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Foundations of Anthropological Theory. From Classical Antiquity to Early Modern Europe. Wiley Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • ID: 2245937
  • Book
  • February 2010
  • Region: Europe
  • 312 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
The formal discipline of anthropology emerged out of centuries of European reflection on the nature of non–Europeans, but the roots of this field were laid down long before.
Foundations of Anthropological Theory presents a selection of key texts that reflect the broad scope of writings on human behavior across cultures that are the basis for the modern study of Anthropology. Editor, Robert Launay reveals how the concerns of contemporary anthropology were first formulated by early thinkers, from observations by Herodotus and Ibn Battuta to the works of Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson. The readings explore the origins and nature of different social and political systems, as well as the origins of inequality, and the presumptive rights of Europeans to judge the inherent moral worth of non–Western civilizations. These illuminating selections provide fascinating insight into the ways historians, philosophers, missionaries, and even writers of fiction have made valuable contributions to modern anthropological inquiry. Accessible and thought–provoking,
Foundations of Anthropological Theory will be of interest to students and scholars alike.
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The Ancient World.

Herodotus, Histories (selections).

Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus (selections).

Aristotle, Politics (selections).

Tacitus, Germania (selections).

The Medieval World.

Europe Journeys to the East:.

William of Rubruck, Journal of his embassy to the Mongols (selections).

Marco Polo, Travels (selections).

Sir John Mandeville, Travels (selections).

The Muslim World :.

Ibn Battuta, Travels (selections).

Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah (Introduction to World History), (selections).

The Renaissance.

New Spain:.

Bernardino de Sahagun, General History of the Things of New Spain (selections).

Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Chronicle of the Narváez Expedition (selections).

Bartolomeo de las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies (selections).

Garcilaso Inka de la Vega, Royal Commentaries on the Inca of Peru (selections).

Antarctic France:.

Jean de Léry, History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil (selections).

Michel de Montaigne, Of Cannibals .

Towards a comparative theory:.

Jose de Acosta, Natural and Moral History of the Indies (selections).

Jean Bodin, Method for the Comprehension of History (selections).

La Popelinière, Letter to de Thou .

The Seventeenth Century.

Matteo Ricci/Nicolas Trigault, Description of China (selections).

Paul Le Jeune, Journey among the Montagnais (selections).

Jean Chardin, Travels to Persia (selections).

William Dampier, A new voyage around the globe(selections).

The Enlightenment.

Ancients and Moderns:.

Sir William Temple, Of Heroic Virtues .

Bernard de Fontenelle, The Origin of Fables .

Exotic letters:.

Montesquieu, Persian Letters (selections).

Françoise de Grafigny, Letters of a Peruvian Woman (selections).

Dialogues with the Savages:.

Lahontan, Dialogue between the Author and a Savage of Good Sense (selections).

Diderot, Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville.

Comparative Perspectives.

France :.

François–Joseph Lafitau, Customs of the American Savages Compared to the Customs of the Earliest Times (selections).

Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws (selections).

Voltaire, Commentary on the Spirit of Laws (selections).

Essai sur les Moeurs (selections).

Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (selections).


David Hume, The Natural History of Religion (selections).

Adam Smith, Lectures on Jurisprudence (selections).

Adam Ferguson, Essay on the History of Civil Society (selections)

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Robert Launay
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