OJPP> Vol.4 No.2, May 2014

Anthropology as a Natural Science Clifford Geertz’s Extrinsic Theory of the Mind

DownloadDownload as PDF (Size:281KB)  HTML    PP. 96-106  
Author(s)    Leave a comment

ABSTRACT


Clifford Geertz set forth interpretative anthropology as a natural science, based on “the extrinsic theory of the mind”. Observation of the use of words and cultural symbols will determine theory meaning. Symbols are models or templates, and enter into the constitution of every perceived object or event we recognize or identify. We do not perceive what others perceive, but what they perceive “with”, “by means of”, or “through”. But the objects and events we or others perceive are already and from the first symbolic. Thoughts and emotions are articulated, generated and regenerated by words and other symbolic objects. Without, or before, words and symbols, there is only general, diffuse, ongoing flow of bodily sensation. This essay criticizes these theses in the light of the philosophy of mind and the phenomenology of perception.


Cite this paper

Lingis, A. (2014) Anthropology as a Natural Science Clifford Geertz’s Extrinsic Theory of the Mind. Open Journal of Philosophy, 4, 96-106. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.42014.

References

[1] Biersack, A. (1989). Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond. In L. Hunt (Ed.), The New Cultural History. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
[2] Boas, F. (1974). A Franz Boas Reader: The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883-1911. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
[3] Borofsky, R. (1993). Assessing Cultural Anthropology. Columbus, IO: McGraw-Hill College.
[4] 14In a culture that declares, in words and in rituals, that death is transition to blessed life, or reincarnation, or heroic glory that will live on in the community, the Christian and the Hindu and the patriotic family weep disconsolately over the death of a child or young son.
[5] 15In a late review of Cai Hua, A Society without Fathers or Husbands: the Na of China (Brooklyn, NY: Zone, 2001), Geertz complains “There is nothing, or almost nothing of individual feelings and personal judgments, of hopes, fears, dissents, and resistances, of fantasy, remorse, pride, humor, loss, or disappointment ‘Na-ness’ as a form-of-life, a way-of-being-in the-world, is, whatever it is, a much wider, more ragged, unsettled, less articulated, and less articulable thing.” (2001: p. 29).
[6] Carrithers, M. (1988). The Anthropologist as Author: Geertz’s “Works and Lives”. Anthropology Today, 4, 19-22.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3032993
[7] Carrithers, M. et al. (1990). Is Anthropology Art or Science Current Anthropology, 31, 263-281.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/203840
[8] Cavell, S. (1969). Must We Mean What We Say New York: Scribner’s.
[9] Chodorow, N. (1999). The Power of Feelings, Personal Meaning in Psychoanalysis, Gender, and Culture. New Haven, CT: Yale U Press.
[10] Clifford, J., & Marcus, G. (1986). Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
[11] Crapanzano, V. (2003). Imaginative Horizons: An Essay in Literary-Philosophical Anthropology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226118758.001.0001
[12] Descombes, V. (2002). A Confusion of Tongues. Anthropological Theory, 2, 433-446.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14634996020020041101
[13] Fabian, J. (1991). Time and the Work of Anthropology: Critical Essays. London: Routledge.
[14] Fettes, M. (2000). (Un)Writing the Margins: Steps towards an Ecology of Language. In R. Philipson (Ed.), Rights to Language: Equity, Power, and Education. New York: Lawrence Earlbaum.
[15] Galanter, E., & Gerstenhaber, M. (1956). On Thought: The Extrinsic Theory. Psychological Review, 63, 218-227.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0048568
[16] Geertz, C. (1973). The Interpretation of Culture. New York: Basic Books.
[17] Geertz, C. (1983). Local Knowledge. New York: Basic Books.
[18] (1988). Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
[19] (1995). After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
[20] Geertz, C. (2000). Available Light. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[21] Micheelsen, A. (2002). “I Don’t Do Systems”: An Interview with Clifford Geertz. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 14, 2-20.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/157006802760198730
[22] Geertz, C. (2002). An Inconstant Profession: The Anthropological Life in Interesting Times. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31, 1-19.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.31.040402.085449
