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Lévy-Bruhl, Lucien

(246 words)

Author(s): Segal, Robert Alan
[German Version] (Apr 10, 1857, Paris – Mar 13, 1939, Paris), philosopher and anthropologist. He taught history of philosophy at the Sorbonne. Through his friendship with É. Durkheim, Lévy-Bruhl became interested in sociology and ethics. Lévy-Bruhl argued that morality varies with each culture and does so because human nature varies. Morality should therefore be studied by social scientists, not philosophers ( La morale et la science des mœurs, 1903). In Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures (1910; ET: How ¶ Natives Think, 1926) Lévy-Bruhl was of the opinion that cultures differ even in their ways of thinking, and he contrasted primitive thinking to modern thinking. He wrote six books on the subject. Most anthropologists, including Durkheim, rejected his view. The prevailing view was that primitive thinking is like, not unlike, modern thinking. Lévy-Bruhl granted that primitives can think logically but insisted that they suspend the practice of logic, for they are ruled by their group beliefs, or “representations…

Myth and Mythology

(12,158 words)

Author(s): Segal, Robert Alan | Kamel, Susan | Müller, Hans-Peter | Graf, Fritz | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Rel…