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versión impresa ISSN 0104-9313versión On-line ISSN 1678-4944


ALMEIDA, Kátia Maria Pereira de. Por uma semântica profunda: arte, cultura e história no pensamento de Franz Boas. Mana [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.2, pp.7-34. ISSN 0104-9313.

Through a discussion of Franz Boas's theory of primitive art, this article aims to establish a new approach to understanding and analyzing his work, taking as its backdrop the problematic relation between anthropological perspective(s) and the specific domain of art and material culture. With this objective in mind, two aspects are emphasized: first, Boas's accentuation of the formal element within which artistic phenomena are delimited, an emphasis which reshapes primitive symbolism; secondly, his emphasis on stylistic patterning as a correlate of processual mechanisms of historico-cultural syntheses, an approach which reformulates the question of imagination. Discussion of this theme reveals some of the epistemological and ontological foundations implicated in Boas's proposed methodology. It also re-evaluates his critical position in relation to previous anthropological theories - in particular, social evolutionism - and demonstrates the originality of his bringing together of both history and science, as well as atomistic and holistic perspectives of culture.

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