From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"It has taken us centuries of thought and mockery to shake the medieval system. -- With this in view I have taken as impulses, instincts, or needs certain driving forces in the human species as we know it at present, and argued for such social and economic changes as will give them new, free, and varied expression. To take even this first step towards a happy society is a herculean task. After it has been accomplished, generations to come will see what the creature [us] will do next. We none of us know; and we should be thoroughly on our guard against all those who pretend that they do." --Dora Russell, Author's Preface, The Right to Be Happy, Harper & Brothers,(1927)

My Boxes
Writing Magnifying.PNG This user is a member of the
Guild of Copy Editors.
This user is a member of WikiProject Anthropology.
Cgisf-tgg.svg This user is a linguist.
SmallSocrates.png This user is a member of the WikiProject Philosophy.
Treble clef 2.svg This user is a member of WikiProject Music.
WikiProject Film This user is a member of
WikiProject Film.
Old book bindings.jpg This user is a bibliophile.
Messagebox info.svg This user is a member of The Infobox Watch.
en This user is a native speaker of English.
World citizen badge.svg This user is a Citizen of the World (Terra, ).
Gnome-help.svg This user helps out newcomers.
Lq-dna.png This user understands biological evolution.

About Me[edit]

I love to edit. I love copyediting. I love finding stubs and improving or nominating them for merger, expert attention - or deletion. I like finding citations. For academic citations, I like to see some level of juried publication, although I'm quite aware what a racket the academic publishing business can be, so I'm open to less well-known sources; even self-published people get some review and respect from me, but in the end it's got to make sense. If it makes sense only to a small group of people, that's okay - but it's moving towards some fringe and I love that Wikipedia has a way of handling that (WP:Fringe). As an academic, I'm naturally suspicious of college professors who claim to have solved longstanding problems, whether it's physics or philosophy or anything else, when the only things that they cite guessed it: Themselves. Not quite right, is it? And I want to be a good Wikipedian. That means using one's expertise to enhance the general encyclopedia, especially in areas where one has skill or expertise.

So, if you came here because I left editorial comments on your lonely or orphaned biogrpahy or autobiography, please think about improving an article to which you could then link yourself or your subject. Being an expert in something makes oh so much more sense when the "expert" appears somewhere on the page where the actual subject is discussed - but then, you do have to risk scrutiny from a wide range of people, including scholars in your own disciplines. But, if you claim you're smarter than Kant, please - by all means - go state that somewhere on Kant's page and let Wikipedia do its work.

I've been called "picky" but it's like this: if the reference quoted (and I do look them up whenever I can) says something like:

Jones is one of the more influential writers on the topic of X in the last 20 years.

do not rephrase the author's words as

Jones is the most important writer on the topics of X, Y and Z ever to write in the English language.

Or anything remotely similar to that. Indeed, I expect you to accurately represent Jones's role in whatever it is. If Jones is the best we have for the past 20 years, I expect a link to a luminary who went before him, especially when dealing with academic topics, theoretical assertions, philosophy and so forth. Stubs that assert puffery and no more are not encyclopedic.

I analyze Wikipedia as a cultural phenomena and teach/write about it professionally. I'm a member of several professional groups inside and outside anthropology, dealing with "netography" or whatever they're calling it this week. I've published on several topics, including how academics behave in group settings such as academic conferences.

I am an anthropologist with a background in human biology, classics (Greek) and film, and strong interests in linguistics and philosophy. I am currently editing a book on the anthropology of the middle ages, and writing a history of Europe that takes into account its very long prehistory. I spend part of the year in France, and visit Lombardy and Tuscany as often as possible.

I taught research methods at Stanford, then worked as a psychiatric anthropologist in various institutional settings, including UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute and one of California's prisons for the criminally insane. We were studying genes and brains of schizophrenics, mostly. Then I taught Native American anthropology, and the anthropology of religion at CSU Northridge and elsewhere. I'm in semi-retirement, teaching at a community college in SoCal (which I love), sometimes still teaching at a CSU or two. At this stage in my career, I get to indulge my whims and teach just about any type of anthropology I like, as long as it's an undergraduate class. I developed a love for biological anthropology and prehistory. I'm highly critical of traditional history and very fond of literature. I've pursued several strands in publication, and should have worked harder on my dissertation, which was on popular novels, particularly romances - and the people who read them. I've done fieldwork in Hawaii, Chiapas, Mexico, El Paso, Texas, and in various Native American settings in New Mexico, California and Arizona. I've studied Scientologists, channeling and other aspects of New Age or occult religion (as an anthropologist - not as a practitioner! - Etic accounts here). I'm trying to learn some philosophy, because I'm interested in consciousness. My Wikipedia contributions are mostly in the realm of biographical entries, but I'm working my way up to an article on the String Revolution, at the same time trying to write something for publication. I'm interested in polygyny and have done some preliminary fieldwork in Central Utah. That was before Big Love started. I've also done some observational studies of various militia men, police, tourists in National Parks, and like to write emails to people in charge of things. For example, I argued for noise pollution policies in two national parks and light pollution policies in a national monument. I occasionally get paid for consulting work in legal anthropology.

I may not be a world expert on the following topics, but am fairly well-read on:

  • consciousness
  • anthropology of religion
  • historical linguistics
  • visual anthropology
  • applied anthropology
  • semiotics
  • semantics
  • Europe from 45,000BP to 3800BP
  • Europe from 700-1400 A.D.
  • Native Americans
  • Polynesia
  • Etymology and philology
  • Russian literature and philosophy
  • cognitive anthropology
  • feudalism and peasantry
  • Marxism
  • hermeneutics and phenomenology
  • mtDNA and other methods of molecular phylogenetic reconstruction

Oh, and I'm sort of into study of mythology, since childhood. My publications are mostly on ethnopoetics and mythology, a little bit on human instincts/genes (switches, imprinting, etc.)

I play electric bass, know quite a bit about music theory (played now for 46 years, also play piano, bassoon and saxophone), play in a living room band. I like jazz, and come to Wikipedia to learn more about rock and roll.

What I'd expect to see on a general page about Anthropology[edit]

(in no particular order - yet)

  1. Cannibals and headhunters
  2. Louis Leakey
  3. Margaret Mead
  4. Incest taboo
  5. Malinowski, the Trobriands and their sex life
  6. Walbiri iconography
  7. Dogon cosmology
  8. Hunter-gatherers
  9. Human evolution
  10. Lucy
  11. Homo habilis
  12. Homo floresiensis
  13. The human genome project
  14. mtDNA
  15. Troy and Scythia
  16. Egypt, pyramids and mummies
  17. Curatorship
  18. Maps and regional analysis
  19. Lists of tribal and ethnic groups
  20. Entry into the field (fieldwork)
  21. Participant Observation
  22. Etic vs emic
  23. Stage theory
  24. Binary opposition
  25. Totem and taboo
  26. The raw and the cooked
  27. Sacred cows
  28. Animism
  29. Functionalism and Structural-Functionalism
  30. Language learning and grammar in the field
  31. Human universals (of course)
  32. Proxemics, body language, gesture
  33. Pyramids and megalithic structures
  34. Out of Africa
  35. Race and racism
  36. Holism and ethnocentrism
  37. Population genetics, gene flow and drift, Founder Effect
  38. Pingalap
  39. Tool traditions: Olduwan, Acheulian, etc.
  40. The human diaspora
  41. Indigeneous peoples
  42. Kinship, polgyny and polyandry
  43. Primatology
  44. Jane Goodall
  45. Circumcision (male and female)
  46. Cuneiform
  47. The Rosetta Stone
  48. The story of how Indo-European was deduced
  49. Joseph Greenburg and Merritt Ruhlen
  50. Sir Colin Renfrew and Marija Gimbutas
  51. Acculturation, assimilation
  52. Colonial encounters
  53. Hopi worldview
  54. Ligit
  55. Evolution of money
  56. V. Gordon Childe
  57. Urban anthropology
  58. Applied anthropology
  59. Visual anthropology
  60. Ecological anthropology
  61. Anthropology of the deviant
  62. Hall of fame of anthropologists (more or less)

Dreaming of an Infobox for Anthropology[edit]

Branches: Cultural anthropology, Biological anthropology, Archaeology, Anthropological linguistics, Primatology, Visual anthropology, Applied anthropology, Urban anthropology, Prehistory. Major methods of research: Molecular anthropology, Participant observation, Fieldwork Major types of research results: Ethnography, Human genome project, Language categorization, Grammars, Documentary film, Museum work Major anthropologists (all fields): Louis Leakey, Richard Leakey, Mary Leakey, Maeve Leakey, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, V. Gordon Childe, many more.

I'm tired. I'll do more later.

Europe Before Writing - My Bibliography, with notes[edit]

[a place for me to transfer all those citations]

Tolstoy and Russia related notes[edit]

Hi, Leavelly, can you read Russian? Are you interested in modern ideas of Russian thinkers? If yes, let me know, because we could be partners/Jfeldman777 (talk) 09:22, 26 July 2010 (UTC)/

My projects[edit]

John Collier (anthropologist) (creator)

Emic and etic (expansion)

War and Peace (edits; new section in progress)

Leo Tolstoy (minor edits)

Semantics (edits; in progress)

Anthropology (minor edits; discussion; in progress)

Philosophy (minor edits; stub work; autobiography perusal)

Cultural anthropology (minor edits; major work needed; in progress)

Reference (I've volunteered to try and find people to edit this important article)

Classics Need to use that undergraduate background somewhere.

Hellenization Already contributed substantially before I knew about non-anonymous edits.

In regards to the work above, I'm rereading a bunch of things (like Leach on Levi-Strauss, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, several books on the history of theory in anthropology (including of course Marvin Harris's, the history of cultural anthropology, the history of philosophy, critiques of the history of philosophy, philosophy of history, semantics, meaning and reference.

What I wrote for the Anthropology article (most of it reverted):[edit]

Since anthropology developed from many different enterprises, including but not limited to fossil-hunting, exploring, documentary film-making, paleontology, primatology, antiquity dealings and curatorship, philology, etymology, linguistics, especially historical and comparative genetics especially population genetics, regional analysis, ethnology, history, philosophy, [[Sociology}sociology]] and religious studies,[1][2][3][4][5] it is virtually impossible to characterize the entire field. For convenience, anthropology is often divided into four subfields: Physical or biological anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics. This is a simple way of trying to introduce coherence into what is a very large field, invented in America in the course of trying to build a coherent system of talking about anthropology.[6] British anthropologists, organized into their own association (the second largest after the American organization)[7], [8], today uses a similar system. This does not, however, mean that anthropology is in anyway straightforwardly divided into exclusive camps.[9]

One traditional approach to simplifying such a vast enterprise has been to divide anthropology into four subfields, each with its own further branches: Biological anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Archaeology and Anthropological linguistics.

Briefly put, biological anthropology includes the study of human evolution, human evolutionary biology, genetics (molecular and population), our nearest biological relatives, classification of ancient hominids, paleontology of humans, distribution human alleles, blood types and the human genome project. Biological anthropology is used by other subfields to shed light on how a particular folk got to where they are, how frequently they've encountered and married outsiders, whether a particular group is protein-deprived, and to understand the brain processes involved in the production of language. + In this article, anthropology is discussed primarily according to the national identity of the persons doing the anthropology. In Great Britain anthropology is divided[citation needed] into physical anthropology and cultural anthropology, which itself was divided into archaeology, technology, ethnology (the comparative study of different peoples, focusing on material culture, language, religion and other social institutions) and sociology (the comparative study of social phenomena).[10] In the United States anthropology traditionally has comprised four fields: physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and cultural anthropology. Today, in Britain, Archaeology and Sociology are generally taught as separate subjects, and ethnology was renamed social anthropology and emerged as the leading focus of anthropology. Anthropology in other countries generally follows one or both of these models. - - Cultural anthropology is often based on ethnography, a kind of writing used throughout anthropology to present data on a particular people or folk (from the Greek, ethnos/Έθνος). Ethnology and ethnography are closely related terms, in general both refer to studying and writing about other cultures, using some sort of [[Objective|objective] observational method, such as participant observation. Many topics in cultural anthropology require familiarity with other subfields, as when ancient writings are used to provide context to contemporary cultural studies or an ethnologist desires to learn whether a people has lived long in a place, and who might have lived there before them.

