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Summarize Claude Levi-Strauss’s The Savage Mind.

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dickobrowski | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 2, 2012 at 1:51 AM via web

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Summarize Claude Levi-Strauss’s The Savage Mind.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 2, 2012 at 2:24 AM (Answer #1)

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The main idea of The Savage Mind is that people from so-called primitive cultures are equipped with the same mental faculties as those from so-called advanced cultures. He suggests that all societies, including the most modern and technologically sophisticated, have myths and organized ways of thinking about the world. Any differences between the two are due to material circumstances, not any difference in mental capacity. In particular, he makes comparisons between animist religious beliefs which emphasize magic and spiritual power as immanent in the physical world, and the beliefs of organized religions. Different people develop in different ways, and they view the world in different ways. But their mental capacities are the same, and they make sense of the world in ways that are analogous, if not always  recognizable, to each other.

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