: Beyond dualism: On the possibilities for a new synthesis between anthropology and biology
26 January 2012 13:00 in Anthropology Seminar Room
Turf wars and mutual indifference continue to predominate the relationship between anthropology and biology. A main reason may be that the disciplines operate on different time scales, which creates misunderstandings, unnecessary conflicts and -- not infrequently -- bad popularisation and unproductive debates. Instead of unpacking these phenomena, the lecture will take, as its point of departure, two collaborative projects with a biologist, both of which have resulted in jointly written books, one on selfishness (1999) and one on the â€˜red queen paradoxâ€™ (2012). Both of these projects aim to draw on concepts and perspectives from both ecology, evolutionary theory and social sciences in a seamless, non-confrontational way and to develop empirical and theoretical syntheses based on a cosmopolitan worldview, according to which differences must be respected and understood, but cannot always be superseded. The Batesonian concept of double description is central to this endeavour, which is intended as a contribution to an interdisciplinary ecology.
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