50 words for snow 4; species

  Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Explanations and phenomena All classificatory terms are impossible of exact definition. Their use always has and always will depend upon the consensus of opinion of those best qualified by wisdom, experience and natural good sense. They Read More…

Species: The evolution of the idea

My revised book is now titled Species: The evolution of the idea, and now contains a philosophy section as well as a complete list of species concept[ion]s and an appendix of all taxonomic levels I could locate. It is due out in February 2018 from CRC Press. I have done a complete revision of all sections Read More…

50 words for snow: addendum 3a, or what counts as sociocultural?

Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Explanations and phenomena Jim Harrison made the following comment on the last post: … I have trouble understanding how you distinguish the s and the c in your pseudo equation. You mention folk taxonomic as an example Read More…

I have updated my blogroll

It was very sad to see how many of my favourite blogs and sites no longer exist, but I checked them all. If you have any blogs I should add to this list, let me know.

50 words for snow 3: what are phenomena?

Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Explanations and phenomena If experienced observers are trained to observe natural phenomena in their environment, pace the “interference” of cultural accidents, what is it they observe? As I mentioned before, we are not born into a world of Read More…

50 words for snow 2: or, the economics of cultural categories

Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Explanations and phenomena Humans evolved in a world where knowing whether an animal was an antelope or a lion was essential for their survival: they could eat the antelope, and they could be eaten by the lion. Read More…

50 words for snow, or conceptual confusion

Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Explanations and phenomena In a well-known and generally debunked story, Inuit people have around 50 words for snow. Or so the argument by anthropologist Franz Boas goes. In fact, people who engage with the phenomena of their Read More…

Thoughts on racism

For many years, I have been very hesitant to speak about race. I’m white (a stupid social construction in itself), male and middle class. Every time I make a comment, in come the critics, attacking me on everything from my own group identity (which, by the way, I do not adopt; being on the spectrum, Read More…

Equality is about protection, not love

Again and again I see the same-sex marriage (SSM) debate cast in terms of love. And while I agree that people should be free to love those they wish (if it is mutual, and freely given, and no minors are involved), that is not what the SSM debate is really about. Instead it is about Read More…

Phobosophy

As everyone knows, philosophy comes from the two Greek words philo and sophos, and means, roughly, the love of wisdom, although as everyone also knows, Socrates declared his wisdom was his knowledge that he knew nothing. In recent years (by which I mean increasingly since the 1970s), there has been a drop away from knowledge Read More…