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Ant207 essay midterm Brainstorming.docx

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Todd Sanders

Ant207 essay midterm Brainstorming How did Rousseau, Darwin, and Marx distinguish humans from nature? Compare and contrast how these three thinkers defined what it is to be human. How did their theories of the human-nature relationship fit into their larger arguments? Do any of their ideas about the divide between humans and nature still apply to today’s world? Marx Reading Estranged Labour 1844 Main point: labor and alienation ( the exploration of labour)  two classes of property owners and propertyless workers.  Workers working in harsh conditions, they don’t have any passion pleasure for the work they are doing  Alienation is caused by such forcefulness from a higher power  There is no intellectual development that takes place with in alienated labor because the work is so repetitive  Workers are not allowed to enjoy fruits of their own labour  Animals are able to enjoy their fruits of their labour but these workers are not even able to do that  They are given just enough money to survive  Even animals are able to enjoy and have a good time sometimes  But these alienated workers  Animals create things that they need just for their immediate survival (e.g. shelter, etc). Man is different because man creates things not just for survival or need but because he desires to (e.g. we are creative, imaginative, can innovate and create wonderful things). Also we have free will and consciousness - we desire more than just survival.  Estranged labor diminishes our full potential to create (species being = full human potential). It reduces our life activity to just survival. We can only create what we are told to create (by our bosses/by the bourgeoisie) and labor, or productive activity, becomes just a means to stay alive, to exist, to survive. This type of labor diminishes our creative/imaginative potential.  “The worker sinks to the level of a commodity”  “most wretched commodity of all; that the misery of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and volume of his production”  “the doctrine of competition to the doctrine of monopoly, the doctrine of craft freedom to the doctrine of the guild, and the doctrine of the division of landed property to the doctrine of the great estate; for competition, craft freedom, and division of landed property were developed and conceived only as accidental, deliberate, violent consequences of monopoly, of the guilds, and of feudal property, and not as their necessary, inevitable, and natural consequences”  “The devaluation of the human world grows in direct proportion to the increase in value of the world of things.”  The worker is robbed of reality to the point where he is dying of starvation  “The worker is robbed of the objects he needs most not only for life but also for work”  “The worker places his life in the object; but now it no longer belongs to him, but to the object”  “worker becomes a slave of his object; firstly, in that he receives an object of labor, i.e., he receives work, and, secondly, in that he receives means of subsistence” (The estrangement of the worker in his object is expressed according to the laws of political economy in the following way:  the more the worker produces, the less he has to consume;
  the more value he creates, the more worthless he becomes;
  the more his product is shaped, the more misshapen the worker;
  the more civilized his object, the more barbarous the worker;
  the more powerful the work, the more powerless the worker;
  the more intelligent the work, the duller the worker and the
 more he becomes a slave of nature.)  “constitutes the alienation of labor is external to the worker -- i.e., does not belong to his essential being; that he, therefore, does not confirm himself in his work, but denies himself, feels miserable and not happy, does not develop free mental and physical energy, but mortifies his flesh and ruins his mind.”  Forced labour and not satisfactory  “External labor, labor in which man alienates himself, is a labor of self-sacrifice, of mortification.”  Loss of self, belonging to another, even animals are not kept and treated so poorly  “The result is that man (the worker) feels that he is acting freely only in his animal functions -- eating, drinking, and procreating, or at most in his dwelling and adornment -- while in his human functions, he is nothing more than animal.” “Man is a species-being because he looks upon himself as a universal and therefore free being”.  “Nature is man's inorganic body -- that is to say, nature insofar as it is not the human body. Man lives from nature -- i.e., nature is his body -- and he must maintain a continuing dialogue with it is he is not to die.”  “Man makes his life activity itself an object of his will and consciousness. He has conscious life activity. It is not a determination with which he directly merges. Conscious life activity directly distinguishes man from animal life activity.”  “The object of labor is, therefore, the objectification of the species-life of man: for man produces himself not only intellectually, in his consciousness, but actively and actually, and he can therefore contemplate himself in a world he himself has created.”  “Estranged labor, therefore, turns man's species-being -- both nature and his intellectual species- power -- into a being alien to him and a means of his individual existence. It estranges man from his own body, from nature as it exists outside him, from his spiritual essence [Wesen], his human existence.”  Before things such as prymids and temples were created for God but gods alone were never masters of labor as it was man him self  “The alien being to whom labor and the product of labor belong, in whose service labor is performed, and for whose enjoyment the product of labor is created, can be none other than man himself”  “only man himself can be this alien power over men.”  “Wages are an immediate consequence of estranged labor, and estranged labor is the immediate cause of private property. If the one falls, then the other must fall too. Darwin: The Descent of Man Main point: Human evolution (natural selection)  man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with the laws which prevail with the lower animals.  Man was descended form a lower form of species  It is dishonorable that man is compared to morphology of other mammals  Monkeys and show an immense resemblance to humans as there habits are similar along with their morphological structures  embryo of man closely resembles that of other mammals. It may, however, be added, that the human embryo likewise resembles certain low forms when adult in various points of structure.  Huxley, who after asking, does man originate in a different way from a dog, bird, frog or fish? says, "the reply is not doubtful for a moment; without question, the mode of origin, and the early stages of the development of man, are identical with those of the animals immediately below
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