Critiques of Leslie White

Fri, 15 Sep 1995 15:01:22 CDT

As an admirer of both the thought and the prose of Leslie White, I am
glad to hear that R. Prince is enjoying *Science of Culture*. Here is
the full reference mentioned by T. Kavanagh: "The Paradoxical Anthropolo
gy of Leslie White," by Richard A. Barrett, American Anthropologist 91
(1989):986-999. From my standpoint, the works of White and most of his
students, while inspiring, were more declamatory than substantive: they
called for a science of culture, and suggested the directions we should
look, but didn't quite get off the ground. The great exception, I
think, was White's student Robert L. Carneiro, whose clarity of thought,
accompanied by occasional resort to mathematical expression, has
emboldened a few of us to work toward a quantitative cultural
evolutionism. --Bob Graber