Re: The next "Great Synthesis?"

Jamon A Halvaksz (halv0111@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU)
Fri, 26 Apr 1996 15:16:34 -0500

> But before I go: culture is a product of biology, after all. Without the
> biologically functioning carbon-based life forms known as Homo sapiens, culture
> (I mean human culture) does not exist. When you think about it, it's not the
> synthesis but the separation of the two "fields" that seems odd, at least to me.
> Ronald Kephart
> Dept of Language & Literature
> University of North Florida
> Jacksonville, FL USA 32224-2645
> Phone: (904) 646-2580
Culture is a "product" of biology? This is too simple. I agree
that the separation of the two fields seems odd, but to discuss why this
has happened (and indeed it has- check your local faculty interests) we
need to be more specific about the complex relationship between biology
and culture. Perhaps saying that culture"s" are the potential product of
a biology would be a start. We would also have to consider how this
plays out in other social sciences... It seems that anthro does not fair
so bad in comparison to economics- but is certainly behind psychology.
For me, what even makes this a question (the relation between biology and
culture) is the (w)holistic perspective that anthropology takes (or at
least tries to take) -- I would be interested to know what list members
whose feet are in other departments (sociology/psychology/economics and
of course linguistics) think about the connection between biology and
culture.. perhaps by comparison we can understand this "odd" process of

Jamon Halvaksz
Department of Anthropology
University of Minnesota