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From finsten@mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca Sun Mar 10 12:39:34 PST 1996
Article: 26792 of alt.revisionism
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From: Laura Finsten 
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Subject: Re: Carleton Putnam (was: Here we go 'gain)
Date: 10 Mar 1996 18:37:22 GMT
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Alexander Baron  wrote:
>In article <4hkgmd$d6e@informer1.cis.McMaster.CA>
>           finsten@mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca "Laura Finsten" writes:

>> "...Race and Reason, written by a prominent businessman named Carleton
>> Putnam.  The book was an anti-integrationist tract that explicitly
>> placed the blame for this subversive idea, and the equally subversive 
>> idea of egalitarianism, upon a conspiracy of communists and Jewish 
>> anthropologists."  Jonathon Marks, "Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race,
>> and History", p.57.  Aldine de Gruyter Publ. 1995.
>> ISBN 0-202-020339-0
>
>Is that Jonathan Marks, Karl Marx or Groucho? 

Ha ha ha ha.  What a card.  Or is there a point to your lame effort at 
a joke?

>Putnam correctly identified the 
>Boas school of largely Jewish cultural anthropologists as the subverters
>of race science. He quoted Professor Heuse thus:
>
>"...we can only hope that precious time will not be lost in recognizing the 
>fallacy of equalitarian anti-racism...In our effort to respect the full 
>complexity of bio-physical and bio-sociological human phenomena, we often 
>meet opposition from Jewish academicians who pose as champions of egalitarianism....
>These champions, whose power and cleverness we admire, often believe that in 
>denying race and racial psychology, they suppress at one and the same time 
>both racism and anti-semitism. We are indeed surprised at their naive and 
>erroneous belief." 

If Putnam cited Heuse in this manner, it is not in Race and Reason but in
some other book.  I have Race and Reason before me, and Heuse, who wrote
"Biologie du Noir", published in 1957, is cited only in a footnote on p.51.

Whether your citation of Heuse, or of Putnam's use of it is accurate,
this is irrelevant to the point I made.  I have suggested that Putnam's 
critique of North American anthropology is founded largely in his
racism and antisemitism.  The latter is that he thought it signficant
that Boas and some of his students who were instrumental in the
development of this discipline in North American were Jewish.  I
cited from Putnam's Race and Reason to demonstrate this, although you
have edited out my citations.

You have merely said "was not" to my evidence that he was antisemitic.
You have cited yet more outdated research (Heuse, although I don't
know whether your citation is accurate) in a lame effort to bolster
your "was not".

What neither you, Putnum nor, apparently, Heuse seem to realise
is that Boas was instrumental in giving anthropology in North America
a scope that it did not then (and still does not) have in Europe.
In North America, anthropology is a discipline that integrates
social, cultural, biological and linguistic studies of human variation.
This was his most enduring contribution. It is not a "subversion"
of cultural anthropology (ethnology, in Europe), or the "subversion"
of physical anthropology to the "ideology" of cultural anthropology.
It is rather a recognition of the complexity of human variation.

Intellectually, Boas rejected 19th century unilineal theories that
not only argued that Europeans were superior to all others, but also
(at least implicitly) that British upper class males were the epitomy
of evolutionary processes.  That Boas emerged in intellectually
tumultous era of the aftermath of Darwin's publication of his theory
of evolution is absolutely essential to understanding the historical
context of his ideas.  

>That sums up Putnam's position; personally I think he is far too charitable.

>> He describes what was then the view of modern anthropology as a
>> "deceptively false ideology". Ibid., p.16

>Too true.

Wow.  Well, you sure haven't persuaded me with this lucid, well-reasoned
and clearly supported argument.
 
>> I draw your attention to his use of the words "cleverly", "infiltrated",
>> "enthroning", and "deceptively false ideology" as very illuminating 
>> in this context, particularly given what follows.  In his effort to 
>> understand how modern anthropological claims came about, Putnam says, and 
>> I quote again from his book "Race and Reason":
>> 
>> "Boas, I knew, was considered the founder of the modern vogue, and I
>> deliberately began studying his books before learning, from people who
>> had known him over many years, the facts about Franz Boas himself -
>> *his minority group background*, his arrival from Germany in 1886, his
>> association with Columbia in 1896, his earlier nonequalitarian views on
>> race, his change of heart in the 1920s (the date will have significance
>> later), *the names of his students - Herskovits, Klineberg, Ashley
>> Montagu*...." Ibid., p.18 (emphasis added)
>
>Not to mention the fact that he was affiliated with dozens of communist fronts.

Kindly provide support for this allegation.  Once you have done this, we
can talk about how/why Boas' personal politics might be relevant to
this discussion.

I would like to point out the surnames of some of Boas' other students,
since Putnam himself seemed to think that they were so significant.
In addition to the well-known Margaret Mead, other students of Boas
included Alfred Kroeber, Robert Lowie, Fay-Cooper Cole, Edward Sapir,
Paul Radin, Clark Wissler, Leslie Spier, J. Alden Mason, E. Adamson
Hoebel, Ruth Benedict, Ruth Bunzel, and Frank Speck.





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