Cognitive Anthropologists: Who Needs Them?

Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (3):387-395 (2012)

Abstract

During the last decades, the cognitive sciences and cognitive anthropology have increasingly veered away from each other. Cognitive anthropologists have become so rare within the cognitive sciences that Beller, Bender, and Medin (this issue) even propose a division of the cognitive sciences and cognitive anthropology. However, such a divorce might be premature. This commentary tries to illustrate the benefits that cognitive anthropologists have to offer, not despite, but because of their combination of humanistic and scientific elements. It argues that the cognitive sciences (among others) profit from these benefits, as culture will become crucial for cognitive research. At the same time, problems within cognitive anthropology are discussed, including, for example, the responsibility of cognitive anthropologists to promote young academics. Finally, ideas are presented that might support future interdisciplinary collaboration

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