Why is anthropology both scientific and humanistic

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why is anthropology both scientific and humanistic

Quote by Alfred L. Kroeber: “Anthropology is the most humanistic of the scie...”

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An introduction to the discipline of Anthropology

However, maintaining balance between anthropology as a science that is concerned with causation, structure, function, and the predictability of human and cultural variation and anthropology as a humanity that is concerned with the function of human minds and how humans create their social and cultural worlds has not been easy.

What is Anthropology?

Are you as interested as I am in knowing how, when, and where human life arose, what the first human societies and languages were like, why cultures have evolved along diverse but often remarkably convergent pathways, why distinctions of rank came into being, and how small bands and villages gave way to chiefdoms and chiefdoms to mighty states and empires? Those words, written by the American anthropologist Marvin Harris, convey some of his fascination with the field of anthropology. But what is anthropology? The word anthropology itself tells the basic story. Nothing human is alien to anthropology. Indeed, of the many disciplines that study our species, Homo sapiens , only anthropology seeks to understand the whole panorama—in geographic space and evolutionary time—of human existence.

Anthropology is the scientific study of humans , human behavior and societies in the past and present. Linguistic anthropology studies how language influences social life. Biological or physical anthropology [1] [2] [3] studies the biological development of humans. Archaeology , which studies human activity through investigation of physical evidence, is thought of as a branch of anthropology in the United States and Canada, while in Europe, it is viewed as a discipline in its own right or grouped under other related disciplines, such as history. The abstract noun anthropology is first attested in reference to history. In , the Bartholins, founders of the University of Copenhagen , defined l'anthropologie as follows: [7].

The study of anthropology is the study of human beings: their culture, their behavior, their beliefs, their ways of surviving.
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More than a scientific endeavor but not strictly one of the humanities either, anthropology stands between these basic kinds of intellectual pursuit, bridging and contributing to both. Not limited to natural history, anthropology touches art, historical process, and human values, drawing from the materials and approaches of both science and humanities. This professional interest in a broad understanding of the human condition has led anthropologists to adapt and use modern cameras and films to inquire further into the variety of ways of life of mankind and to develop method and theory to prepare anthropological film as a permanent scientific and humanistic resource. Until quite recently the evolution of human culture and organization has diverged in the hitherto isolated regions of the world. Now this divergence has virtually ceased; we are witnessing an unprecedented period in human history-one where cultural divergence has turned to cultural convergence and where the varieties of independently evolved expressions of basic human potential are giving way to a single system of modern communications, transport, commerce, and manufacturing technology.


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