 -   - 

Archaeology is the study of human material culture, including both artifacts (older pieces of human culture) carefully gathered in situ, museum pieces and modern garbage.[11] Archaeologists work closely with biological anthropologists, art historians, physics laboratories (for dating), and museums. They are charged with preserving the results of their excavations and are often found in museums.

 -   - 

Linguistics is the study of language. One criticism of the four subfield method of describing anthropology has been the relationship of Linguistics, as a general field in its own right, to anthropological linguistics. Traditionally, anthropological linguistics has been more concerned with how language is learned in the field (when a person encounters a new people whose language is unknown), the construction of grammars and lexicons for unstudied languages, comparative and historical linguistics, including the reconstruction of past languages, from which our current languages have descended. Anthropological linguistics is also concerned with the evolution of the parts of the brain that deal with language.[12]

 -   - 

Primatology is often considered a subfield of anthropology (all human beings are primates, and some primatologists use field observation methods, written up in a manner quite similar to ethnography.[13]

 -   - 

Because anthropology developed from so many different enterprises (see History of Anthropology, including but not limited to fossil-hunting, exploring, documentary film-making, paleontology, primatology, antiquity dealings and curatorship, philology, etymology, genetics, regional analysis, ethnology, history,philosophy and religious studies,[14][15] it is difficult to characterize the entire field in a brief article, although attempts to write histories of the entire field have been made[16].

 -   -

Basic trends in anthropology[edit]

 -   - 

The goal of anthropology is to provide a holistic account of humans and human nature. Since anthropology arose as a science in Western societies that were complex and industrial, a major trend within anthropology has been a methodological drive to study peoples in societies with more simple social organization, sometimes called "primitive" in anthropological literature, but without any connotation of "inferior."[17] Today, most anthropologists use terms such as "less complex" societies or refer to specific modes of subsistence or production, such as "hunter-gatherer" or "forager" or "simple farmer" to refer to humans living in non-industrial, non-Western cultures, such people or folk (ethnos) remaining of great interest within anthropology. The quest for holism leads most anthropologists to study a particular folk or people in detail, using biogenetic, archaeological, and linguistic data alongside direct observation of contemporary customs.[18] In the 1990s and 2000s, calls for clarification of what constitutes a culture, of how an observer knows where his or her own culture ends and another begins, and other crucial topics in writing anthropology were heard. It is possible to view all human cultures as part of one large, evolving global culture. These dynamic relationships, between what can be observed on the ground, as opposed to what can be observed by compiling many local observations remain fundamental in any kind of anthropology, whether cultural, biological, linguistic or archaeological.[19]

 -   - 

Anthropologists are interested in both human variation[20] and in the possibility of human universals (behaviors, ideas or concepts shared by virtually human cultures)[21] They use many different methods of study, but modern population genetics, participant observation and other techniques often take anthropologists "into the field" which means traveling to a community in its own setting, to do something called "fieldwork." On the biological or physical side, human measurements, genetic samples, nutritional data may be gathered and published as articles or monographs. Due to the interest in variation, anthropologists are drawn to the study of human extremes, aberrations and other unusual circumstances, such as headhunting, whirling dervishes, whether there were real Hobbit people, snake handling, and [[Glossolalia|glossolalia (speaking in tongues), just to list a few.

