Re: Anthropological Predictions:Examples

Mr J.M. Ottevanger (J.Ottevanger@LIVERPOOL.AC.UK)
Sat, 9 Sep 1995 12:12:00 +0100

I like this e.g. Bob. Having said that, I'm not an anthropologist (Pal.anth. is
my thing). As an outsider I', finding this discussion of anthro as science
very revealing.

In the last mail SS51000 said:
> The nature of prediction seems straightforward enough to me, as does the
> existence of anthropological predictions comparable to those of physical
> science. We can predict, for example, that if small societies such as
> autonomous bands and villages grow into larger ones such as chiefdoms,
> states, and empires, their cultures will be transformed in terms of
> differentiated structures and functions, accompanied by stratification
> of wealth and power. Conversely, we can predict that the shrinking of
> large societies back into small ones will bring cultural changes of a
> generally reverse kind. As a subscriber to the principle of parity
> between prediction and explanation, I submit that we can explain--and
> hence predict--many of the most important cultural changes as results of
> societal growth. The archaeological and ethnographic records support
> this overwhelmingly. Why do we think we have achieved so much less,
> scientifically, than we have? --Bob Graber