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Quotations From CLAUDE LÉVI-STRAUSS

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  • 1.
    Just as the individual is not alone in the group, nor any one in society alone among the others, so man is not alone in the universe.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908), French anthropologist. Tristes Tropiques, ch. 40 (1955).

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  • 2.
    Our system is the height of absurdity, since we treat the culprit both as a child, so as to have the right to punish him, and as an adult, in order to deny him consolation.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908), French anthropologist. Tristes Tropiques, ch. 38 (1955). Commenting on the system of justice.

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  • 3.
    Enthusiastic partisans of the idea of progress are in danger of failing to recognize ... the immense riches accumulated by the human race.... By underrating the achievements of the past, they devalue all those which still remain to be accomplished.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-1990), French anthropologist. Tristes Tropiques, ch. 38 (1955).
  • 4.
    The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908), French anthropologist. "Overture," sct. 1, The Raw and the Cooked (1964).
  • 5.
    The world began without man, and it will end without him.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908), French anthropologist. Tristes Tropiques, pt. 9, ch. 40 (1955).

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  • 6.
    No contact with savage Indian tribes has ever daunted me more than the morning I spent with an old lady swathed in woolies who compared herself to a rotten herring encased in a block of ice.
    Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908), French anthropologist. Tristes Tropiques, ch. 1 (1955).
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