Chapter

Reciprocity

in The Age of Immunology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780226568126
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226568140 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226568140.003.0007
Reciprocity

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Rosarium Philosophorum, an obscure but extraordinary alchemical text, faithfully adheres to what anthropologists have learned about human change from the study of other cultures. Specifically, an understanding of human change is embodied in the Rosarium, which, despite the esoteric nature of the images themselves, embodies an awareness that transcends culture. This chapter discusses the applications of the Balinese model to a scientific problem. For the Balinese there can be no shift from an agent-oriented view of genes to a network model in which egos become meaningless. For the Balinese, seeing cell activity as part of a nebulous network does not in itself enable transcending the ideas of fame and progress that come from historical concepts of heroism. For the Balinese, the model of the “selfish gene” only promotes the illusion of change without effecting any real transformation.

Keywords: cell activity; Balinese model; Rosarium Philosophorum; selfish gene

Chapter.  8262 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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