Chapter

Frazer and Einstein

in Victorian Relativity

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780226327327
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226327365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226327365.003.0006
Frazer and Einstein

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This chapter explores the unstable conceptual field by means of a comparative discussion of two of the most ambitious scholarly projects of the age: James Frazer's Golden Bough and Einstein's special theory of relativity. The movement of thought centered upon “the principle of Universal Relativity” had slowly but surely crystallized in the form of positive, sustained intellectual applications. The Golden Bough is the text in which the reconceptualization of anthropology as a thoroughgoing theory of symbolism, and the consequent identification of it with a radical principle of relativity, is most decisively asserted. Thus, the interlocking bodies of work of both Frazer and Einstein overturn the proposition about relativity movement.

Keywords: James Frazer; Golden Bough; Einstein; theory of relativity; theory of symbolism

Chapter.  21591 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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