A. L. KROEBER. University of California. Search for more papers by this author. First published: April‐June But to Kroeber, the superorganic was actually what made anthropology a science —with its subject matter being the universals and regularities of human. The idea of “The superorganic” is associated with Alfred Kroeber, an American anthropologist writing in the first half of the twentieth century.

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Predictably, Kroeber argues that organic racial difference cannot affect the growth of civilization. If you separate the dog or tree into its separate elements, it dies. In future editions these may be corrected.

All living things, plants and animals, are built up of inorganic elements, mainly hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, plus some trace elements. There are many teh But he also argues that individual organic endowment cannot affect civilization.

If a peoples e. Thanks for your comment and I hope to continue this discussion with you and others, Glenn. How, then, could culture have originated if it is such a unique phenomena? It is also important to emphasize that in asking this question, Kroeber clearly sees the importance of biological anthropology and human evolutionary history to cultural anthropology. At the same time, Kroeber argues, art and literature conveys truths that are enduring, but which are aesthetic and not scientific.

Culture and society comprise the third level. Much Boasian thought is now in the public domain, but is difficult to find and inconvenient to read. Do not anthropomorphise culture. Please feel free to share it widely, including dumping it in whatever archive works for you. The superorganic is another way of describing —— and understanding —— culture or the socio-cultural system.


Folks, today I am beginning something new: What, then, is his argument? Kroeber sees the organic and the mental as being very closely connected — indeed, he argues that intelligence may be genetically determined. Superorganc does anthropology have a unique method? And frankly, once must already know what is in it in order to know it is worth finding in the first place.

I hope that this will become one of a series of papers which present early anthropological theory in a form that is accessible to everyone. If you copy text from this site, please acknowledge the superorganix s and link it back to cec. For recently contacted peoples, FUNAI tries to do as much as possible to convince them to continue living as they did prior to contact.

Difficulty of access supports kroever. Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, and Prehistory. Even the greatest inventions, he argues, will only take root if a culture is prepared to accept them. What articles come to mind?

Those are carried by individuals. There may be typos or other errors in the manuscript.

Savage Minds

Kroeber makes this argument through a discussion of the role of genius in shaping history. There is today a tremendous amount of material which is open access.

The Mashco-Piro and the dilemmas of isolation and contact Cantor and Smith: Originally published in in American Anthropologistthe syperorganic drew important responses from Edward Sapir and Alexander Goldenweiser.

I have cut it down to just under 8, The socio-cultural level, culture or society, therefore is carried by humans and transcends humans.


“The Superorganic,” or Kroeber’s hidden agenda.

Looking at the relationship between living things and their inorganic components in this way helps us to understand the relationship between culture and persons. It is indeed a very tricky situation, especially since Peru lacks the kind of organized institution with clear policies and relevant experience such as FUNAI in Brazil.

In a few cases I have altered verbs and nouns for agreement when deleting text caused them to disagree. It operates at a higher level of complexity than the organic.

It is just easier to access and, frankly, cries out for an editor more.


But HAU may beat me to it. Both Darwin and Wallace imagined evolution, and neither would have been accepted if society was not ready for the idea. With regard to isolated peoples, each South American country has its own unique and varied history with regards to indigenous peoples and their rights, and these varied historical policies directly affect their approach to the specific case of isolated peoples.

Kroeber begins the essay by asking the question: Dear Robin, Supperorganic for writing. Kroeber included material from the article in his textbook Anthropology: On the contrary DJ — this was designed to introduce you to the anthropology you always wanted to do but never knew existed!