Sahlins Friedman Essay Example

Sahlins Friedman Essay Example

… Does the fault indeed lie in our stars or in ourselves that we are underlings?
Marshall Sahlins makes a rather convincing case that it does indeed lie in our stars, that what happens to us has far less to do with our own actions than with the structures into which culture fits our actions in his description of the fate of Captain Cook. This description is a deeply compelling one – so compelling that we are inclined to believe in it even though it violates some of our most sacred ideas about free will.
The story of Captain Cook that Sahlins tells – both in How Natives Think: About Captain Cook, for Example and in Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands Kingdom – is a story about the triumph of anthropology in many ways, and it is this insistence upon an anthropological world view that has earned Sahlins criticism from other scholars, such as Gananath Obeyesekere. (Although one might point out that it is not entirely fair to criticize an anthropologist for thinking like an anthropologist.)
The more-or-less currently standard story of what happened to Captain James Cook after he landed on the …

Related Essays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *