Claude Lévi-Strauss: Social Psychotherapy and the Collective Unconscious [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 35 (3):631-633 (1982)

Abstract

At issue in this study is a question as old as it is presently pertinent: Do individuals form the social or does the social form individuals? Like Socrates, Lévi-Strauss gives ontological priority to society. And his reasons, like those of Socrates, are weighted with ethical concern. But the concern of Levi-Strauss is not "Know thyself." For, by dissolving subjectivity into structures of the collective unconscious, he eliminates the self. Indeed, toward the end of this work, Shalvey likens the entire enterprise of Levi-Strauss to that of Nietzsche. Not content, however, to announce the death of God, he proclaims the death of Man.

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