Science Wars? Anthropologists Debate Whether Science Is Central to Their Discipline
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a deeply interesting feature up today about the stirrings of disciplinary controversy within the American Association of Anthropology. No doubt this will raise once again a decades-old distracting debate over the so-called Science Wars. (Read some of my thoughts on this perceived division and follow a link to a great resource on the topic.) From the Chronicle article:
Is anthropology a science? Is it a coherent discipline at all?
This month those old questions have resurfaced in a familiar context: the structure and purpose of the American Anthropological Association. At the association's annual meeting, in New Orleans, its executive board adopted a long-range planning document that removes the word "science" at several points from the description of the association's mission. Where the old language had defined the association's purpose as advancing "the science of anthropology," the new document says that the association will advance "the public understanding of humankind."
Those might not sound like fighting words, but the new language has drawn sharp criticism from some scholars, most notably the leaders of the Society for Anthropological Sciences, an eight-year-old group that exists both as a section of the anthropology association and as an independent scholarly organization. The new document has been debated on a number of blogs this week, including at The Chronicle.
"The discipline needs a forum that can bring all of the subfields together," says Peter N. Peregrine, a professor of anthropology at Lawrence University and president of the Society for Anthropological Sciences. But the AAA is failing to play that role, Mr. Peregrine believes, as its conferences and journals have become more heavily dominated by cultural anthropologists. Archaeologists, biological anthropologists, and linguistic anthropologists—in other words, the anthropologists who are more likely to identify themselves as scientists—have retreated, little by little, into their own specialized associations.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.