The history of anthropology, according to George Stocking, represents an argument between Enlightenment and Romantic impulses: on the one hand the universalism of anthropos, on the other the diversitarianism of ethnos. In its structural and relativist emphases, the latter impulse has tended to predominate in social and cultural anthropology. A case can be made for the importance of emphasizing a continuing Enlightenment heritage in social-scientific thought. Introspection provides a methodology for gaining access to universal human truths concerning individual human capacities and conditions. Through the psychically intensive study of the self one accedes to a psychically extensive appreciation of the other, of Everyone. One comes to know the psyche as a constant in human life.
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|Published - Apr 2007