Books  General Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science

By: Scott Atran

360 pages, 3 figs, 1 table

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Apr 1993 | #23573 | ISBN: 0521438713
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £30.99 $38/€35 approx
Hardback | Aug 1990 | #7232 | ISBN: 0521372933
Out of Print Details

About this book

Traces the development of natural history from Aristotle to Darwin.

' ... only Atran could have written this book, because only Atran combines the deep understanding of anthropology, biological systematics, history of science, and philosophy necessary to write it. The result is a book that contains more substance per page than any book I have read in a generation.' David Hull, Biology and Philosophy 'This subtle and sophisticated book has a little of that same power to shock by innocence. It is about how children think of living things, less a matter of what they learn than of what human nature teaches about nature.' Ian Hacking, London Review of Books 'There can be no doubt that the book establishes new standards of rigour in its area and will be the starting-point for future investigations in years to come.' Andrew Brennan, Times Higher Education Supplement


Preface; 1. Common sense: its scope and limits; Part I. Folkbiology: 2. Folktaxonomy; 3. The semantics of living kinds; Part II. Aristotelian Essentials: 4. Essence and environment; 5. Materials of logical division; Part III. From Herbals to Systems: 6. Origins of the species concept; 7. The nature of the genus; Part IV. The Scientific Breakaway: 8. The method of families and classes; 9. Science, symbolism and common sense; Conclusions; Appendix; Notes; References; Index.

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