Dumont, the demise of the church-as-state & the value of individualism

I’m at the stage where I’m trying to draw together the meta-findings of the findings of my thesis so I can frame my abstract, introductory chapter and conclusion with broader clarity.

I spent much of this morning sitting in the sun in my back garden reading Louis Dumont’s ‘Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective (1986)‘, while the dogs carried on like two-bob-watches. This is an ‘aside’ footnote from a section ‘From Church Supremacy to Political Sovereignty (Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)’:

’15. As Bentham said of the modern champion of individualism: “Locke . . . forgot that he was not of age when he came into the world. Men according to his scheme come into the world full grown, and armed at all points like the fruit of the serpent’s teeth sown by Cadmus at the corners of his cucumber bed” (Halevy 1900-1904, vol. 1, app, iii, p. 418).’

That’s one lively turn o’ phrase.


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Filed under Anthropological Awesome, Anthropology

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