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This philosophy of anthropology section is within philosophy of social science, so the term 'anthropology' is here taken as short for social and cultural anthropology. Philosophy of anthropology aims to contribute to our understanding of anthropology as a discipline through doing philosophy. Most works within this category fall into one or more of the following areas. (1) Attempts to answer questions about the nature or value of anthropology, e.g. what distinguishes anthropology from other disciplines? is it possible to pursue  anthropology as a science? what moral obligations does anthropology give rise to? (2) Attempts to identify the commitments of a given type of anthropology, e.g. functionalist anthropology, structuralist anthropology; and also philosophical evaluations of these commitments. (3) Attempts to define more general concepts that are closely connected to anthropological research, e.g. the concept of a culture, the concept of a belief system; and also assessments of their value to anthropology.

Key works Wittgenstein 1967 (in German), Quine 1957, Jarvie 1967 and Davidson 1973 are key works written by philosophers. A number of key works are by anthropologists reflecting on their discipline. See Malinowski 1922 (introductory chapter), Radcliffe-Brown 1940, Evans-Pritchard 1961, Lévi-Strauss 1969, Geertz 1973, Harris 2001, Sperber 1985, Sperber 1996, Clifford & Marcus 1986, Spiro 1986, Spiro 1996, Strathern 1987, Strathern 1987, Strathern 1990, Csordas 1990, Gell 1992, Gell 1994 and Henare et al 2007.
Introductions Jarvie 1967 and Sperber 1985 are good places to start. Hacker 1992 is useful for understanding Wittgenstein's criticisms of Frazer. Lynch 1997 serves well as an introduction to what a conceptual framework is and whether there can be alternative conceptual frameworks.
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  1. J. Abbink & Hans Vermeulen (eds.) (1992). History and Culture: Essays on the Work of Eric R. Wolf. Het Spinhuis.
    Introduction Jan Abbink and Hans Vermeulen This volume consists of essays and studies by authors inspired by the work of Eric Wolf, a central figure in ...
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  2. William Yewdale Adams (1998). The Philosophical Roots of Anthropology.
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  3. Francis Affergan (1991). Critiques Anthropologiques.
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  4. Michael Agar (1987). Speaking of Ethnography. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  5. J. Agassi (1987). Book Reviews : Understanding Cultures, Perspectives in Anthropology and Social Theory. By ROBERT C. ULIN. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984. Pp. Xvii + 200. U.S. $19.95. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 17 (2):278-283.
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  6. Akbar S. Ahmed & Cris Shore (1995). The Future of Anthropology its Relevance to the Contemporary World. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  7. Ben Alberti, Severin Fowles, Martin Holbraad, Yvonne Marshall & Chris Whitmore, "Worlds Otherwise": Archaeology, Anthropology, and Ontological Difference.
    The debate concerning ontology is heating up in the social sciences. How is this impacting anthropology and archaeology? What contributions can these disciplines make? Following a session at the 2010 Theoretical Archaeology Group conference at Brown University (“‘Worlds Otherwise’: Archaeology, Theory, and Ontological Difference,” convened by Ben Alberti and Yvonne Marshall), a group of archaeologists and anthropologists have continued to discuss the merits, possibilities, and problems of an ontologically oriented approach. The current paper is a portion of this larger conversation— (...)
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  8. Josâe Antonio Gonzâalez Alcantud (2002). El Rapto Del Arte Antropolog'ia Cultural Del Deseo Est'etico.
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  9. José Antonio González Alcantud (2008). Sísifo y la Ciencia Social: Variaciones Críticas de la Antropología. Anthropos.
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  10. Catherine Alexander (2007). Rationality and Contingency : Rhetoric, Practice and Legitimation in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In Jeanette Edwards, Penelope Harvey & Peter Wade (eds.), Anthropology and Science: Epistemologies in Practice. Berg.
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  11. F. Allan Hanson (1986). Strictures and Ratiocinations: I. C. Jarvie's Philosophy for Anthropology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 16 (4):489-499.
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  12. Rudolf Allers (1950). M. J. Herskovits. Man and His Works. The Science of Cultural Anthropology. [REVIEW] The Thomist 13:610.
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  13. Joseph Almog (1984). Semantical Anthropology. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):478-489.
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  14. M. Ananth (2001). Book Review: Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):563-571.
