CHAPTER 1 NOTES
Explanations of the Human Condition:
Dualism: The philosophical view that reality consists of two equal and irreducible
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
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
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
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:
1. Biological (or physical) Anthropology:
Human biology and variation
3. Linguistic Anthropology:
4. Cultural Anthropology
Kinship and social organization
Material life and technology
Subsistence and economics
The Concept Of Culture
Central maker of what it means to be human
According to Edward B Tylor, c