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Categorical Impulse
     

Categorical Impulse

by Roy Ellen
 

ISBN-10: 1845450175

ISBN-13: 9781845450175

Pub. Date: 12/01/2005

Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated

Classification, as an object of recent anthropological scrutiny came to prominence during the 1960s, exemplified in the British (constructionist) tradition by the writings of Mary Douglas, and in the American ethno-semantics (cognitive) tradition by the likes of Harold Conklin and Brent Berlin. At the time, these approaches seemed by turns to contradict each other

Overview

Classification, as an object of recent anthropological scrutiny came to prominence during the 1960s, exemplified in the British (constructionist) tradition by the writings of Mary Douglas, and in the American ethno-semantics (cognitive) tradition by the likes of Harold Conklin and Brent Berlin. At the time, these approaches seemed by turns to contradict each other, or even to exist in parallel universes. However, over the last 30 years we have witnessed both a renewed interest in classification studies as well as a cross-fertilization of these once antagonistic approaches.

These essays by one of leading scholars in this field bring together a body of influential and inter-linked work which attempts to bridge the divide between cultural and cognitive studies of classification, and which develops a more embedded and processual approach. In particular, the essays focus on people's categorization of natural kinds as a means through which to obtain an understanding of how classifying behavior in general works, engaging with the ideas of both anthropologists and psychologists. The theoretical background is set out in an entirely new and substantial introduction, which also provides a comprehensive and systematic review of developments in cognitive and social anthropology since 1960 as these have impacted on classification studies. In short, it constitutes a useful and approachable introduction to its subject.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845450175
Publisher:
Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/01/2005
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

List of Figures

List of Tables

Chapter 1. Introduction: Categories, Classification and Cognitive Anthropology

Chapter 2. Anthropological Studies of Classification (1996)

Chapter 3. Classifying in its Social Context (1979)

Chapter 4. Variable Constructs in Nuaulu Zoological Classification (1975)

Chapter 5. Anatomical Classification and the Semiotics of the Body (1977)

Chapter 6. Grass, Grerb or Weed? The Ethnography of a Plant Life-form (1991)

Chapter 7. Palms and the Prototypicality of Trees (1998)

Chapter 8. The Inedible and the Uneatable (1998)

Chapter 9. Fetishism: A Cognitive Approach (1988)

Chapter 10. The Cognitive Geometry of Nature: A Contextual Approach (1996)

Bibliography

Index

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