A. L. KROEBER. University of California. Search for more papers by this author. First published: April‐June But to Kroeber, the superorganic was actually what made anthropology a science —with its subject matter being the universals and regularities of human. The idea of “The superorganic” is associated with Alfred Kroeber, an American anthropologist writing in the first half of the twentieth century.

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This position anticipates current work on culture kroeher an emergent phenomena. In a few cases I have altered verbs and nouns for agreement when deleting text caused them to disagree.


As you can imagine, a better part of the bibliography comes from Anthro. Do not anthropomorphise culture.

No longer will you be shackled to Victor Turner now that you can read Kroeber, Sapir, and Goldenweiser! By cleaning and curating a selection of open access, I hope to make open access resources better known and to raise awareness of the actual history of anthropological theory.

Savage Mind’s new occasional paper series: first up, The Superorganic | Savage Minds

On the one hand, Kroeber sees the mental lives of individuals as the biological substrate on which culture writes itself.

Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, and Prehistory. All living things, superoorganic and animals, are built up of inorganic elements, mainly hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, plus some trace elements.


Rather, culture operates on its own level of determination. Kroeber occupies several positions here, and the loose ends in this section of his argument would be taken up by future thinkers. Looking at the relationship between living things and their inorganic components in this superorganlc helps us to understand the relationship between culture and persons.

There is a parallel, therefore, in the relations between the inorganic and the organic, as between the organic and the superorganic. Both Darwin and Wallace imagined evolution, and neither would have been accepted if society was not ready for the idea. So hard ths find good materials that draw students into particular debates or key ideas. In future editions these may be corrected.

It is also important to emphasize that in asking this question, Kroeber clearly sees the importance of biological anthropology and human evolutionary history to cultural anthropology. Now to the meat of the paper itself: How, then, could culture have originated if it is such a unique phenomena?

Superorfanic you separate the dog or tree into its separate elements, it dies. Much Boasian thought is now in the public domain, but is difficult to find and inconvenient to read.

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If other minds want to publish in the series, then they can do so too — who knows what projects they may want to cook up…. The Mashco-Piro and the dilemmas of isolation and contact Cantor and Smith: There are many reasons: I will keep going until I complete a free anthology suitable for classroom use, or until I get bored. The superorganic is another way of describing —— and understanding —— culture or the socio-cultural system. Thanks for your comment and I hope krleber continue this discussion with you and others, Glenn.


What do you think? If a peoples e. Superorganuc it comes to speaking for a contemporary audience, then, Kroeber is his own worst enemy. I want to give my students early 20th Century essays by Anthros, on yhe value of oral history as indigenous interpretation of their past.

Culture as the superorganic

The socio-cultural level, culture or society, therefore is carried by humans and transcends humans. I have cut it down to just under 8, Kroeber sees the organic and the mental as being very closely connected — indeed, he argues that intelligence may be genetically determined.

What articles come to mind? This elaboration links humans together into communities and societies.