Comment on Book Review: The Handbook of Sociocultural Anthropology

“‘[W]hat logos is appropriate for anthropos?’ (p.25). In addition, if we come to understand knowledge as something we produce rather than something we uncover then how do we validate our research? And – not to forget our discipline’s perennial Christmas cracker – what is culture anyway?”
The answer to these important questions lies in the word or meaning of “function”. To avoid the one-sided instrumentalist approach by the traditional functionalism or pragmatism, research should distinguish between ideal-symbolical and instrumental aspects or again, functions of culture. This seems to me the only way out of the “crisis”. However this requires reestablishing traditional methods like the “scientific method” or the economic way of thinking, with postmodernism being not an alternative one at all but a symptom of the inappropriateness of the former for replying to the question “what culture is?”.
Moreover, without the reestablishment of the general philosophical narrative, one could not rely on it that the crisis will have been resolved sometime, so the establishment of a kind of post-modern functionalism, too, seems to mark another stage of particular science-philosophy relations when particular science revitalizes itself by correcting not just its methods but also its object via gaining the new understanding of the reality proper.
A theory engaged in a similar enterprise, including the separation between the two general functions of culture, one could find at http://philpapers.org/rec/KANTCM or at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10746-013-9274-0.

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