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The Scenic ImaginationOriginary Thinking from Hobbes to the Present Day$
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Eric Gans

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757003

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757003.001.0001

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Scenes of Human Science

Scenes of Human Science

(p.140) Chapter 7 Scenes of Human Science
The Scenic Imagination
Stanford University Press

Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) classified languages into families and developed a general linguistic typology. His major theoretical work on language, Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaus und seinen Einfluβ auf die geistige Entwicklung des Menschengeschlechts (The Diversity of Human Language-Structure and Its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind), published in 1836, grounds the emerging field of comparative language study in a pre-Darwinian linguistic structuralism. This chapter explores the scenic imagination in Humboldt's theory of language and in Friedrich Max Müller's originary anthropology, which gives language and religion equal treatment. It also discusses the views of J. F. McLennan (1827–1881), Lewis H. Morgan (1818–1881), Emile Durkheim (1857–1917), Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), René Girard, and Franz Boas.

Keywords:   scenic imagination, Wilhelm von Humboldt, language, religion, originary anthropology, René Girard, Franz Boas, Friedrich Max Müller, linguistic structuralism, Emile Durkheim

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