 -   - 

At the same time, anthropologists urge, as part of their quest for scientific objectivity, cultural relativism, which has an influence on all the subfields of anthropology. This is the notion that particular cultures should not be judged by one culture's values or viewpoints, but that all cultures should be viewed as relative to each other. There should be no notions, in good anthropology, of one culture being better or worse than another culture.[22] Ethical commitments in anthropology include noticing and documenting genocide, infanticide, racism, mutilation including especially circumcision and subincision, and torture. Topics like racism, slavery or human sacrifice, therefore, attract anthropological attention and theories ranging from nutritional deficiencies[23] to genes[24] to acculturation have been proposed, not to mention theories of acculturation, colonialism and many others as root causes of man's inhumanity to man. To illustrate the depth of an anthropological approach, one can take just one of these topics, such as "racism" and find thousands of anthropological references, stretching across all the subfields (and subfields of subfields).[25]

 -   - 

In addition to dividing up their project by theoretical emphasis, anthropologists typically divide the world up into relevant time periods and geographic regions. Human time on Earth is divided up into relevant cultural traditions based on material, such as the [Paleolithic] and the [Neolithic], of particular use in archaeology. Further cultural subdivisions according to tool types, such as Olduwan or Mousterian or Levallois help archaeologists and other anthropologists in understanding major trends in the human past. Anthropologists and geographers share approaches to Culture regions as well, since mapping cultures is central to both sciences. By making comparisons across cultural traditions (time-based) and cultural regions (space-based), anthropologists have developed various kinds of comparative method, a central part of their science.

 -   - 

Contemporary anthropology is an established science with academic departments at most universities and colleges. The single largest organization of Anthropologists is the American Anthropological Association, which was founded in 1920 [26]. Membership is made up of Anthropologists from around the globe.[27] Hundreds of other organizations exist in the various subfields of anthropology, sometimes divided up by nation or region, and many anthropologists work with collaborators in other disciplines, such as geology, physics, zoology, paleontology, anatomy, music theory, art history, sociology and so on, belonging to professional societies in those disciplines as well.[28]

History of anthropology[edit]

- The first use of the term "anthropology" in English to refer to a natural science of humankind was apparently in 1593, the first of the "logies" to be coined.[29] It took Immanuel Kant 25 years to write one of the first major treatises on anthropology, his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View.[30] Kant is not generally considered to be a modern anthropologist, however, as he never left his region of Germany nor did he study any cultures besides his own.[31] He did, however, begin teaching an annual course in anthropology in 1772. Anthropology is thus primarily an Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment endeavor.

Future projects[edit]


  • George Spindler,
  • Renato Rosaldo
  • Gil Herdt
  • improving Michelle Z. Rosaldo,
  • George Collier
  • improving Claude Levi-Strauss
  • improving Roland Barthes
  • improving Europe (prehistory)

Pages to check[edit]

String Revolution


Miscellaneous web citations[edit] (emic etic, from the book by Harris and Pike and H.)

ToDo List[edit]

Article on Culture regions (a field in cultural anthropology and geography) Oldowan article in need of major work Clean up Anthropology article Public Christmas Trees (don't forget Parque de la Ciudad in Argentina...! Further wikify Mobutu Sese Seko to make sure it links to torture, human rights, mutilation, etc. Bill Black


Husserl's Criticism of Psychologism[edit]

Psychologism in logic stipulates that logic is not an independent discipline, but a branch of psychology. Husserl, after his Platonic turn, pointed out that the failure of anti-psychologists to defeat psychologism is a result of being unable to distinguish between the theoretical side of logic (which tells us what is - descriptive), and the normative side (which tells us how we ought to think - prescriptive). Anti-psychologists conceived logic as being normative in nature, when pure logic does not deal at all with "thoughts" but about a priori conditions for any judgments and any theory whatsoever.[citation needed]

Since "truth-in-itself" has "being-in-itself" as an ontological correlate, and psychologists reduce truth (and hence logic) to empirical psychology,[citation needed] the inevitable consequence is scepticism.[citation needed] In addition, psychologists have not been successful in explaining how from induction, or psychological processes, we can justify the absolute certainty of logical principles, such as the principles of identity and non-contradiction. It is therefore futile to base certain logical laws and principles on uncertain processes of the mind.

