Cognitive Anthropology (Kronenfeld)

Cognitive Anthropology
David B. Kronenfeld
University of California, Riverside

I. General Description

This course is designed to familiarize you with the work that has been done in cognitive anthropology and to give you some sense of what might be done in the near future. Since cognitive anthropology developed out of Ethnoscience or the study of ethnosemantic systems, which in turn was the product of attempts by linguistically trained anthropologists to apply linguistics methods to the study of folk knowledge systems, we will begin with a brief consideration of structural linguistics and ethnoscience. Wewill then begin examining current trends in cognitive anthropology, with particular focus on non-semantic classification systems, decision theory, structural models of culture, schemas, and cultural models. As time permits we will touch on some other issues, including folklore and culture grammars, memory limitations and biases, cognitive complexity, implicational structures, and cultural effects of literacy. As relevant and appropriate we will ground the anthropological work in relevant and important work from related fields, including cognitive constraint considerations and schema theories from psychology, art history, and artificial intelligence.

II. Syllabus Outline of Topics

n.b., DA refers to the text–D’Andrade 1995: The Development of Cognitive Anthropology; numbers following DA are pages

* marks articles included in the Reader (at Vision on University Ave.)

** marks recommended articles available in the Rivera Reserve Room but not in the Reader

*& marks recommended books

————————————————————

A. OVERVIEWS

1. Read early–as a frame

*1 Colby, Fernandez, and Kronenfeld 1981: Toward a Convergence of Cognitive and Symbolic Anthropology. Relevant are parts on cognitive anthropology, and especially pp. 436-438.

*2 Kronenfeld et al. 1972: The Cognition of Restaurant Interiors.

2. Reference readings–follow current topics in, as we move along

*3 Casson 1983: Schemata in cognitive anthropology (the overview is broader than the title suggests.)

*4 Kronenfeld 1993: Natural Codes and Distributed Cognition aka Social Cognition.

B. CLASSIFICATION

3. ETHNOSCIENCE–SEMANTIC STRUCTURE

*& Kronenfeld 1996 Plastic Glasses and Church Fathers: Semantic Extension from the Ethnoscience Tradition. (An overview of anthropological work on semantics and classification and its structural linguistics sources, and a presentation of DK theory of word semantics; includes DK view of schemas. The overview of anthropological work overlaps extensively with D’Andrade’s overview, but takes a somewhat different and more systematic approach. Not required, but possibly useful for those who lack the background.

*5 Brown, Roger: Chapter 7: Language: The System and Its Acquisition–II The Semantic Systems; Language, Thought, and Society

*6 Frake 1962: The ethnographic study of cognitive systems. see DA 33-36

*7 Brown, Roger: Chapter 2. The Basic Dimensions of Interpersonal Relationship

**Frake 1961: The diagnosis of disease among the Subunun of Mindanao.

DA 16-57, 58-91, 92-104

4. OTHER CATEGORIES AND KNOWLEDGE STRUCTURES

*8 Dougherty and Keller: 1985: Taskonomy: A Practical Approach to Knowledge Structures

**Stefflre 1972: Some Applications of Multidimensional Scaling to Social Science Problems.

see DA 88-90

C. COMPLEXITY AND SIMPLIFICATION

5. DECISION THEORY

a) BACKGROUND

*9 Frake 1962: Cultural ecology and ethnography.

**Goodenough 1956: Residence rules.

(Newell and Simon 19 : GPS: A Program that Simulates Human Thought.)

(Newell and Simon 1961: Computer Simulation of Human Thinking.)

Quinn 1975: Decision-making models of social structure: a critical review.

 

b) GLADWIN AND RELATED

**Gladwin and Gladwin 1971: Estimating market conditions and profit expectations of fish sellers in Cape Coast, Ghana.

**Gladwin, C. 1975: A Model of the Supply of Smoked Fish from Cape Coast to Kumasi.

**Gladwin, C. 1976: A view of Plan Puebla: an application of hierarchical decision models.

*10 Gladwin, C. 1980 A theory of real-life choice: applications to agricultural decisions.

*11 Gladwin, C. H., and J. Butler l984: Is Gardening an Adaptive Strategy for Florida Family Farmers?

