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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Anthro notes: Explanation of The Human Condition.docx

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Greg Bird

CHAPTER 1 NOTES Anthropology Explanations of the Human Condition: 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- constitutes the essence of human nature Materialism: The philosophical view that the activities of our physical bodies in the material world constitute the essence of human nature Determinism: The philosophical view that one simple force (or a few simple forces) causes (or determines) complex events Essence: An unchanging core of features that is unique to things of the same kind (whether they are chairs, cows, ideas or people) and makes them what they are. Holism: A perspective on the human condition that assumes that mind and body, individual and society, and individual and environment interpenetrate and define one another Co- Evolution: The relationship between biological processes and symbolic cultural processes in which each makes up an important part of the environment to which the other must adapt Anthropology: The integrated study of human nature, human society, and human history The Cross- Disciplinary Discipline: Holistic: Assumes that mind and body, person and society, humans and their environment interpenetrate and define one another. Comparative: A characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to consider similarities and differences in a wide range of human societies before generalizing about human nature, human society, or human history. Biological Evolution: Evolution of the resources for human development provided by our genes and other elements that make up our physical bodies. Cultural evolution: Evolution of the beliefs and behaviors we incorporate into human development through the experiences of teaching and learning Evolutionary: a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to place heir observations about human nature, human society, or human history in a temporal framework that takes into consideration change over time. (or the prof’s version is : Evolutionary: Includes the view of co-evolution, the relationship between biological and symbolic processes.) Applied Anthropology: The use of information gathered from the other anthropological specialties to solve practical problems within and between cultures. Focus is on the application of anthropological theories and methods to the solution of everyday problems. Some argue that applied anthropology should be considered a fifth field or sub-discipline. Biological or physical Anthropology: The specialty of anthropology that looks at humans as biological organisms and tries to discover what characteristics make us different from and/ or similar to other living things. Linguistic Anthropology: Concerned with the study of human languages Archaeology: The specialty of anthropology interested in what we can learn from their material remains left behind by earlier human societies. Cultural Anthropology: Studies how variation in beliefs and behaviors is shaped by culture and learned by different members of human groups The 4 Fields Approach: Applied Anthropology:  Medical Anthropology  Developmental Anthropology  Urban Anthropology 1. Biological (or physical) Anthropology:  Paleoanthropology  Human biology and variation  Primatology 2. Archaeology:  Prehistoric Archaeology  Historical Archaeology 3. Linguistic Anthropology:  Descriptive linguistics  Comparative linguistics  Historical linguistics 4. Cultural Anthropology  Kinship and social organization  Material life and technology  Subsistence and economics  World view The Concept Of Culture  Central maker of what it means to be human  According to Edward B Tylor, c
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