Tag Archives: anthropology

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 7

leonardo-view-of-a-skull-c14893,987 words

Part 7 of 7 (other parts here)

7. The Aim of the Universe

I have argued that man’s nature is to be the mirror of nature, and that this begins in the European caves. As Aristotle and Pico have taught us, man is, in a way, nothing — and all. Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 6

Man as microcosm

Man as microcosm

4,063 words

Part 6 of 7 (other parts here)

6. All and Nothing

In my account of ekstasis, I have drawn principally on two philosophers: Heidegger and Schopenhauer. And Hegel has been peeping out at certain points in my discussion (he will have a much bigger role to play very soon). But the truth is that the ideas I have been expounding in this essay have deep roots in the Western tradition, and are much older even than Hegel.

Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 5

Gabillou 'sorceror,' Dordogne, France3,360 words

Part 5 of 7 (other parts here)

5. Can Biology Explain Ekstasis?

I have already mentioned that scientists speculate that cave art (and religion, language, etc.) comes about as a result of some kind of genetic mutation, perhaps a “sudden, serendipitous, genetically-based brain reorganization.” Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 4

chauvet_bison1,694 words

Part 4 of 7 (other parts here)

4. “To be human means to be a sayer”

The ability to perceive essences (“Ideas,” as Schopenhauer puts it) plays a role in other human activities besides art. Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 3

Chauvet_cave_paintings2,750 words

Part 3 of 7 (other parts here)

3. Art Begins in Wonder

My thesis, quite simply, is that art, religion, and language are all made possible by a mental or cognitive act which I have called elsewhere ekstasis.[1] To better understand what this consists in, I will ask the reader to consider a simple (or, perhaps, not so simple) question. Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 2

Chauvet Rhino3,250 words

Part 2 of 7

2. Theories of Stone Age Cave Art

One of the first attempts to explain the origin of Upper Paleolithic cave art was formulated by the French paleontologist Édouard Lartet (1801–1871), Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 1

Lions, Chauvet cave, France, painted circa. 35,000 years ago

Lions, Chauvet cave, France, painted around 35,000 years ago

3,662 words

Part 1 of 7

1. The Problem

Men first began to paint about 40,000 years ago, during a period of our pre-history referred to as the “Upper Paleolithic” (which lasted from about 50,000 to 10,000 years ago). This was the period in which fully anatomically and behaviorally “modern” Homo sapiens appeared. Read more …

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The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, Part 5
The Decline & Rebirth of the West

europebynight4,071 words

Part 5 of 5

Ricardo Duchesne
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
Leiden: Brill, 2011  Read more …

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The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, Part 4
The Construction of the Western Self

Clemency of Marcus Aurelius, detail, Capitoline Museum

Clemency of Marcus Aurelius, detail, Capitoline Museum

3,381 words

Part 4 of 5

Ricardo Duchesne
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
Leiden: Brill, 2011

Read more …

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The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, Part 3
Hegel & the Struggle for Recognition

hegel2

G. W. F. Hegel, 1770-1831

4,986 words

Part 3 of 5

Ricardo Duchesne
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
Leiden: Brill, 2011

7. Hegel and the Struggle for Recognition

Read more …

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