**Gladwin, H. 1975: Looking for an aggregate additive model in data from a hierarchical decision process.

**Gladwin, H. and Murtaugh 1980: The Attentive-Pre Attentive Distinction in Agricultural Decision Making.

**Gladwin, H. and Murtaugh 1984: Test of a Hierarchical Model of Auto Choice on Data from the National Transportation Survey.

 

c) OTHER, INCLUDING RANDALL AND YOUNG

*12 Mukhopadhyay 1984: Testing a decision process model of the sexual division of labor in the family.

*13 Young 1980: A model of illness treatment decisions in a Tarascan town.

**Young 1978: Illness Categories and Action Strategies in a Tarascan Town.

*14 Plattner 1984: Economic Decision Making of Marketplace Merchants: An Ethnographic Model.

Randall 1977: Change and Variation in Samal Fishing: Making Plans to “Make a Living” in the Southern Philippines. Berkeley Ph. D. diss. be aware of

*15 Randall 1985: Steps toward an Ethnosemantics of Verbs: Complex Fishing Techniques and the “Unsaid” in Listener Identification.

*16 Schoepfle, Burton, and Morgan 1984: Navajos and energy development: economic decision making under political uncertainty.

 

6. MEMORY AND STRUCTURE–ISSUES

Bartlett 1932: Remembering

Mandler and Johnson 1977: Remembrance of Things Parsed: Story Structure and Recall.

see DA 144-145

**Bernard, H.R. , P. Killworth, D. B. Kronenfeld, and L. Sailer 1984: The Problem of Informant Accuracy: the Validity of Retrospective Data.

**D’Andrade 1965: Trait Psychology and Componential Analysis

see DA 77-83

**D’Andrade 1974: Memory and the Assessment of Behavior

see DA 83-88

**Freeman, Romney, and Freeman 1987: Cognitive Structure and Informant Accuracy

see DA 190-193

*17 Kronenfeld 1974: Cognitive Bias in Aggregating vs. in Memory.

 

7. COMPLEXITY AND COMPUTATION

*18 Anderson, Eugene 1996: Chapters from Ecologies of The Heart: Chapter 2, Feng-shui: Ideology and Ecology (pp. 15-27) and Chapter 3, Chinese Nutritional Therapy (pp.

**Keller and Lehman 1991: Complex Concepts.

Keller and Lehman 1993: Computational Complexity in the Cognitive Modelling of Cosmological Ideas.

 

8. SITUATED COGNITION

Chaiklin and Lave, eds. 1993: Understanding Practice: Perspectives on Activity and Context.

*& Cognitive Science 1993: Special Issue: Situated Action

Norman, Donald A. 1993: Cognition in the Head and in the World: An Introduction to the Special Issue on Situated Cognition.

Greeno and Moore 1993: Situativity and Symbols: Response to Vera and Simon

Vera and Simon 1993: Situated Action: a Symbolic Interpretation.

*& Lave 1988: Cognition in Practice : Mind, Mathematics, and Culture in Everyday Life.

Lave and Wenger 1991: Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation.

Rogoff and Lave, eds. 1984: Everyday cognition : its development in social context.

 

D. STRUCTURAL MODELS OF CULTURE AND COGNITIVE PROCESS

9. CULTURAL GRAMMARS

*19 Colby 1975: Culture Grammars.

Pike 1967: Language in Relation to a Unified theory of the Structure of Human Behavior.

Propp 1958: Morphology of the Folktale [Original in Russian in 1920’s. It’s here for background for those who care.]

**Metzger and Williams 1963: A formal ethnographic analysis of Tenejapa Ladino weddings.

**Colby 1973: A partial grammar of Eskimo folktales.

 

10. MODELS OF PARTS OF CULTURAL SYSTEMS

*20 Frake 1964: A structural description of Subanun “Religious Behavior.”

*& Schank and Abelson 1977: Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures.

*& Hutchins 1980: Culture and Inference: A Trobriand Case Study.

see DA 193-199, and see DA 199-207 re issues of logic

 

11. SCHEMA THEORY FROM PSYCHOLOGY

d) RE INDIVIDUALS

**Brown, Roger: Chapter 5: The Development of Intelligence

(Flavell 1963: The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget. ** See xeroxed excerpts)

(Furth 1969: Piaget and Knowledge.)

