, answers, and methods, we believe, cannot be described otherwise than as a new science and not just a new paradigm.

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Dwight Read
University of California, Los Angeles

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