[23] Gottowik, V. (1997). Who’s Afraid of “Teutonic Professors” Anthropology Today, 13, 3-4.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2783418
[24] Handler, R. (1991). An Interview with Clifford Geertz. Current Anthropology, 32, 603-613.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/204008
[25] Hebb, D. O. (1946). Emotions in Man and Animal: An Analysis of the Intuitive Process of Recognition. Psychological Review, 53, 88-106.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0063033
[26] Hebb, D. O. (1949). The Organization of Behavior: A Neurological Theory. New York: Wiley.
[27] Hebb, D. O. (1954). The Problem of Consciousness and Introspection. In J. F. Delafresnaye (Ed.), Brain Mechanisms and Consciousness. Oxford: Blackwell.
[28] Hebb, D. O., & Thompson, W. R. (1954). The Social Significance of Animal Studies. In D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzay (Eds.), Handbook of Social Psychology (Vol. 1). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
[29] Hobart, M. (1990). Who Do You Think You Are The Authorized Balinese. In R. Fardon (Ed.), Localizing Strategies: Regional Traditions of Ethnographic Writing (pp. 303-338). Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.
[30] Hymes, D., Ed. (1999). Reinventing Anthropology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
[31] Kapferer, B. (1988). The Anthropologist as Hero: Three Exponents of Post-Modern Anthropology. Critique of Anthropology, 8, 77-104.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308275X8800800206
[32] Kuper, A. (1999). Culture: The Anthropologists’ Account. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
[33] Langer, S. (1953). Feeling and Form. New York: Scribner’s.
[34] Lévi-Strauss, C. (1983) Structural Anthropology. Translated by C. Jacobson & B. G. Schoepf, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[35] Malinowski, B. (2001). Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays, Vol. 9. Selected Works by Bronislaw Malinowski. London: Routledge.
[36] Marcus, G. (1998). Ethnography through Thick and Thin. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[37] Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The Visible and the Invisible. Translated by A. Lingis. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
[38] Merleau-Ponty, M. (2000). Phenomenology of Perception. Translated by C. Smith. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
[39] Milroy, L. & Gordon, M. (2003) Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation. London: Blackwell.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9780470758359
[40] Murdoch, I. (1970). The Sovereignty of Good. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
[41] Nikityuk, B. A. (1978). Anthropology as a Natural Science. Journal of Human Evolution, 7, 475-488.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0047-2484(78)80015-3
[42] Percy, W. (1958). Symbol, Consciousness and Intersubjectivity. Journal of Philosophy, 55, 631-641.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2022067
[43] Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. (1957). A Natural Science of Society. New York: Free Press.
[44] Read, K. (1965). The High Valley. New York: Scribner’s.
[45] Rosaldo, R. (1993). Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston: Beacon.
[46] Ryle, G. (1971). Collected Papers, Volume II, Collected Essays 1929-1968. London: Hutchison.
[47] Ryle, G. (1949). Concept of the Mind. London: Hutchinson.
[48] Sartre, J.-P. (1969). Nausea. Translated by L. Alexander. New York: New Directions.
[49] Scholte, B. (1986). The Charmed Circle of Geertz’s Hermeneutics: A Neo-Marxist Critique. Critique of Anthropology, 6, 515.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308275X8600600102
[50] Shankman, P. (1984). The Thick and the Thin: On the Interpretive Theoretical Program of Clifford Geertz. Current Anthropology, 25, 261-280.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/203135
[51] Sherrington, C. (1953). Man on His Nature (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[52] Tambiah, S. J. (1985). Culture, Thought, and Social Action. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
[53] Tyler, S. (1987). The Unspeakable: Discourse, Dialogue, and Rhetoric in the Postmodern World. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
[54] Tylor, E. B. (1881). Anthropology. New York: Appleton.
[55] Weber, M. (1963). The Sociology of Religion. Boston: Beacon.
[56] Williams, B. (2002). Truth and Truthfulness. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[57] Yoshida, K. (2007). Defending Scientific Study of the Social against Clifford Geertz (and His Critics). Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 37, 289-314.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.