(Piaget and Inhelder 1969: The Psychology of the Child)

(Schallert 1982: The Significance of Knowledge: A Synthesis of Research Related to Schema Theory.)

e) RE CULTURE

(see Casson 1983: Schemata in cognitive anthropology)

**Gombrich 1960: Art and Illusion especially Chapter II: Truth and the Stereotype

Brown: Chapter 4: Roles and Stereotypes

 

12. CULTURAL MODELS

DA 122-126, 130-136, 145-149, 150-181 (note: DA uses “schema” in different sense than I do)

**D’Andrade 1985: Character Terms and cultural Models

D’Andrade 1987: A Folk Model of the Mind

D’Andrade 1992: Schemas and Motivation

*& D’Andrade and Strauss, eds. 1992: Human Motives and Cultural Models.

*& Holland and Quinn, eds. 1987: Cultural Models in Language and Thought.

Quinn 1987: Convergent Evidence for a Cultural Model of American Marriage.

Quinn 1992: The Motivational Force of Self-Understanding: Evidence from Wives’ Inner Conflicts.

Quinn and Holland 1992: Culture and Cognition.

 

E. MARKING, IMPLICATIONAL STRUCTURES AND CHANGES IN SYSTEM,

13. BACKGROUND – LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY

*& Greenberg 1966: Language Universals.

Greenberg 1968: Anthropological Linguistics: An Introduction. [Chapters viii Synchronic Universals and ix diachronic generalization are available as a separate reading in Reserve Room.] see DA 36-38

 

14. RE CULTURE

DA 126-130

**D’Andrade 1976: A propositional analysis of U.S. American beliefs about illness. see

**D’Andrade et al. 1972: Categories of Disease in American-English and Mexican-Spanish. [the earlier MDS solution, for contrast]

**Burton, Brudner, and White 1977: A model of the sexual division of labor.

 

15. CULTURAL MARKING HIERARCHIES

Randall 1977: Change and Variation in Samal Fishing: Making Plans to “Make a Living” in the Southern Philippines. Ph. D. dissertation, UC Berkeley.

(review, from before, Randall 1985: Steps toward an Ethnosemantics of Verbs: Complex Fishing Techniques and the “Unsaid” in Listener Identification.)

(also relevant, Schank and Abelson 1977: Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures–mentioned above)

 

F. SHARING OF CULTURE

16. CONSENSUS THEORY

DA 212-217

Romney, Batchelder, and Weller 1987: Recent Applications of Cultural Consensus Theory.

**Romney, Weller, and Batchelder 1986: Culture and Consensus: a Theory of Culture and Informant Accuracy.

**Boster 1985: Requiem for the omniscient informant: There’s Life in the Old Girl Yet.

 

17. DISTRIBUTED COGNITION

DA 207-209

(Rumelhart 1975: Notes on a Schema for Stories.)

(Rumelhart 1980: Schemata: the Building Blocks of Cognition.)

(Rumelhart, McClelland, et. al 1986: Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition. Vol. I and II.

see DA 136-143)

Hutchins 1994: Cognition in the Wild.

see DA 209-212

*21 Kronenfeld 1994: Culture as Distributed Cognition.

 

G. SYMBOLIC ISSUES

Boyer 1990: Tradition as Truth and Communication: a Cognitive Description of Traditional Discourse.

Boyer 1993: Cognitive Aspects of Religious Symbolism.

Boyer 1994: The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: a Cognitive Theory of Religion.

Ohnuki-Tierney 1981: Phases in Human Perception/Cognition/Symbolization Processes: Cognitive Anthropology and Symbolic Classification.

Sperber 1972: Rethinking Symbolism.

Sperber 1985: Anthropology and Psychology: Towards an Epidemiology of Representations.

Sperber 1985: On Anthropological Knowledge.

Sperber and Wilson: Relevance, Communication and Cognition.

 

H. LITERACY

Goody 1986: The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society.

Goody 1987: The Interface between the Written and the Oral.

 

I. HOW IT ALL FITS

Bateson 1958: Naven. Palo Alto: Stanford [Original in 1938; the later edition has added material. Bateson, with his then wife, Margaret Mead, was part of the original Macy Foundation meetings that led to the development of cybernetics in the 50’s.]

 

III. BACKGROUND

18. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS

Brown: Chapter 6: Language: The System and Its Acquisition–I Phonology and Grammar

**Kronenfeld and Decker 1979: Structuralism (see, especially, sections on Saussure and Jakobson).

DA:17-19

 

19. PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY

f) ROMNEY ET AL

DA 19-33

Wallace and Atkins 1960: The Meaning of Kinship Terms.

