Reading Guide Answers 1-3 .docx

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University of California - Irvine
Thomas Douglas

Reading Guide – Herbert Spencer “Progress: Its Law & Cause” From Illustrations of Universal Progress; A Series of Discussions By Herbert Spencer, D. Appleton & Company: New York. 1864 1. Spencer sets up his argument by stating that the term “Progress” is often not used precisely or defined clearly. What does Spencer claim can be used as a real measure of “social progress?” (cf. pg 2) Social Progress is supposed to consist in the produce of a greater quantity and variety of the articles required for satisfying men’s wants; increasing security of person and property in widening freedom of action; whereas, rightly understood, social progress consists in those changes of structure in the social organism which have entailed these consequences. 2. For Spencer, how are “organic” progress, homogeneity and heterogeneity related? (cf. pp 2 – 3) Organic progress consists in a change from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous. 3. For Spencer, what is the relationship between “organic” progress and all other forms of progress? (cf. p. 3 – “the law of progress”) Organic progress is the law of all progress. 4. According to Spencer, how does the nebular hypothesis demonstrate progress? (cf. p. 4) Demonstrate progress through the solar system. Once everything was the same density, etc (homo), then transforms in to sun, planets, etc, with all different qualities (heter) 5. According to Spencer, how does the increasing heterogeneity of the earth and its geology relate to progress? (cf. pp. 5-8) It related to progress because the earth has so many heterogeneity changes from the lava, to the earths crust, and the mountains. Over time (progress) this is how earth was formed. 6. According to Spencer, how does increasing heterogeneity of life forms demonstrate progress? (cf. pp. 8 – 10). It demonstrates progress because 7. According to Spencer, how does man’s biology, as heterogeneous life form, an example of progress? (pp. 10 – 11) Judging from the greater extent and variety of faculty he exhibits, we' may infer that the civilized man has also a more complex or hetero- geneous nervous system than the uncivilized man. 8. Based on supposed biological characteristics, in what ways does Spencer claim that Europeans demonstrate greater “progress” than non-Europeans? ( Note how he claims these biological differences are supposedly be apparent even between human infants). (cf. pp. 11 – 12). The infant European has sun dry marked points of resemblance to the lower human races; as in the flat- ness of the alae of the nose, the depression of its bridge, the divergence and forward opening of the nostrils, the form of the lips, the absence of a frontal sinus, the width between the eyes, the smallness of the legs 9. Beginning on page 12, in what ways does Spencer claim that the law of progress is supposedly demonstrated socially between differing forms of society? According to Spencer, which societies are the most socially advanced and why? Society in its first and lowest form is a homoegeneous aggregation of individuals having like powers and like functions. The society that is doing the governing, besides the governed. 10. What is Spencer implying about industrialization and human progress on pp. 15 – 16? 11. What weaknesses exist in Spencer’s arguments? Reading Guide 2 – Nuer Articles Chapters 4, 5 & 6 from The Nuer By E. E. Evans- Pritchard. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1969 ed. (Originally published 1940). Chapter Four - The Political System In this chapter, we get an in-depth perspective of the mechanics of the Nuer’s segmentary lineage system. Evans-Pritchard shows how initially small feuds can lead to fusion between different social levels (segments) and produce higher level episodes of violence. But he also demonstrates how blood- feuds may be quickly resolved at lower levels, especially between close kin, through the use of the “Leopard-skin chiefs” or “earth priests” (pp. 159-161) although blood feuds between more distant levels and segments may be allowed to go unresolved for years. Chapter Four – The Political System 1. Into how many primary sections are the Lou tribe divided? Into how many secondary sections is the Lou tribe divided? What term does Evans-Pritchard use to describe the level of social division below the secondary sections? (p. 139). The 2 primary sections of the Lou tribe were Mor and Gun. There are 5 secondary sections. The term used to describe the level of social division below the secondary sections is tertiary. 2. The Eastern Jikany are made of how many tribes? How many total primary sections exist within the Eastern Jikany tribes? Based on the charts provided on pp. 140 & 141, what is the largest number of secondary sections that any primary section is divided into? Made up of three tribes: Gaajok, Gaagwang, and Gaajak. The total primary sections within the Eastern Jikary tribe is 9. The largest number of secondary sections that any primary sextion is divided into is 5. 3. What does Evans-Pritchard mean when he claims that there exists a principle of segmentation and opposition between Nuer segments? (pp. 142-143). The tribes that are smaller are closer and more intimate. Each segment is itself segmented and there is opposition between its parts. The members of any segment unite for war against adjacent segments of the same order and unite with there adjacent segments against larger sections. 4. Under what conditions might some Nuer social segments fuse or unite? (99. 143 – 147). What reason would be given for two segments uniting? (p. 143). When Z1 fights Z2 no other section is involved. When Z1 fights Y1, Z1 and Z2 unite as Y1.. 5. What is the principle of fusion and fission (described first on p. 148)? Equilibrium between the tendency of all groups to segment, and the tendency of all groups to combine with segments of the same order. 6. What kinds of events might start a blood feud (pp. 149-150)? Blood-feuds are a tribal institution for they can only occur where a breach of law is recognized since they are the way in which reparation is obtained. Such as dispute of cow or invasion of someone’s property. 7. What weapon are men from the same village NOT permitted to use against each other and why? (p. 150) They are not allowed to use spears if in the same village, so it doesn’t start a blood-feud and split up the community. 8. How are blood feuds settled? What is a leopard skin chief (or earth priest)? Pp. 152-155 All the adult males take part in a blood-feud and fight with spears to death. The leopard skin chief may be able to intervene to prevent the fighting. The leopard skin chief’s home is like a sanctuary to protect someone, but once they leave the home, they may be speared down. 9. Where must blood feuds be settled the most quickly and why? (p. 155) In smaller groups, this will help them to not break out again after settlement. 10. How much cattle is paid to end a blood feud? (p. 156) Depends to some extent on the strength of a man’s lineage and his kinship relationships. 11. What sort of social restrictions are imposed on people who are engaged in a blood feud? (pp. 158-159) Must not kill sons of the mother’s brother, father’s sister, or mother’s sister, because these people do not belong to the slayer’s lineage. 12. What sort of payment is made for adultery? How is this payment accomplished? (pp. 165-167) Pays 5 cows and an ox, unless the man is impotent, when the adulterer can claim a cow on the marriage of a female child of his adultery. 13. How much authority does a Leopard skin chief have? (pp. 164 and 172-176). He can settle feuds and plays a minor role in the settlement of disputes other than homicide. Might seem like great authority, but not so. 14. Who becomes leopard skin chief? (pp. 173-174). Only certain lineages, some men
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