Sahlins on Leslie White

Marshall Sahlins contributed a short three-paragraph reflection on Leslie White for the NY Times Magazine:

I never tired of repeating his dictum that no ape can appreciate the difference between holy water and distilled water because there is none, chemically speaking. That, for me, resolved the contradiction in his own teaching and that of the many human scientists who separate culture from practical activity, as if the symbolic dimension of economic behavior were an afterthought of the material.