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ANT363 (Jan 9, 2013).docx

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Todd Sanders

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ANT363 Lecture 1 - The optimist’s story: let’s party o ‘We’re the best! (and others are plain silly)’ o Humans lived in a world full of superstitious nonsense, but with modern science and enlightenment of ideas and so the mystical world has vanished and so we have become rational and modern o People still believe in the superstitious and mumble jumble o Celebratory story over science’s triumph o Knowledge over belief, science over superstition o This story comes through in the media, science courses, and modern way of talking - The pessimist’s story: let’s lament o ‘We’re very scientific, but where’s our humanity gone (that others still have)?’ o It’s true we’re becoming more scientific, but we’re losing something crucial, some human value o Nostalgia that we lost that sense of humanity o Demagicfication o Devaluating of mystery in the world, something human kind once had o Man has lost touch with ancient wisdom and spiritual power o Various versions of this story in the world o Science may be helpful, but it destroys fundamental connection to nature and our soul; need to reconnect o This course isn’t focus on this story either - This course considers both story and see what they share - In both cases, both science and magic are distinctive and they’re like polar opposites - Science - Magic - Modern - Traditional - Acultural - Cultural - Universal - Specific - Context-free - Context-dependent - Rational - Irrational - True - False - Knowledge - - The anthropologist’s story: the other stories are wrong o Thinking about the similarities of these topics o Undo the division between the two discipline o Science of magic o How can one be distinguish by the other o How do people make knowledge? o Distinguishing between science and magic is impossible o There’s no s
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