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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 3, 1977

Guy Lafrance
Pages 680-695

Marcel Mauss et l’épistémologie structuraliste

The first intention of this article is to show, with some essays of Marcel Mauss, how his way of studying cultural facts anticipates the structural analysis method in anthropology. The concept of "fait social total" is confronted with the concept of structure as developed by Claude Lévi-Strauss, so that we could see the similarities and the distinctions. As well as reconstructing a decisive period of the history of structuralism within the French philosophical and sociological tradition, this article seeks to show the elements of Mauss1s contribution to structuralist anthropology and in a more general why his contribution to the epistemology of the social sciences.