General characteristics of biologic direction in social anthropology...

General characteristic of biologic direction in social anthropology

The leading principle of biologic direction is replacing the study of historical factors of the development of biological cultures. Two variants of realization of the biological idea were demonstrated.

The first is that the characteristics of ethnocultural communities are reduced to racial, i.e. biological characteristics of individuals.

The second variant is expressed in the fact that culture is deprived of its status as an independent and specific in qualitative relation to the form of organization of human life. With such an examination, only quantitative differences of society from the animal world are revealed in culture.

The first variant of the direction in question is manifested in the form of racism. As for the second variant, on its basis, the sociobiological study of cultures was formed.

The racist concept of JA Gobineau and his followers.

One of the reasons for the emergence of this trend of biological concepts in anthropology was the inability to explain the existence of archaic cultures from the standpoint of the evolutionary approach, which considered it necessary only progressive progressive development of culture. Many culturologists and anthropologists have propagated the idea of ​​higher and lower cultures.

So, in biology, the name of K. Linnaeus (1707-1778) is authoritative today: it is a great systematizer of the world of living matter, its systematization has significantly influenced the formation of the foundations of the modern biological spider. Less often they write about his attempts to systematize human races. According to the classification of K. Linnaeus, an American is red, choleric, and slender; European - white, sanguine, meaty; Asiatic - yellow-throat, melancholic, strong build; African - black, phlegmatic, flabby.

Linnaeus also claimed that the American was stubborn, pleased with himself, free-loving; European - mobile, witty, inventive; Asian - cruel, loves luxury and stingy; African - sly, lazy and indifferent.

Linnaeus' ideas are developed in the works of JA Gobineau and his followers.

Curriculum Vitae

The Earl of Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882) was born into a family that honored the aristocratic and religious traditions of the old noble family. Since 1835 in Paris he studies philology, history, eastern languages, and since 1849 his long diplomatic service begins. He tries himself in the literary field. In the 1850s. his novels, short stories, poems, dramas, works on philosophy, history, culture, religion are published: the fundamental work "The experience of the inequality of human races" (1853): the book "Three Years in Asia" (1859), where the author's sympathies for the oriental traditions are expressed and the importance of Asia is emphasized; detailed work "Religions and Philosophies of Central Asia"; (1865), which noted the role of Asia in the origin of human culture; the unique work of the Renaissance Century (1877), in which the aesthetic, moral, social ideals of the individualistic culture of the High Renaissance were affirmed.

In the vast essay "The experience of the inequality of human races" , which became a manifesto of racism, Gobineau seeks to prove that the main reason for the differences in the historical destinies of different countries was the racial differences between people and that it is the racial factor that is the most important driving force of the progress of culture. He advocated polygenism - a doctrine that denies the unity of the human race and believes that each race appeared completely independently. He argued that the differences between races and their cultures persist forever: "wild" now the people will always remain in this state, the culture of one race will never be able to spread among members of another race.

The Gobineau identified three major races and the lowest among them considered black. The yellow race is somewhat more developed. However, the only able to progress and create a full-fledged culture in Gobino is the white race, primarily its elite - Aryan race. He emphasizes, above all, the "great superiority of white people in everything relating to the intellect" . As an ideal for the Gobineau, German culture in the person of medieval Rome - "German Rome" era of the Hun conquest. According to Gobineau, Rome acted as the true cultural center of Europe, it was Rome that helped the formation of a number of European states.

The future of humanity Gobineau describes pessimistically, because, creating everywhere new types of cultures, the Aryan race mixed with other peoples, so it lost its purity and "the initial impulse of energy". As a result of the loss of energy abilities, the race comes to a dull stagnation, to uniformity. As a result, the white race is not higher than the rest of the races and is also doomed to destruction.

The main theses of the racial-anthropological concept of Gobineau:

a) culture is a product of racial-anthropological factors;

b) the inequality of races (the highest among which is the white race) determines, in turn, the inequality of the cultures created by them;

c) cultural stereotypes of behavior are determined mainly by the biological heredity of people;

d) mixing races are socially harmful, as they damage the development of cultures characteristic of the white race. As a result of such confusions, there is a loss of energy impulses, but these impulses act as the most important stimuli for the improvement of culture and the creation of its new forms.

Such a view on the processes of cultural development received a more scientific form in the theoretical studies of J. de Lanuge (1854-1936) in France and the German explorer O. Ammon (1842-1916). These thinkers advanced the thesis of the dependence of the mental qualities of people and, accordingly, the quality of the culture created by them on the magnitude of the head index. The concept of the head index was introduced into science by the Swedish anatomist A. Retzius (1796-1860) in the 1840s . as a percentage of the greatest width of the head to its greatest length.

Lapuzh and Ammon argued that the longer a person is, the more gifted, capable, etc. But it's the longheads people, in their opinion, belong to the European race, the creator of all great cultures in the history of mankind, but the poor social groups (classes and strata) of contemporary European countries consist of people with inadequate mental properties.

In this case, the inferiority of such people is due to their short-tonguedness, they are brachycephaly (brachis - short, cephalos - head). They belong to the descendants of the non-German local population of Europe. As for the European elite, it is represented by the highest culture bearers, who are long-legged descendants of the German conquerors, dolichocephaly (dolichos - long).

The decisive importance of the "Teutonic spirit" In the development of European civilization, the German philosopher, sociologist and publicist L. Voltman also substantiated. He attributed racial-anthropological factors to a major role in social development and sought to prove the German origin of a number of prominent figures in the history and culture of Italy and France. The basis of his conception is the idea of ​​the dependence of the socio-political system and culture of people on their biological characteristics, primarily on racial differences: "The biological history of human races is the true and basic history of states" .

Curriculum Vitae

Ludwig Voltmann (1871 - 1907) but graduating from the University received the title of Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy. At the beginning of the XX century. Krupna announces a competition of works on the influence of Darwin's theory on domestic politics and state legislation and L. Voltman writes "Political Anthropology". In 1902, with a group of like-minded people, he created the periodical "Politico-Anthropological Review". In January 1907, under unclear circumstances, Voltman disappeared into the sea, traveling in Italy.

Voltman deduces the "regularity": the darker the pigmentation of a race, the less it is capable of developing a culture, and vice versa - "the lightest race at the same time - and the most gifted and noble" . The qualities of unconditional superiority are endowed with dolichocephalic German-Protestant, less good is the Alpine short-headed Catholic; In the Mediterranean, the short mesocasephalous (meso - medium) is worse than the alpine. To the non-European races, Voltman treats with complete disdain, considering them incapable of culture.

Vultman's final conclusion: "A tall man with a large skull man, with frontal dolichocephaly and light pigmentation, hence the northern European race, will be the most perfect representative of the human race and the highest product of organic development" .

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