Re: Pluck and Culture Change

Matthew Hill (mhhill@WATARTS.UWATERLOO.CA)
Wed, 1 May 1996 10:40:58 -0400

On Fri, 26 Apr 1996, Thomas Brunton wrote:

> In reply to John Pastore:
> Those thingies (plume in hat, kow-towing etc.) are expressions of
> culture, according to my current working definition of culture. Culture
> is a mental phenomena that can be shared or individual. Behavior is an
> expression of culture and artifacts can be looked at as an
> objectification of culture. (Following Walter Taylor again. He also
> contends that neither ethnographers nor archaeologists can get directly
> at culture, because it is inside peoples heads. Archaeologists just have
> maybe another level of inference to make. We are not inferior!)
> Tom Brunton
> SUNY at Buffalo
I tried for several years when I was his student to make Taylor realize
that if culture was something inside peoples heads, it was only studiable
by some sort of introspective psychology. Culture is a mental phenomenon
is an explanation of culture, maybe a good one though I am not totally
convinced. It is a pretty poor definition of the field of study of any
anthropologist I know. Taylor never saw the light.

Matthew Hill (