Re: Book Review - Cultural Materialism

Wed, 2 Mar 1994 10:36:16 -0500

Danny Yee has provided a typically insiteful review of the literature
once again, this time about Harris' Cultural Materialism.

However, although the emic/etic argument takes up alot of physical space
in the book, it is important to note that this is just a
clarification/rationalization of his stance on epistemology.

Cultural materialism, itself, it seems to me, is essentially about
adaptation, in a similar, though obviously more deterministic, manner to
Steward. This determinism owes a great deal to Marx's historical
materialism as well.

I wonder that many of the objections to Harris' theories come from the
fact that Harris is, himself, so personally forceful/obnoxious, rather
than any substantive theoretical arguments. Ideas similar to Harris' have
been adopted in many phases of anthropology and history. Is it Harris?

EJ Ford