Folkbiology

Front Cover
Louis W Menk Professor of Psychology Douglas L Medin, Douglas L. Medin, Scott Atran, Directeur de Rechereche Scott Atran
MIT Press, 1999 - Psychology - 504 pages

The term "folkbiology" refers to people's everyday understanding of the biological world--how they perceive, categorize, and reason about living kinds. The study of folkbiology not only sheds light on human nature, it may ultimately help us make the transition to a global economy without irreparably damaging the environment or destroying local cultures.

This book takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together the work of researchers in anthropology, cognitive and developmental psychology, biology, and philosophy of science. The issues covered include: Are folk taxonomies a first-order approximation to classical scientific taxonomies, or are they driven more directly by utilitarian concerns? How are these category schemes linked to reasoning about natural kinds? Is there any nontrivial sense in which folk-taxonomic structures are universal? What impact does science have on folk taxonomy? Together, the chapters present the current foundations of folkbiology and indicate new directions in research.

Contributors
Scott Atran, Terry Kit-fong Au, Brent Berlin, K. David Bishop, John D. Coley, Jared Diamond, John Dupré, Roy Ellen, Susan A. Gelman, Michael T. Ghiselin, Grant Gutheil, Giyoo Hatano, Lawrence A. Hirschfeld, David L. Hull, Eugene Hunn, Kayoko Inagaki, Frank C. Keil, Daniel T. Levin, Elizabeth Lynch, Douglas L. Medin, Julia Beth Proffitt, Bethany A. Richman, Laura F. Romo, Sandra R. Waxman

 

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Contents

Ethnoornithology of the Ketengban People Indonesian
17
Size as Limiting the Recognition of Biodiversity in Folkbiological
47
How a Folkbotanical System Can Be Both Natural
71
Between
91
Department of Psychology
102
847 4671660
113
Cognitive Universals
119
Inductive Reasoning in Folkbiological Thought
205
A Developmental Perspective on Informal Biology
321
Mechanical Causality in Childrens Folkbiology
355
Eugene Hunn
368
How Biological Is Essentialism?
403
Natural Kinds and Supraorganismal Individuals
447
Are Whales Fish?
461
Interdisciplinary Dissonance
477
310 2065661
493

847 4917859
229
Object Naming
233
Mechanism and Explanation in the Development of Biological
285

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About the author (1999)

Scott Atran is Research Director in Anthropology at France's National Center for Scientific Research and Visiting Professor of Psychology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is the coeditor, with Douglas Medin, of Folkbiology (MIT Press, 1999).

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