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Flashcards in Cultural Anthropology Deck (22)
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Define dualism

The philosophical view that reality consists of two equal and irreducible forces. Example- mind and matter, soul and body, or spirit and flesh.


Define idealism

The philosophical view (dating back as far as Plato in western thought) that ideas- or the mind that produces such ideas- constitute the essence of human nature. That the true nature of human beings is spiritual, not material; the body is a material impediment that frustrates the full development of the mind or spirit.


Define materialism

The philosophical view that the activities of our physical bodies in the material world constitute the essence of human nature.


Define Determinism

The philosophical view that one simple force (or a few simple forces) causes (or determines) complex events.


Define Essence

An unchanging core of features that is unique to the things of th same kind (whether they are chairs, cows, ideas, or people) and makes them what they are.


Define holism

A perspective on the human condition that assumes that the mind and body, individual and society, and individual and environment interpenetrate and even define one another.


Define co-evolution

The relationship between biological processes and symbolic cultural processes in which each makes up an important part of the environment to which the other must adapt.


Define anthropology

The integrated study of human nature, human society, and human history.


Define comparative

A characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to consider similarities and differences in a wide a range of human societies before generalizing about human nature, human society, or human history.


Define Biological evolution

Evolution of the resources for human development provided by our genres and other elements that make up our physical bodies.


Define Cultural evolution

Evolution of the beliefs and behaviours we incorporate into human development through the experiences of teachings and learning.


Define evolutionary

A characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to place their observations about human nature, human society, or human history in a temporal framework that takes into consideration change over time.


Define biological (or physical) anthropology

The speciality of anthropology that looks at humans as biological organisms and tries to discover what characteristics make us different from and/or similar to other living things.


Define races

Social groupings that allegedly reflected biological differences.


Define racism

The systematic oppression of members of one or more socially defined 'races' by members of another socially defined 'race' that is justified within the ruling society by the rulers' faulty belief in their own biological superiority


Define primatology

The study of non-human primates, closest living relatives of human beings.


Define paleoanthropology

The study of the fossilized remains of human beings' earliest ancestors.


Define Archaeology

The speciality of anthropology interested in what we can learn from material remains left behind by earlier human societies.


Define language

The system of arbitrary vocal symbols we use to encode our experiences of world and one another.


Define linguistic anthropology

The speciality of anthropology concerned with the study of human languages.


Define Cultural anthropology

The speciality of anthropology that studies how variation in beliefs and behaviours is shaped by culture and learned by different members of human groups.


Define culture

Sets of learned behaviours and ideas that human acquire as members of a society. We use culture to adapt to and transform the world in which we live.