Nelson & Yee

Thu, 16 Dec 1993 15:15:52 CST

The comments and questions by Nelson and Yee seem to me to deserve more
thought than I have been able to give them. My preliminary response to
Nelson I consider incomplete and, even as far as it went,
unsatisfactory; and I am yet to respond to Yee. For now, I want only to
point out that certain phrases these writers put in "scare" quotation
marks not only are not terms I used; indeed, they are terms I
consciously avoid, except in a critical vein. The first is Nelson's
reference to one of anthropology's tasks as being "the investigation of
'scientific facts'," which I would by no means accept as a
characterization of positivism in anthropology or elsewhere. The second
is Yee's reference to "narrow conceptions of 'the scientific method'." I
assure them, and all readers, that nowhere have I argued for
investigating "scientific facts" using "the scientific method." That
some positivists actually offer such impoverished conceptions of science
is in fact the one concession I am willing to offer--indeed, already did
offer very early in this thread--to the pomo gang. --Bob Graber