A Study About The Savage Mind Architecture Essay

In the undermentioned essay I will turn to L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss ‘s usage of the footings ‘bricolage ‘ and ‘engineer ‘ . Concentrating chiefly on the first chapter of the book he wrote in 1962, ‘The Savage Mind ‘ , I will explicate my apprehension of the usage of these footings and the manner in which he uses linguistic communication construction as a footing for his findings. I will besides look at the disparity he feels exists between ‘myth ‘ and ‘science ‘ . The usage of the footings of ‘bricolage ‘ and ‘engineer ‘ can be rather equivocal as L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss is looking for something which works universally and connects everything.

In chapter one of his book “ The Savage Mind ” , 1962, Claude L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss introduces us to the construct of “ bricolage ” , researching the difference between the ‘bricoleur ‘ and the ‘engineer ‘ . In order to seek and hold on the significance of his usage of these footings and to exemplify his ideas on the construction of our societies, I feel it is necessary to seek to understand his ideas on linguistic communication and its building, and on the procedure of scientific cognition. L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss spent his lifetime perusal construction and continually questioned it. He had an involvement with the human head and how it constructed things to give us an apprehension of everything around us and wanted to happen out what we had in our caputs that allows us to larn our civilization. It was this involvement that lead to the birth of structural linguistics, as a “ method of reading and analysis of human knowledge, behavior, civilization and experience, which focuses on relationships of contrast between elements in a conceptual system ” .

L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss was interested in how the construction of our linguistic communication gives things a significance which is pertinent to our ain peculiar civilization, but which 1 could happen in another civilization in another portion of the universe wholly unrelated to our ain. He besides did non believe that ‘primitive ‘ was the right term to utilize when analyzing different civilizations and people.

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But, to get down with, while these instances are cited as grounds of the supposed awkwardness of ‘primitive people ‘ for abstract idea, other instances are at the same clip ignored which make it plain that profusion of abstract words is non a monopoly of civilised linguistic communications.

He wished to detect how cultural myths from all over the universe had similar constructions or undertones, which when broken down, appeared to hold basic similarities. He believed that myths were in themselves a linguistic communication, as a myth can merely be by being told and retold. His involvement in the work of Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, in lingual constructions during the early twentieth century, leads him to look at the constructions of myths.

The construct of ‘Binary resistance ‘ was introduced by Saussure. This is the thought that each word has an opposite word and the opposite word is needed to understand the cultural significance of that word. An illustration of this would be the words good and bad, or immature and old. In order to understand the significance of good, one must hold an apprehension of bad. If one takes all the words associated with the word good in our ain society, words like, first-class, superior, quality, decent, moral, respectable, all of these words paint a image of a certain type of thing. We merely know that good is positive because of the cultural political orientation placed on it within our ain civilization. Bad is non good and we have a negative political orientation placed on it. With most words the quickest manner for us to understand it is to utilize, or think of, it ‘s opposite. The other illustration of immature and old gives immature a more positive significance in our ain society than old. However, in some societies the word old would hold the more positive angle, with the aged being held in much higher regard and revered for their wisdom. The society and civilization you live in you will impact the significance and building of your ain linguistic communication. An highly good illustration of this is the difference between Oxford English and American English, with Oxford English being held in much higher respect than its American cousin. It is through this procedure puting the constructions of linguistic communication on the constructions in any given society that L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss goes on to present us to the construct of ‘bricolage ‘ . L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss gives us the ‘bricoleur ‘ as an antonym of the ‘engineer ‘ and the procedure of ‘primitive idea ‘ is in consequence ‘prior ‘ idea, “ The proliferation on constructs, as in the instance of proficient linguistic communication, goes with more changeless attending to belongingss of the universe… ” .

He believed that the desire for nonsubjective cognition by ‘primitive peoples ‘ was ignored by old anthropologists. Although in modern scientific processes it could non be ignored as irrelevant but this procedure was different in that, these people were utilizing this idea and cognition to build their civilizations. Scientific idea has its topographic point and is needed for new finds and promotion of society, but the practicality of life besides has its topographic point in people ‘s lives, and cardinal idea has its topographic point alongside scientific idea. Peoples who were analyzing different civilizations were non, as he pointed out, taking the clip to understand the people, their home ground and environment, their history and lingual agencies, before doing premises that they were ‘primitive ‘ . They were, in fact, utilizing their ain cultural beliefs and apprehensions in their premises and were, hence, unable to do their ain sense of the new civilizations they were meeting. He gives many illustrations throughout the first chapter of different folks and civilizations cognition of their ain resources and their utilizations and goes on to state “ animate beings and workss are non known as a consequence of their utility ; they are deemed to be utile or interesting because they are first of all known ” . L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss expressions at this ‘primitive ‘ thought, or as Sir James Fraser would name it, ‘savage thought ‘ and refers to it as charming thought. This system of idea is independent from scientific idea, as we know it today. The two demand to be considered non as comparative methods, but as two parallel attacks to deriving cognition. Charming idea exists as its ain system and has been about longer than today ‘s scientific cognition, which of class, merely goes back a twosome of centuries. L & A ; eacute ; six Strauss shows us that in its ain manner, charming idea is in itself, a procedure of scientific discipline and a system of test and mistake.

This scientific discipline of the concrete was needfully restricted by its kernel to consequences other than those destined to be achieved by the exact natural scientific disciplines but it was no less scientific and its consequences no less echt. They were secured so thousand old ages earlier and still stay at the footing of our ain civilisation.

