BIDNEY, DAVID


BIDNEY, DAVID
BIDNEY, DAVID (1908–1987), U.S. anthropologist and philosopher. Born in the Ukraine, Bidney was educated in Canada. He taught philosophy at Toronto, Yeshiva, and Yale universities   and then gradually shifted the focus of his academic interest to anthropology. Between 1942 and 1950 he was research associate anthropologist with the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and was then appointed professor of anthropology and philosophy at the University of Indiana. His major interest in philosophy was in interpreting Descartes and Spinoza, as shown in his Psychology and Ethics of Spinoza (19622). In anthropology Bidney was concerned primarily with the philosophical foundations and implications of the discipline, which appeared in his Theoretical Anthropology (19672). He interested himself in the history of anthropological thought, theory of myth, primitive religion, and comparative ethics and law. The symposium he organized, the papers of which he edited in The Concept of Freedom in Anthropology (1963), surveyed freedom in the framework of diverse cultures. (Ephraim Fischoff)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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