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Anthropology and the Cognitive Challenge

$29.99 (G)

Part of New Departures in Anthropology

  • Author: Maurice Bloch, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: July 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521006156

$ 29.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • In this provocative new study one of the world's most distinguished anthropologists proposes that an understanding of cognitive science enriches, rather than threatens, the work of social scientists. Maurice Bloch argues for a naturalist approach to social and cultural anthropology, introducing developments in cognitive sciences such as psychology and neurology and exploring the relevance of these developments for central anthropological concerns: the person or the self, cosmology, kinship, memory and globalisation. Opening with an exploration of the history of anthropology, Bloch shows why and how naturalist approaches were abandoned and argues that these once valid reasons are no longer relevant. Bloch then shows how such subjects as the self, memory and the conceptualisation of time benefit from being simultaneously approached with the tools of social and cognitive science. Anthropology and the Cognitive Challenge will stimulate fresh debate among scholars and students across a wide range of disciplines.

    • A powerful, provocative new study from one of the world's leading anthropologists
    • Introduces a range of work in the cognitive sciences that is relevant to a range of social scientists
    • Relates the history of anthropology to important developments in science and politics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Highly recommended."

    "Anthropology and the Cognitive Challenge is, in sum, an excellent little book that deserves to be read by all social scientists interested in the role of the mind in human affairs."
    Thomas Wynn, Anthropos

    "I believe that Bloch offers a well-reasoned and balanced perspective on the divide between psychology and anthropology. Most psychological and cognitive anthropologists will find themselves nodding in agreement as they read."
    Harold D. Green, American Anthropologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521006156
    • length: 246 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why social scientists should not avoid cognitive issues
    2. Innateness and social scientists' fears
    3. How anthropology abandoned a naturalist epistemology
    4. The nature/culture wars
    5. Time and the anthropologists
    6. Reconciling social science and cognitive science notions of the 'self'
    7. What goes without saying
    8. Memory.

  • Author

    Maurice Bloch, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Maurice Bloch, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, is one of the world's leading anthropologists. He has held a number of academic positions at universities around the world and is currently an associate member of the Institut Jean Nicod of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris engaged in an interdisciplinary research project on comparative epistemics funded by the European Science Foundation. He has published widely on his research interests and his work has been translated into twelve languages. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1990.

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