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The Ideal and the Material in Morgan’s Ancient Society
U.S. Intellectual History Blog
Lewis Henry Morgan, materialism, Ancient Society
This post outlines ambiguities in Lewis Henry Morgan’s Ancient Society, particularly its handling of the ideal and the material. Ferrant relays that Ancient Society traces a grand human evolution from the material to the ideal by developing a materialist analytical framework. Morgan’s work purports to theorize about all humanity by generalizing practical findings about particular human groups. Its lofty intellectual endeavor includes emotional considerations about the endangered Iroquois’s concrete existence.