Frazerian Anthropology and the Sceptical "As If"

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Frazer's "Golden Bough" professes to establish a method of scholarly study of "primitive" society based on a firm claim of scientific certainty. Increasingly, though, Frazer admits and even insists on the unattainability of such certainty. In so doing, he evinces his deep philosophical affinities with advanced thinking of his time across a range of scientific and humanistic fields.

Keywords: Frazer, Golden Bough, Uncertainty Principle
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Christopher Herbert

Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities, Department of English, Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois, USA

I am a professor of English specializing in Victorian literary, cultural, and intellectual history. Along with numerous articles covering a wide variety of nineteenth-century writers and topics, I am the author of four books, _Trollope and Comic Pleasure_ (1987), _Culture and Anomie: Ethnographic Imagination in the Nineteenth Century_ ((1991), _Victorian Relativity: Radical Thought and Scientific Discovery_ (2001), all published by the University of Chicago Press, and _War of No Pity: The Indian Mutiny and Victorian Trauma_, just published by Princeton University Press. I have a background also in academic administration, having served for five years as Associate Dean for the Humanities at Northwestern University.

Ref: I08P0298