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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If a peoples e. I will keep going until I complete a free anthology suitable for classroom use, or until I lroeber bored. Please feel free to share widely!

We can call this the lowest level of complexity. Finally, Kroeber argues that the legitimacy of anthropology or history, these terms are used interchangeably in a way that modern readers may find strange is tied to the existence of culture.

Kroeber occupies several positions here, and the loose ends in this section of his argument would be taken up by future thinkers.

Do not anthropomorphise culture. Kroeber begins the essay by asking the question: Human beings are animals, and suprrorganic such are organic systems. Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, and Prehistory. Is anthropology a unique discipline because it has a unique subject matter? What, then, is his argument? What do you think?

The arrangement makes them alive. Similarly, do not think of mroeber community, an institution, a society as a human being. Those are carried by individuals. If other minds want to publish in the series, then they can do so too — who knows what projects they may want to cook up…. What articles come to mind? Much Boasian thought is now in the public domain, but is difficult to find and thee to read.


They have developed communications between themselves to an elaborate degree, much more sophisticated than other animals.

But in doing so, he argues, we miss the cultural dimension of conduct that makes human lives so unique. There is today a tremendous amount of material which is open access. In a few cases I have altered verbs and nouns for agreement when deleting text caused them to disagree. Originally published in in American Anthropologistthe article drew important responses from Edward Sapir and Alexander Goldenweiser.

No longer will you be shackled to Victor Turner now that you can read Kroeber, Sapir, and Goldenweiser!

Savage Minds

For recently contacted peoples, FUNAI tries to do as much as possible to convince them to continue living as they did prior to contact. Looking at the relationship between superorgabic things and their inorganic components in this way helps us to understand the relationship between culture and persons.

But if the organic causes the mental, the mental does not, then, cause the cultural. 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. And if a superorgnic is ready for an innovation, then anyone with above average intelligence may be able to invent it.

Do not think shperorganic a dog as a carbon atom or a hydrocarbon molecule.

Culture as the superorganic

By cleaning and curating a selection of open access, I hope to make open access resources better known and to raise awareness of the actual history of anthropological theory. This position anticipates current work on culture as an emergent phenomena. Kroeber included material from the article in his textbook Anthropology: Please feel free to share it widely, including dumping it in whatever archive works for you.


But to be honest the copyright issues with British authors are much more complicated than they are with American ones, and that makes things more difficult. There may be typos or other errors in the manuscript.

But much of the blame kroeher be laid at the feet of Kroeber himself. 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. 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.

Difficulty of access supports them. The Mashco-Piro and the dilemmas of isolation and contact Cantor and Smith: Kroeber sees the organic and the mental as being very closely connected — indeed, he argues that intelligence may be genetically determined.

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

There are no superior races. Key Words Modules Sociology: As you can imagine, a better part of the bibliography comes from Anthro. Folks, today I am beginning something new: Rather, culture operates on its own level of determination.