By relating the intellectual context of Vernant's debuts and the intellectual filiation between Vernant and Ignace Meyerson, Marcel Mauss or Louis Gernet, the author explains what Vernant's work, usually qualified as anthropological history, owes to psychological history. His predecessors claimed that social conditions are historical phenomena and that they are produced by psychological conditions. Vernant's project is to study how these social institutions and these ways of thinking, our societies are still referring to, constituted themselves. How did change psychological functions and categories of thinking which created the works used by historians as material and sources (literary or religious texts or works of art). This ability of 'estrangement' and this focus on changes and differences kept Vernant far from any general anthropological theory as built by Levi Strauss.
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