Download Cognitive foundations of natural history: towards an by Scott Atran PDF

By Scott Atran

What's it approximately human nature that makes our species in a position to considering scientifically? encouraged through a debate among Noam Chomsky and Jean Piaget, Scott Atran lines the improvement of typical historical past from Aristotle to Darwin, and demonstrates how the technological know-how of vegetation and animals has emerged from the typical conceptions of folkbiology. the writer proceeds not just from the extra conventional philosophical, old or sociological views, yet from some degree of view he considers extra simple and essential to all of those: that of cognition.

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Extra info for Cognitive foundations of natural history: towards an anthropology of science

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Surely all scholars and readers of Thoreau, including me, are indebted to the thorough, painstaking work of the Textual Center and to Princeton University Press for publishing authoritative texts of Thoreau's writings. I wish, furthermore, to acknowledge gratefully the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, for granting me permission to quote from unpublished transcriptions at the Thoreau Textual Center of HM 13182, which will later appear as part of the Princeton Edition of Journal 3: 18481851 and from those portions of HM 924 that constitute the "First Version of Walden" that appeared, as determined by J.

If the ligature is found to be loosened in one part, it is always drawn the tighter in another" (64). The sources of genuine faith, he suggests, are not to be found in untrustworthy "creeds" (78) imparted through socialization; rather, true faith bypasses the false "goddess,'' the orthodoxy imposed by mother and culture, and establishes an umbilical link with nature and the "god" immanent in nature. Indeed, Thoreau explicitly connects orthodox Christianity, which has "dreamed a sad dream," with the mother, who "tells her falsehoods to her child, but thank Heaven, the child does not grow up in its parent's shadow.

Anne McGrath, Curator of the Thoreau Lyceum, has always been more than willing to aid me with my research over the years. For financial support of this project, I am grateful for the assistance of a year-long Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Also appreciated was the help provided by a one-term research leave and yearly All-University Research Grants from Michigan State Universitv. Much of the writing of this book coincided felicitously with the birth and infancy of my daughter Rachel.

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