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AN101 Study Guide - Kfc, Biological Anthropology, Reductionism


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
AN101
Professor
Amali Philips

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Anthropology 101 - September 10 2014
Perspectives on the Human Condition
Anthropology is…
Study of humankind in all time (temporal) and places (Spacial)
Historical and Contemporary periods
Portrayal of the endless cultural variations humans are capable of manifesting
Aims to describe, in the broadest possible way what it means to be human” (p.5)
What shapes human existence
All aspects of anthropology
“Science of culture seen from the outside” Levi Strauss
Study of differences and similarities in human Cultural possibilities - study the
societies as outsiders.
Get rid of all your pre-knowledge about that society and go in with open mind.
Problem of Reductionism
Differences
Ethnocentrism, denial of humanity
The superiority of correctness of ones own way of life, racism
“The savage slot”
Similarity
Naïve Realism,
Global culture
Everyone perceives the world the same
* Balance between the similarities and knowing that people are different*
Ex. McDonalds, KFC
Dualism: The philosophical view that reality consists of two equal and irreducible forces.
Idealism: The philosophical view (dating back as far as Plato in Western thought) that
ideas- or the mind that produces such ideas-constitute the essence of human nature.
Reduces human nature to ideas or mind that produces them.
Materialism: The philosophical view that the activities of our physical bodies in the
material world constitute the essence of human nature. Reduces human nature to genes
(biology) or material forces (environment, history, material production)
Holism: Interconnections between ideas and materials forces.
Cultures to be studied in the broadest possible way, interconnections between
parts.
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