Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$44.56
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $24.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $24.99   
  • New (4) from $44.42   
  • Used (5) from $24.99   

Overview

What is it about human nature that makes our species capable of thinking scientifically? Inspired by a debate between Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget, Scott Atran traces the development of natural history from Aristotle to Darwin, and demonstrates how the science of plants and animals has emerged from the common conceptions of folkbiology. The author proceeds not only from the more traditional philosophical, historical or sociological perspectives, but from a point of view he considers more basic and necessary to all of these: that of cognition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Atran has produced a work of substantial scholarship...the wealth of information the book contains and the fresh perspectives it offers make it invaluable. Cognitive Foundations of Natural History will influence the conceptual and historical study of systematics for some time to come." Forest & Conservation History 37

"This is a book that is deliberately designed to put the cat among the pigeons, philosophically, psychologically, anthropologically, and sociologically speaking....In short, this is an extraordinary, formidable, interdisciplinary tour de force that none will entirely agree with, that many will regard as profoundly wrongheaded, but that all can learn from if they make the effort." ISIS

"...a provocative as well as a deeply investigated study." Choice

"...traces in great detail the historical and philosophical origins of taxonomic nomenclature, from traditional folk taxonomy through Aristotle and Linnaeus to the nineteenth century biologists who established the familiar present-day system....the ideas expressed are provocative and represent a significant contribution to the study of ethnotaxonomy." Journal of Ethnobiology

"Only Atran could have written a book that combines deep understanding of anthropology, biological systematics, the history of science, and philosophy. The result is a book that contains more substance per page than any book I have read in a generation." David L. Hull, Northwestern University

"Drawing upon a wealth of anthropological, psychological, philosophical, and historical evidence, Atran weaves together a series of powerful, often controversial arguments: that everyday conceptions of folk biology are remarkably similar across cultures, that they are fundamentally domain-specific, and that they set the foundations for scientific thought." Susan A. Gelman, University of Michigan

"Perhaps Atran's most far-reaching argument is grounded in his critique of 'prototype theory,' propounded by cognitive psychologists as the basis for categorization of all natural objects. Again he demonstrates that different types of cognitive processes are involved when people conceptually order living things versus, say, furniture or artifacts." Terence E. Hays, American Anthropologist

"Atran has produced a work of substantial scholarship...the wealth of information the book contains and the fresh perspectives it offers make it invaluable. Cognitive Foundations of Natural History will influence the conceptual and historical study of systematics for some time to come." Forest & Conservation History 37

"Atran has surely presented a masterful, if densely packed, study in support of his thesis....This significant book, while anything but light reading, deserves the serious attention of scientist and philosopher alike." Laura Landen, Review of Metaphysics

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521438711
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Common sense: its scope and limits; Part I. Folkbiology: 2. Folktaxonomy; 3. The semantics of living kinds; Part II. Aristotelian Essentials: 4. Essence and environment; 5. Materials of logical division; Part III. From Herbals to Systems: 6. Origins of the species concept; 7. The nature of the genus; Part IV. The Scientific Breakaway: 8. The method of families and classes; 9. Science, symbolism and common sense; Conclusions; Appendix; Notes; References; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)