Should anthropology be part of cognitive science?

Sieghard Beller, Andrea Bender*, Douglas L. Medin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anthropology and the other cognitive science (CS) subdisciplines currently maintain a troubled relationship. With a debate in topiCS we aim at exploring the prospects for improving this relationship, and our introduction is intended as a catalyst for this debate. In order to encourage a frank sharing of perspectives, our comments will be deliberately provocative. Several challenges for a successful rapprochement are identified, encompassing the diverging paths that CS and anthropology have taken in the past, the degree of compatibility between (1) CS and (2) anthropology with regard to methodology and (3) research strategies, (4) the importance of anthropology for CS, and (5) the need for disciplinary diversity. Given this set of challenges, a reconciliation seems unlikely to follow on the heels of good intentions alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Keywords

  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive science
  • Culture
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Universals and diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

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