Funding for "Situated Action: A Symbolic Interpretaton"

David Price (dprice@CATADON.STMARTIN.EDU)
Tue, 2 Jul 1996 13:58:32 -0700

Your point being that Vera & Simon's research was funded by
military-industrial-dollars? If so, yes, its pretty amazing how much
anthropological research (both applied and theoretical) during the last 50
years was directly and indirectly sponsored with issues of Cold War
importance in the mind of sponsoring agencies. This has been
anthropology's most interesting open secret. It goes beyond
anthropologists (like Clyde Kluckhohn and others), who secretly worked
with the FBI, CIA and State, and includes a surprising amount of basic
anthropological and area study center research. Some of this was funded
by agencies with clear military-intelligence ties (like ARPA--which you
list below--and others), but when you look at what Millikan, Rostow and
other modernization/development advocates were (then) secretly writing for
CIA and State in the mid-50s it becomes clear that the funding of LOTS of
other projects had a Cold War subtext. In this sense, its probably more
important to look at what is done with (or can be done with) research,
than just to look at who funds it--though this is important too.

David Price
> From: Sheldon Klein <sklein@CS.WISC.EDU>
> A footnote on the title page of Vera & Simon's paper,
> "Situated Action: A Symbolic Interpretation" COGNITIVE SCIENCE
> lists the following funding sources:
> "This research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
> Department of Defense, ARPA Order 3597, monitored by the Air Force
> Laboratory under contract F33615-81-K-1539, and by the Office of Naval
> Cognitive Science Program, under Contract No. N00014-89-J-1975N158."