# Lecture 011

Author: anthropologist Clifford Geertz

## - Little: take empirical evaluation less seriously (not science), but his field work is indeed taking empirical evidence seriously

• example: Skinnerian behaviorism, intelligence testing

• try do: look at what the practitioners do with science

• consider science as an influencer

Skinner:

• psychology should sticks to what can be directly observed (choosing "action" and "reaction" out of "concepts", "beliefs", "desires")

• anti-realist (operationalism)

Geertz:

• considers humans as creators, interpreters, and consumers of signs

• we always need background info (page 4)

• phenomenons have deeper meaning than phenomenons

• Two wrong ways

• Grand unified theories of social behavior
• social constructs are real and may have its own causal powers
• reductionism
• "culture [is located] in the minds and hearts of men."

• does not believe privacy theory: "culture consists of 'mental phenomena which can [he means"should"] be analyzed by normal methods similar to those of mathematics and logic'" meaning: because the meaning of a word is defined by people's collaborative thingking, therefore, we can use such word in science

• Culture is public because meaning is

• anthropology is the enlargement of the universe of human discourse

• goal in to "understand" using actor-oriented culture

Ryle:

• socially constructed signs (language) can tell un-observable conscious

• I argue language is observable
• Example: blinking eyes (voluntary or unvoluntary)
• one observable phenomenon have different meaning (fact), so you cannot uncover the full meaning by only observation (page 3)

• Example: twitching, winking, or parodying, but rehearsing
• I argue that these phenonmenon are observed in different context (especially rehearsing). And true, if you don't ask (meaning making another observation), you can never tell which person is doing what
I seems for me that philosophers are talking nonsense

- culture is public or private: depend on def. of culture
-

So philosphy question can be reduce to: what is a better way to define a word


## Question

1. the excerpt? The excerpt, from a literary view, is confusing and unnecessary to establish his main point.

2. consider text

3. culture and can be measured or observed independent of behavior

4. culture is flexible, people do not perfectly follow culture

5. cultural frame: basic elements govern personal action (working hypotheses to understand events)

6. script: cognitive understanding of event

2. Geertz advocates that social science should be studied with the consideration of local culture instead of imposing the scientists' own culture in the study. In the paragraph titles "Cultural Transmission and Social Routines" by Lauger, there is no sign of embracing the culture of the studied group. The paragraph, by mentioning many previous studies, generalize causation claims to many cultures, which is viewed as inappropriate according to Geertz. For example, it attempts to generalize that "historical exposure to apathy" causes "legal cynicism". However, according to Kincaid, who advocates that there is causation in social science, the sentence "historical exposure to apathy" causes "legal cynicism" is appropriate. Therefore, the article is what Kincaid would advocate than Geertz would.

3. thinly: not considering culture or background info (I put a rounded break into mouth) thickly: by considering culture or background info (I eat pizza)

1. there is no objectivity according to Geertz? In Geertz's view, it is easy to deduct that anthropology is subjective because thick description. However, objectivity may be possible

2. inter-subjective: make agreement on what culture we use to analyze observation

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