Folkbiology and the anthropology of science: Cognitive universals and cultural particulars

Abstract : This essay in the "anthropology of science" is about how cognition constrains culture in producing science. The example is folk biology, whose cultural recurrence issues from the very same domain-specific cognitive universals that provide the historical backbone of systematic biology. Humans everywhere think about plants and animals in highly structured ways. People have similar folk-biological taxonomies composed of essence-based species-like groups and the ranking of species into lower- and higher-order groups. Such taxonomies are not as arbitrary in structure and content, nor as variable across cultures, as the assembly of entities into cosmologies, materials or social groups.
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Soumis le : vendredi 23 août 2002 - 13:45:33
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:19:08

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Scott Atran. Folkbiology and the anthropology of science: Cognitive universals and cultural particulars. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 1998, 21, pp.547-609. 〈ijn_00000109〉

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