Marshall Sahlins  

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"In the 1990s Gananath Obeyesekere entered into a well-known intellectual debate with Marshall Sahlins over the rationality of indigenous peoples. The debate was carried out through an examination of the details of Captain James Cook's death in the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. At the heart of the debate was how to understand the rationality of indigenous people. Obeyesekere insisted that indigenous people thought in essentially the same way as Westerners and was concerned that any argument otherwise would paint them as "irrational" and "uncivilized". In contrast Sahlins argued that each culture may have different types of rationality that make sense of the world by focusing on different patterns and explain them within specific cultural narratives, and that assuming that all cultures lead to a single rational view is a form of eurocentrism."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Marshall David Sahlins (December 27, 1930 - April 5, 2021) was an American anthropologist best known for his ethnographic work in the Pacific and for his contributions to anthropological theory. David Graeber was his doctoral student and they co-wrote On Kings (2017).

Selected publications

  • Social Stratification in Polynesia. Monographs of the American Ethnological Society, 29. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1958. (Template:ISBN)
  • Evolution and Culture, edited with Elman R Service. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1960. (Template:ISBN)
  • Moala: Culture and Nature on a Fijian Island. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962.
  • Tribesman. Foundations of American Anthropology Series. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
  • Stone Age Economics. New York: de Gruyter, 1972. (Template:ISBN)
  • The Use and Abuse of Biology: An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1976. (Template:ISBN)
  • Culture and Practical Reason. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1976. (Template:ISBN)
  • Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands Kingdom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981. (Template:ISBN)
  • Islands of History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. (Template:ISBN)
  • Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii, with Patrick Vinton Kirch. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. (Template:ISBN)
  • How "Natives" Think: About Captain Cook, for Example. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. (Template:ISBN)
  • Culture in Practice: Selected Essays. New York: Zone Books, 2000. (Template:ISBN)
  • Waiting for Foucault, Still. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2002. (Template:ISBN)
  • Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as Culture and Vice Versa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. (Template:ISBN)
  • The Western Illusion of Human Nature. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2008. (Template:ISBN)
  • What Kinship Is–and Is Not. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. (Template:ISBN)
  • Confucius Institute: Academic Malware. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2015. (Template:ISBN)
  • On Kings, with David Graeber, HAU, 2017 (Template:ISBN)

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Marshall Sahlins" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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