Tópicos del seminario
versión impresa ISSN 1665-1200
COSTILLA, Miguel. The Anthropology of Meaning. Tóp. Sem [online]. 2010, n.23, pp. 291-329. ISSN 1665-1200.
In this work we treat the problem of symbol and its meaning in symbolic anthropology. Since that this does not make up a disciplinary unit, we take three authors who have formed typical perspectives with respect to this problem: Claude Lévi-Strauss, with a vision the emphasizes the cognitive character of symbolism, Clifford Geertz, who has defended the relationship between symbol and experience, and Mary Douglas who accents the relationship between symbol and society. I will propose that the three approaches find a common point in the notion of the symbol centered on the exploration of the concrete character of the forms of communication and the grasp of reality, which are the opposite of the scientific forms characterized by the use of specialized abstract concepts. According to this, the theories given can be understood in terms of the dimensions of that concrete meaning that would characterize the symbol. Starting from the works of James Fernández and Victor Turner I will attempt to specify some of the characteristics of symbolic meaning.