Should Anthropology Be Part of Cognitive Science?

Authors


should be sent to Andrea Bender, Department of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Engelbergerstr. 41, Freiburg, Germany D-79085. E-mail: bender@psychologie.uni-freiburg.de

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.

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