Maurice Bloch

A comment on The Origins of Monsters

The beauty of the epidemiological approach came from its theoretical strength. Its weakness came from the difficulty of demonstrating occurrence in actual, non-historically trivial cases. David Wengrow’s book is a serious attempt to do this, it is probably the only such serious attempt. Whether ...

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Can Antropologists and other Cognitive Scientist live together?

How can we go beyond the rhetorical dichotomy between nature and culture and avoid misunderstandings that repeatedly occur when social/cultural anthropologists and natural scientists try to co-operate? It shouldn’t be all that difficult if we think, as I believe we should, of human cognition ...

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Doubting among the Zafimaniry

In 2003, I organized a series of group discussions on psychological matters - thought, language, memory, dreams, ancestors, etc. - among Zafimaniry villagers, a group of forest dwellers in Madagascar who, for historical reasons, are fairly distinct and relatively isolated from other Malagasy. In ...

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Picture of the week: Rebuilding a house among the Zafimaniry… and rethinking cognitive approaches

This photograph shows the preparations for the rebuilding of a house in 2006 in a Zafimaniry village in Madagascar. The Zafimaniry exemplify what Lévi-Strauss has called "house based societies" since it is the material house, often richly decorated, which symbolically represe...

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Culture and Cognition

Since I am new to this blogging business I am trying it out by stating my most fundamental position about culture and cognition which explains my suspicion of much of the work done in this field. Culture and cognition are always inseparably combined. The processes of cognition and history, though ...

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