This confusion, according to Husserl, can be summarized as follows:

1. The first prejudice is the supposition that logic is somehow normative in nature. Husserl argues that logic is theoretical, i.e., that logic itself proposes a priori laws which are themselves the basis of the normative side of logic. Since mathematics is related to logic,


  1. ^ Erickson, Paul A. and Liam D. Murphy. A History of Anthropological Theory. Broadview Press. 2003. p. 11-12
  2. ^ George Stocking, “Paradigmatic Traditions in the History of Anthropology.” In George Stocking, The Ethnographer’s Magic and Other Essays in the History of Anthropology (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992):342-361.[
  3. ^ Womack, Mari. Being Human. Prentice Hall. 2001. Chapter One.
  4. ^ Heider, Karl. Seeing Anthropology. Allyn & Bacon. 2001, Chapters One and Two.
  5. ^ Harris, David R. The Archaeology of V. Gordon Childe. University of Chicago. 1994
  6. ^ Erickson, Paul A. and Liam D. Murph. A History of Anthropological Theory, second edition, 2003, pp. 11-20
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Erickson and Murphy
  10. ^ Adam Kuper 1973 Anthropology and Anthropologists: the Modern British School London: Rouledge. 2-3
  11. ^,9171,913924,00.html
  12. ^
  13. ^ Power, Margaret (1991). The Egalitarians - Human and Chimpanzee An Anthropological: View of Social Organization. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521400163
  14. ^ Erickson, Paul A. and Liam D. Murphy. A History of Anthropological Theory. Broadview Press. 2003. p. 11-12
  15. ^ George Stocking, “Paradigmatic Traditions in the History of Anthropology.” In George Stocking, The Ethnographer’s Magic and Other Essays in the History of Anthropology (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992):342-361.[
  16. ^ Leaf, Murray. Man, Mind and Science: A History of Anthropology. Columbia University Press. 1979
  17. ^ Lowie, Robert. Primitive Religion. Routledge and Sons. 1924; Tylor,Edward. 1920 [1871]. Primitive Culture. New York: J.P. Putnam’s Sons.
  18. ^ Nanda, Serena and Richard Warms. Culture Counts. Wadsworth. 2008. Chapter One
  19. ^ Rosaldo, Renato. Culture and Truth: The remaking of social analysis. Beacon Press. 1993; Inda, John Xavier and Renato Rosaldo. The Anthropology of Globalization. Wiley-Blackwell. 2007
  20. ^ Robert Jurmain, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan, and Russell L. Ciochon. Introduction to Physical Anthropology. 11th Edition. Wadsworth. 2007, chapters I, III and IV.; Womack, Mari. Being Human. Prentice Hall. 2001, pp. 11-20.
  21. ^ Brown, Donald. Human Universals. McGraw Hill. 1991; Roughley, Neil. Being Humans: Anthropological Universality and Particularity in Transciplinary Perspectives. Walter de Gruyter Publishing. 2000
  22. ^ Levi-Strauss, Claude. The Savage Mind. 1962; Womack, Mari. Being Human. 2001
  23. ^ Harris, Marvin. Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches.
  24. ^
  25. ^;; Shanklin, Eugenia. 1994. Anthropology & Race; Faye V. Harrison. 1995. "The Persistent Power of 'Race' in the Cultural and Political Economy of Racism." Annual Review of Anthropology. 24:47-74. Allan Goodman. 1995. "The Problematics of "Race" in Contemporary Biological Anthropology." In Biological Anthropology: The State of the Science.; Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 1945-. "Melanin, Afrocentricity...," 36(1993):33-58.; see Stanford's recent collection of overarching bibliographies on race and racism here:
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Johanson, Donald and Kate Wong. Lucy's Legacy. Kindle Books. 2007; Netti, Bruno. The study of ethnomusicology. University of Illinois Press. 2005. Chapter One
  29. ^ Urbanowicz, Charles. In the Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association, reprinted online:
  30. ^ Foucault, Michel. "Introduction" to his 1961 translation of Kant's work, reprinted:
  31. ^ acobs, Brian, and Kain, Patrick (eds.), Essays on Kant's Anthropology, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 278pp., ISBN 0521790387.