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Anthropocentrism And The Definition Of ‘Culture’ As A Marker Of The Human/Animal Divide

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to address the topic of anthropocentrism by focusing on the concept of 'culture' as it has been shaped within the humanities and anthropological thought (by scholars such as Herder, Tylor, Boas, Kroeber, and Geertz). It analyses the human/animal divide and its connotations in order to shed light on how the definition of the culture concept has generated an unbridgeable hiatus between the two domains. Before analysing the issue of essentialism regarding the concept of 'culture', the author briefly addresses the topic of animal culture, to pinpoint some salient elements along the human/animal divide, which contradict this dichotomic separation. Key topics include nature (animals) vs. culture (humans), dichotomies, humanism and anthropology, and essentialism.

Keywords: Anthropocentrism; dichotomic separation; dichotomies; essentialism; human/animal divide; humanism



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