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The European Sociopolitical Foundations of Anthropological Thought - Essay Example

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The European Sociopolitical Foundations of Anthropological Thought

The European colonization which can be traced back in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th, century evolved together with the birth of Anthropology which is rooted from the evolution of natural history. But it was in the 18th century, the so called "era of the enlightenment" that humans tried to look for reasons in the things that were happening and the things that were surrounding them. It was also the time when people looked for rationality and empiricism in the society. Anthropology just like the world evolved, and has created different walls of ideas like the unilinealism which according to Wikipedia is a "19th century social theory about the evolution of societies and cultures. It was composed of many competing theories by various sociologists and anthropologists, who believed that Western culture is the contemporary pinnacle of social evolution. This theory is now generally considered obsolete in academic circles."
It can be recalled that in the 18th c...
The idea was also intensified by Christianity which made it worse. At the time, Europeans did not have confidence to acquire a positive view of the world until the age of the "Enlightenment." The enlightenment or the age of reason was dated back also in the 18th century which also covered the late 17th century. Wikipedia defines the age of enlightenment as "Inspired by the revolution in physics commenced by Newtonian kinematics, Enlightenment thinkers argued that same kind of systematic thinking could apply to all forms of human activity. Hence the Enlightenment is often closely linked with the Scientific Revolution, for both movements emphasized empiricism, reason, science or rationality, but here applied also with natural law to the ethical and governmental spheres in exploration of the individual, society and the state. Its leaders believed they would lead the world into progress from a long period of doubtful tradition, irrationality, superstition, and tyranny which they imputed to the Dark Ages, though not from religious belief. The movement helped create the intellectual framework for the American and French Revolutions, the Latin American independence movement, and the Polish Constitution of May 3; and led to the rise of classical liberalism, democracy, and capitalism."

During the era of rationality and reasoning, philosophers like Hegel, Rousseau and Hobbes thought of a progressive society as a possible thing. For George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, evolution of man is consist of contradictions and tensions that are necessary and are need to attain the knowledge that is "absolute." The process of negation and contradiction leads to attaining the "rational unity" which happens in the mind and does not happen outside or in the external ...Show more

Summary

Anthropology for a long time counted and defined the years of human existence. It is the study that digs out important facts about the culture and the society. Wikipedia describes it as a study that is concerned about all the aspects of humanity. Its significance can be looked at in way that it does not just jot down facts and information about culture, instead it immerses itself in the reality of the past…
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