Romney and D’Andrade 1964: Cognitive Aspects of English Kinterms. see DA 48-56

Wexler and Romney 1972: Individual variations in Cognitive Structures.

Rose and Romney 1979: Cognitive pluralism or individual differences: a comparison of alternative models of American English kin terms.

Nakao and Romney 1984: A method for testing alternative theories: an example from English kinship.

g) ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE

Kronenfeld 1980: Particularistic or universalistic analyses of Fanti Kinterminology: the alternative goals of terminological analysis.

Kronenfeld and Gladwin n.d.: Alternative terminological models in kinship.

 

20. CLASSIFICATION AND CATEGORIES

h) UNIVERSAL CATEGORIES

Kronenfeld 1979: Innate Language?

(1) COLOR TERMS

Berlin and Kay 1969: Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. (xerox excerpts in RR)

DA 106-115, 182-184, and see, for other side, DA 184-189

Kay, Berlin, and Merrifield 1991: Biocultural Implications of Systems of Color Naming.

Kay and McDaniel 1978: The Linguistic Significance of the Meanings of Basic Color Terms

MacLaury 1992: From Brightness to Hue: An Exploratory Model of Color-Category Evolution.

(2) ETHNOBOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE, etc.

**Berlin 1972: Speculations on the growth of ethnobotanical nomenclature.

DA 92-104

Atran 1990: Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science.

**Berlin 1976: The Concept of Rank in Ethnobiological Classification: Some Evidence from Aguaruna Folk Taxonomy.

*& Berlin 1992: Ethnobotanical Classification

Boster 1988: Natural Sources of Internal Category Structure: Typicality, Familiarity, and Similarity of Birds.

Boster and Johnson 1989: Form or Function: A Comparison of Expert and Novice Judgments of Similarity among Fish.

**Brown,Cecil 1976: General principles of human anatomical partinomy and speculations on the growth of partinomic nomenclature.

**Brown, Cecil 1977: Folk botanical life-forms: their universality and growth.

Brown, Cecil 1979: Folk zoological life-forms: their universality and growth.

**Hunn 1975: A Measure of the Degree of Correspondence of Folk to Scientific Biological Classification.

**Hunn 1976: Toward a Perceptual Model of Folk Biological Classification.

Hunn 1977: Tzeltal Folk Zoology The Classification of Discontinuities in Nature.

**Hunn 1985: The Utilitarian Factor in Folk Biological Classification.

Hunn 1987: Science and Common Sense: a Reply to Atran.

**Randall: 1976: How tall is a taxonomic tree: some evidence for dwarfism.

Randall and Hunn: 1984: Do Life-forms Evolve or do Uses for Life ? Some Doubts about Brown’s Universals Hypothesis.

 

J. PSYCHOLOGY, etc. (Will be taken up with applications as it relevant.)

21. OLDER

Bartlett 1932: Remembering

**Brown, Roger 1965: Chapter 1: The Social Behavior of Animals

Bruner, Goodnow, and Austin 1956: A Study of Thinking. see DA 38-41

Lashley 1951: The Problem of Serial Order in Psychology.

Miller 1956: The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits of Our Capacity for Processing Information. and see DA 41-45

Newell and Simon 1972: GPS: A Program that Simulates Human Thought.

Newell and Simon 1961: Computer Simulation of Human Thinking.

Uexhull, Jakob von 1957: A Stroll through the Worlds of Animals and Men.

 

22. NEWER

Kahneman, Slovic, and Tversky, s., 1982: Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases.

Mandler and Johnson 1977: Remembrance of Things Parsed: Story Structure and Recall.

see DA 144-145

Neisser 1976: Cognition and Reality.

Rumelhart 1975: Notes on a Schema for Stories.

Rumelhart 1980: Schemata: the Building Blocks of Cognition.

Rumelhart, McClelland, et. al 1986: Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition. Vol. I and II. see DA 136-143

Flavell 1963: The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget. See xeroxed excerpts.

Furth 1969: Piaget and Knowledge.

Piaget and Inhelder 1969: The Psychology of the Child

Schallert 1982: The Significance of Knowledge: A Synthesis of Research Related to Schema Theory.

Cognitive Science Vol. 17, No. 1. Special Issue on Situated Cognition.

 

 

Copyright © 2001 David B. Kronenfeld