Science and Humanism?

John P. Hart Anthro Survey (JHART@MUSEUM.NYSED.GOV)
Fri, 14 Oct 1994 13:07:15 EDT

I have been following the thread on AA with some interest and was
dismayed by the note posted by Hugh Jarvis, but I do respect his
privalage as co-owner and manager of the list to request a change in
dialogue. I hope that the following does not violate his request.

In simplistic terms, my spin on the whole issue revolves around what
I, and probably most subscribers to the list, recognize as a major
split in the profession, between humanistic and scientific approaches
to understanding human behavior. I may be wrong, but it seems like
the crux of the problem is that humanists believe that all approaches
to knowledge are equally valid and therefore criticism of any given
approach, theory, etc is not valid, whereas scientists demand
empirical support for theories and that some approaches are not
valid. Obviously, these two approaches are not compatible.

Can a single organization such as AAA accomodate such these different
approaches through the publication of a single journal, annual
meeting, newsletter, etc? If not, then individuals belonging to the
group that feels most trod upon can simply spend their energies and
dollars on societies that meet their needs.

John P. Hart
Anthropological Survey
New York State Museum
3122 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230

518-473-8496 (FAX)