Similarities And Differences Between The Human Mind And Science, History, And Literature

1486 Words6 Pages
Variations in Symbolic Anthropology After centuries of continuous and unresolved (though not fruitless) debate by many great theorists on how the scientific method should be applied to anthropology, a method was formulated that promised to finally put the debate to rest: just don’t apply them at all. Symbolic Anthropologists advocated the use of “a variety of tools from psychology, history, and literature” to conduct their anthropology (McGee and Warms 2004:525). The work of Sapir and Whorf had made revolutionary claims about the idea of knowledge and the mechanism behind its transmission. Symbolic anthropology could use this as a base with which to launch assumptions about knowledge and culture; science, after all, isn’t primary or even essential in these processes. The human mind, however, was. The traditional studies of literature, psychology, and history are in some important ways closer to the source of human knowledge in this model laid out by Sapir and Whorf. Of course, the individual human mind is impossible to enter and so expressions of these ideas, rather than the ideas themselve,s are “culture” and important. These ideas were hugely different than those before them; it was a complete restatement of anthropology all together. Perhaps because it was so different, and also due in part to its nature where great respect is given to personal interpretation, there were similarly large differences of opinion by its subscribers about how it should be
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