Magical Arrows / Edition 1

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Overview

A fascinating and sophisticated exploration of cosmology, Magical Arrows connects the Western philosophical tradition with the cosmological traditions of non-Western societies, particularly those of Polynesia. Using the mythology and philosophy of the Maori of New Zealand as a counterpoint to Western thought, Schrempp finds a philosophical common denominator in the thought of the pre-Socratic philosopher, Zeno of Elea. Schrempp suggests that the paradoxes of Zeno, together with the philosophical speculations that they have historically inspired, contain sophisticated insights which are nevertheless general enough to form the foundations of a comparative cosmology.
    Schrempp suggests that perhaps the most noteworthy Zenoian insight is that paradox is intrinsic to cosmological speculation. But he points out that there are many other characteristics of Zeno’s approach, including the strategy of juxtaposing concrete images to mathematical forms of representation, that reappear persistently in Western intellectual history. Schrempp proceeds through a series of juxtapositions—between Zeno, Kant, Lovejoy, and Lévi-Strauss, and between Western cosmologists and those from other cultures—to highlight subtle similarities and differences among intellectual traditions and to examine the conceptual apparatus of Western social science.
    Schrempp concludes that a meaningful comparative cosmology is possible and that the tradition of Zeno provides a propitious starting point for such a perspective.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Unleashes on the world a new field of comparative cosmology, in which Zeno of Elea, a Maori sage, Arthur O. Lovejoy, intellectuals of the Ojibwa and Jicarilla Apache, and Claude Levi-Strauss discuss universal themes of being, best expressed in Kant's metaphysics and the tale of the tortoise and the hare. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299132347
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1992
  • Series: New Directions in Anthropological Writing Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Schrempp is assistant professor of folklore at Indiana University. He has carried out extensive archival research in New Zealand on Maori traditions and mythology in preparation of this volume.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Sages and Sophists 3
1 The Great Race 17
2 Cosmogony Today, Cosmogony Yesterday: The Further History of the Chain of Being 39
3 Maori Cosmogonic Thought: A Text of Orientation 55
4 Other Variants 106
5 Antinomy and Cosmology: Kant Among the Maori 137
6 The Quick and the Dead: The Great Race in North America 169
Notes 195
Works Cited 207
Index 213
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