“Signs that herald the future”: Lévy-Bruhl and games of chance

Brittany Birberick


The response addresses Lévy-Bruhl's 1926 essay, “Primitive mentality and games of chance,” focusing on the gambler's role as an interpreter of the present for the sake of the future. Through a discussion of Lévy-Bruhl's articulation of the gambler's mentality, the gambling game fafi, and the invisible forces that dictate chance, the piece offers a reading that emphasizes the significance of interpretation and a collective capacity to read the “signs that herald the future.”

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/709810