Dear Lorenz, thank you for help with my ‘call for precision’.
It’s very interesting that yours core definition of anthropology precising anthropology as ’science’. Because this idea isn’t so obvious. Do anthropology should be a science? Or should be simply a way of interpretation where “anything goes” depend on discourse?
Indeed I’m asking are there any boundarys of anthropology?(which interpretation is anthropological which not?)
do we need to define anthropology? Well I suppose that depends on how you define “need,” or what the meaning of is, is.
I do agree with you and Erkan. As we all know, it’s not that there has never been an attempt to precisely define “culture,” for example, it’s that there were too many, and too little agreement. When using the term – and I use it only out of laziness, because it is not really needed – it is up to each author to add a line to their writing saying, “and when I say ‘culture,’ what I mean is…”
The same applies, I think, to anthropology itself. It’s not that none of us “knows” what “it” is, it is that we all have differing visions of what “it” has been, might be now, could be in the future, and the lack of any substantial common agreement creates this illusion that none of us knows what “it” is.
Anyway, it is great to have a new blogger join us, and one from Poland at that. Today was the first time I ever got a chance to correspond with a Polish anthropologist.
I’m agree with Maximilian that indeed all we knows what is anthropology.In the same way as we knows what is art for example. We don’t have to precising what is art, because this is not a science (core definition of art is against all I know about art).
If anthropology is science I’m afraid we are hard pressed for precise a core deffinition. If isn’t science we don’t have to. Maybe only tradition creates this illusion that anthropology is science, and there is no others arguments.
Comment from: [Member]
Why shouldn’t anthropology be a science? Science is always about interpretation, even natural sciences. But I know that for American media, science mostly means natural sciences. Maybe anthropology is not serious enough for them? But maybe you have something different in mind?
Yes, I think there are boundaries. I would say that interpretations that are not empirically based are not anthropological in my view, for example information based exclusively on questionnaires or experiments (as in psychology). There must be something more than that!
You ask “do we need define anthropology?” My answer is: yes, if anthropology is a science, we have to.
I want focus ours attention on anthropology as discipline.I think is necessary to start at this point. All (science) disciplines have his own boundaries so…I think yours notice about anthropological boundaries (as interpretations empiricaly based) could be deeply right.