To explicate his ideas on this point he introduces us to the construct of the Gallic term ‘bricolage ‘ .

‘Bricolage ‘ is a term in Gallic history applied to ball games and billiards, to runing, hiting and siting but became, in modern times, associated with a individual who works with his custodies and uses cunning ways to construct things, compared to the craftsman who is punctilious in his attack and completion of his work. L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss says that fabulous idea is a sort of rational ‘bricolage ‘ as it is a procedure of assorted insistent work which is limited because it uses the tools and means at its disposal. He uses it to good consequence when wishing to compare the relation between the two types of scientific cognition he describes as fabulous cognition and scientific cognition. If a adult male is confronted with a job, he merely has a certain sum of tools at his disposal to work that job out. So, he uses and reuses those resources over and over once more. The tools and resources at adult male ‘s disposal do non bear any resemblance to the occupation in manus, but are at that place from old times and are reused to accommodate the occupation on this peculiar juncture. The tools and resources will be deconstructed and constructed once more and once more, adding and edifice on the resources each clip, altering them to accommodate the demands at any given clip. Consequently, they can be restrictive.

The ‘bricoleur ‘s ‘ tools are undefinable, whereas, the ‘engineers ‘ tools are specific to the peculiar occupation. The applied scientist thinks about the occupation beforehand, works out what is required to finish it and gets the particular tools and resources to carry through the occupation. I feel that my ability to understand the ‘bricoleur ‘ comes from life with my male parent. His ability to roll up material over many old ages in the expectancy that “ it will ever come in ready to hand ” and his refusal to throw anything off, along with the ability to do something fit, or happen something to ‘do the occupation ‘ ( much to the discouragement of my hapless female parent who can no longer acquire into the garage at place ) , to me, sums up the impression of the ‘bricoleur ‘ to a tee. My male parent is no applied scientist or expert, but can still acquire the occupation done with the tools he has available to him. L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss ‘s ‘bricoleur ‘ is the aggregator of all things and will construct with these things even if they are restricting. The applied scientist is the expert.

The comparing of utilizing the ‘bricoleur ‘ and the ‘engineer ‘ as an analogy to fabulous thought is in the idea processes. Traveling back to Saussure ‘s lingual constructions of marks, L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss links these marks and forms to images and constructs. Signs can be substituted for something else but are limited and constructs have unlimited capacity to go something else. In the ‘bricoleur ‘s ‘ attack, he goes about his occupation enthusiastically, thinks back on what he has that he can utilize and so uses stuff in a manner in which it may ne’er hold been intended. Take his illustration of the block of wood for case. The block of wood can be used at an extension to another piece of wood or, as a base for that other piece, but the pieces are constrained by the peculiar history of each piece and the characteristics for which they were originally intended. The construction has to be reorganised to suit in with what is already at that place. Myth works in this manner. We have a myth which is told and used to good consequence. Subsequently, we need to alter a peculiar portion to accommodate the clip, topographic point and parable, but we are restricted by the linguistic communication and history that already exists. So, we change the construction of the myth to suit the demands of the now. The ‘engineer ‘ expressions at what is required and finds the exact things required, so a myth to an applied scientist needs the scientific attack and looks outside the restraints he finds himself in, by making the agencies to acquire the consequences and overcome the limitations of the job. This gives the ‘engineer ‘ more freedom to make the occupation in a more systematic and scientific manner, whereas the ‘bricoleur ‘ remains constrained. L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss compares the ‘engineer ‘ to constructs and the ‘bricoleur ‘ to marks. It is by utilizing these opposing analogies for fabulous and scientific idea, that he illustrates the difference between them. Fabulous idea is imprisoned in the events, telling and reordering in a hunt to happen significance and scientific discipline has the freedom to build its ain significances.

There is no existent categorization to the impression of ‘bricolage ‘ unlike Boas positions that fabulous narratives are linked to heavenly organic structures and nature.

“ The indispensable job sing the ultimate beginning of mythologies remains – why human narratives are sooner attached to animate beings, heavenly organic structures, and other personified phenomena of nature ” .

Nor can it be compared to Malinowski ‘s positions on totemism being organised by categorization systems that order the universe or, that civilization and societal systems exist to function peculiar demands. ‘Bricolage ‘ is the human head at work no affair where in the universe we look at it. We will ever happen the head operating at the same degree someplace else. Myth is structured like linguistic communication and linked to linguistic communication ; nevertheless, it operates on a much deeper and more complex degree as it operates from the concept of the human head, civilization and society and the relationships these have with each other.

In decision, I have addressed L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss ‘s usage of the footings ‘bricolage ‘ and ‘engineer ‘ , traveling through his constructs and the logical thinking behind these footings. The chief focal point of my essay was on the first chapter of ‘The Savage Mind ‘ ( 1962 ) , The Science of Concrete. I looked at the relationship between linguistic communication and myth, while looking at the disparity he feels exists between ‘myth ‘ and ‘science ‘ . As it is highly hard to read the book, ‘The Savage Mind ‘ and come off with a full and complete apprehension of L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss ‘s ideas, I have explained my apprehension of the usage of these footings, and the manner in which he uses linguistic communication construction as a footing for his findings, to be best of my ain ability. L & A ; eacute ; vi-Strauss takes myth and subjects it to structural analysis. He looks at what might be at work if we ignore our ain reading of it. The human head at work no affair where in the universe that may be.