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Clifford Geertz

WithJoyce Appleby, Elizabeth Covington, David Hoyt, Michael Latham, Allison Sneider

The work of Clifford Geertz, an anthropologist at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, attacks the Enlightenment conception of human nature as entirely too simplistic and argues for a more dynamic view of culture in shaping individuals. Yet Geertz is similarly dissatisfied with the work of Benedict and other users of the “culture concept” because he sees their preoccupation with the search for universals as inherently reductive. In Geertz’s view, the particularity of culture is essential to its meaning.