How Classification Works: Nelson Goodman Among the Social Sciences

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Nelson Goodman, Mary Douglas, David L. Hull
Edinburgh University Press, 1992 - Philosophy - 281 pages
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How Classification Works attempts to bridge the gap between philosophy and the social sciences using as a focus some of the work of Nelson Goodman. Throughout his long career Goodman has addressed the question: are some ways of conceptualizing more natural than others? This book looks at the rightness of categories, assessing Goodman's role in modern philosophy and explaining some of his ideas on the relation between aesthetics and cognitive theory. Two papers by Nelson Goodman are included in the collection and there are analyses of his work by seven leading academics in anthropology, philosophy, sociology and musicology.

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About the author (1992)

Born in Italy, Mary Douglas was educated at Oxford University and began her career as a civil servant in 1943. Her first field research was carried out in what was then the Belgian Congo and she taught at Oxford and the University of London before moving to the United States in 1977. Purity and Danger (1966) is an essay about the logic of pollution beliefs, suggesting that ideas about dirt and disorder outline and reinforce particular social orders. Her other essays exploring the implicit meanings of cultural symbols follow a similar Durkheimian format. Her recent interests have turned to analysis of risk behavior and cross-cultural attitudes about food and alcohol.

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