The Double Twist: From Ethnography to Morphodynamics
The essays in this intriguing collection all discuss Claude Levi-Strauss' "Canonical Formula," which he created in 1955 as a means of anthropological investigation. This apparently mathematical formula relates myths to cultural artifacts, and is especially applicable to the study of mental processes. In his paper, Levi-Strauss argues that the similarities in the architecture of seemingly disparate groups suggests a cognitive pattern that is shared by humanity; a "...geometry that human endeavour has envisioned."
The purpose of the work is to test the significance of the Formula, which is controversial and, for some, worthless. Part one applies the Formula to ethnographic field data and shows how it can lead to a deeper understanding of cultural facts; part two applies it to a body of Classical myths as an analytical tool, and part three focuses on the formal and mathematical applications and developments of the formula.
The volume brings together international scholars - including Levi-Strauss, himself - from a variety of disciplines and offers important advances in structuralist thought. The essays build on each other to create a lucid, sophisticated work that pushes the limits of structuralism. This is a valuable book for scholars and advanced students of disciplines as diverse as anthropology, classical and religious studies, architecture, semiotics and mathematics.
- Series: Anthropological Horizons
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 352 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.2in
Author InformationPierre Maranda is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at Laval University.
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