Looking for an examination copy?
This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org providing details of the course you are teaching.
What is it about human nature that makes our species capable of thinking scientifically? Inspired by a debate between Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget, Scott Atran traces the development of natural history from Aristotle to Darwin, and demonstrates how the science of plants and animals has emerged from the common conceptions of folkbiology. The author proceeds not only from the more traditional philosophical, historical or sociological perspectives, but from a point of view he considers more basic and necessary to all of these: that of cognition.
Reviews & endorsements
"Atran has produced a work of substantial scholarship...the wealth of information the book contains and the fresh perspectives it offers make it invaluable. Cognitive Foundations of Natural History will influence the conceptual and historical study of systematics for some time to come." Forest & Conservation History 37See more reviews
"This is a book that is deliberately designed to put the cat among the pigeons, philosophically, psychologically, anthropologically, and sociologically speaking....In short, this is an extraordinary, formidable, interdisciplinary tour de force that none will entirely agree with, that many will regard as profoundly wrongheaded, but that all can learn from if they make the effort." ISIS
"...a provocative as well as a deeply investigated study." Choice
"...traces in great detail the historical and philosophical origins of taxonomic nomenclature, from traditional folk taxonomy through Aristotle and Linnaeus to the nineteenth century biologists who established the familiar present-day system....the ideas expressed are provocative and represent a significant contribution to the study of ethnotaxonomy." Journal of Ethnobiology
"Only Atran could have written a book that combines deep understanding of anthropology, biological systematics, the history of science, and philosophy. The result is a book that contains more substance per page than any book I have read in a generation." David L. Hull, Northwestern University
"Drawing upon a wealth of anthropological, psychological, philosophical, and historical evidence, Atran weaves together a series of powerful, often controversial arguments: that everyday conceptions of folk biology are remarkably similar across cultures, that they are fundamentally domain-specific, and that they set the foundations for scientific thought." Susan A. Gelman, University of Michigan
"Perhaps Atran's most far-reaching argument is grounded in his critique of `prototype theory,' propounded by cognitive psychologists as the basis for categorization of all natural objects. Again he demonstrates that different types of cognitive processes are involved when people conceptually order living things versus, say, furniture or artifacts." Terence E. Hays, American Anthropologist
"Atran has surely presented a masterful, if densely packed, study in support of his thesis....This significant book, while anything but light reading, deserves the serious attention of scientist and philosopher alike." Laura Landen, Review of Metaphysics
Not yet reviewed
Be the first to review
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: January 1993
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521438711
- length: 376 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 151 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.615kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Common sense: its scope and limits
Part I. Folkbiology:
3. The semantics of living kinds
Part II. Aristotelian Essentials:
4. Essence and environment
5. Materials of logical division
Part III. From Herbals to Systems:
6. Origins of the species concept
7. The nature of the genus
Part IV. The Scientific Breakaway:
8. The method of families and classes
9. Science, symbolism and common sense
Sorry, this resource is locked
Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email email@example.comRegister Sign in
You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.Continue ×
Are you sure you want to delete your account?
This cannot be undone.
Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.
If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.×