Re: Bias

Mary Beth Williams (
21 Jul 1996 03:20:04 GMT

In <> writes:
>Is anyone here familiar with the effects of bias on objectivity?
>you should become aquainted with these as well. Lack of objectivity is
>one of the worst enemies to the progression of any science.]

Anthropology was one of the first sciences to actually re-evaluate the
entire concept of *objectivity*, and the outcome is not one, according
to your self-proclaimed *bias*, that you're going to like.
Post-processual/post-modernist theory relies heavily on the concept
that all *science*, like everything else, is subjective, and is not
capable of pure *objectivity*.

I would suggest Foucault and Kuhn to start... As well as Allison Wylie,
particularly regarding anthropological archaeology. (This is a serious
offer of citation...All of these scholars are now required reading in
most anthropology programs, as PP/PM is the major *alternative*
paradigm within the discipline.)

>I realize that it is far easier to draw conclusions as to someone
>elses meaning than to actually make an effort to understand what they
>say, but this is hardly behavior one would expect from a professional.
>how do you expect us non-anthropologists to take your comments
>seriously, when you cannot show even the slightest inclination to be

As a professional, I would expect that, particularly in light of my
chosen paradigm, that you wouldn't take me seriously if I claimed that
I was *objective*.

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst