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The Lost Unity of Heart and Mind

The Lost Unity of Heart and Mind

(p.111) Chapter Five The Lost Unity of Heart and Mind
Far Afield
Vincent Debaene
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 5 investigates the symptoms of nostalgia on the part of French anthropologists for a lost unity between science and literature, symptoms that manifest themselves in the ways anthropologists considered the history of their discipline, the links they established with the Renaissance, and in the ways these links allowed them to found a “new humanism” in the present. Looking at how anthropologists bypassed the nineteenth century and found their intellectual ancestors in the Renaissance and the eighteenth century, the chapter engages with the ways in which scholars like Lévi-Strauss, Métraux, and Durkheim traced their lineage back to figures such as Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Montaigne. In so doing, it shows how ethnographic narratives in France eventually claimed to overcome the science/literature by advocating for a “human” anthropology.

Keywords:   Nostalgia, Renaissance, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Emile Durkheim, Alfred Métraux, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Humanism

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