  15. Lyle V. Anderson (1987). Essays on Individualism. Review of Metaphysics 41 (2):381-383.
  16. R. J. Anderson, J. A. Hughes & W. W. Sharrock (1984). II. Wittgenstein and Comparative Sociology. Inquiry 27 (1-4):268-276.
    Focusing on a discussion by Ruddich and Stassen of the ?Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough?, this paper shows that some of the usual criticisms made by sociologists of Wittgenstein are misplaced. He does not reject causal explanations of beliefs and actions and replace them with some other form of explanation, but dismisses the idea that any explanation is called for here. His argument that the origin of the desire to explain beliefs is to be found in a misconceived parallel between (...)
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  17. Edwin Ardener (1971). The New Anthropology and its Critics. [Royal Anthropological Institute].
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  18. I. I. I. Argen (2005). A Philosopher's Fieldwork. In Elizabeth D. Boepple (ed.), Sui Generis: Essays Presented to Richard Thompson Hull on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Authorhouse.
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  19. Vassos Argyrou (2002). Anthropology and the Will to Meaning a Postcolonial Critique. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  20. Kaj Århem (2000). Ethnographic Puzzles Essays on Social Organization, Symbolism and Change. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  21. Heidi Armbruster & Anna Lærke (eds.) (2008). Taking Sides: Ethics, Politics, and Fieldwork in Anthropology. Berghahn Books.
    This volume, written by a new generation of scholars engaged with contemporary global movements for social justice and peace, reflects their efforts in trying ...
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  22. O. I͡U Artemova (2009). Koleno Isava: Okhotniki, Sobirateli, Rybolovy Opyt Izuchenii͡a Alʹternativnykh Sot͡sialʹnykh Sistem.
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  23. Pamela J. Asquith (1999). The 'World System'of Anthropology and 'Professional Others'. In E. L. Cerroni-Long (ed.), Anthropological Theory in North America. Bergin & Garvey. 31--49.
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  24. Rita Astuti & Maurice Bloch (2012). Anthropologists as Cognitive Scientists. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (3):453-461.
    Anthropology combines two quite different enterprises: the ethnographic study of particular people in particular places and the theorizing about the human species. As such, anthropology is part of cognitive science in that it contributes to the unitary theoretical aim of understanding and explaining the behavior of the animal species Homo sapiens. This article draws on our own research experience to illustrate that cooperation between anthropology and the other sub-disciplines of cognitive science is possible and fruitful, but it must proceed from (...)
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  25. Rita Astuti & Maurice Bloch (2010). Why a Theory of Human Nature Cannot Be Based on the Distinction Between Universality and Variability: Lessons From Anthropology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):83-84.
    We welcome the critical appraisal of the database used by the behavioral sciences, but we suggest that the authors' differentiation between variable and universal features is ill conceived and that their categorization of non-WEIRD populations is misleading. We propose a different approach to comparative research, which takes population variability seriously and recognizes the methodological difficulties it engenders.
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  26. Rita Astuti, Jonathan P. Parry & Charles Stafford (eds.) (2007). Questions of Anthropology. Berg.
    Anthropology today seems to shy away from the big, comparative questions that ordinary people in many societies find compelling. Questions of Anthropology brings these issues back to the centre of anthropological concerns. Individual essays explore birth, death and sexuality, puzzles about the relationship between science and religion, questions about the nature of ritual, work, political leadership and genocide, and our personal fears and desires, from the quest to control the future and to find one's "true" identity to the fear of (...)
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  27. Marc Augâe (1995). Non-Places Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity.
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  28. Marc Augé (1999). The War of Dreams: Exercises in Ethno-Fiction. Pluto Press.
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  29. Marc Augé (1999). An Anthropology for Contemporaneous Worlds. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  30. Marc Augé (1998). A Sense for the Other: The Timeliness and Relevance of Anthropology. Stanford University Press.
    If the end of exoticism is one of the characteristics of our time, and if classical anthropology based its study of alterity on this exotic distance from the other, is anthropology still possible, and if so, to what end? The author uses these questions as a point of departure for a probing interrogation of ethnological practice, starting with Le;vi-Strauss. The author advocates an anthropology of 'proximity' in place of the usual anthropology of distance. He has studied such emblematic places of (...)
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  31. Marc Augé (1994). Le Sens des Autres Actualité de L'Anthropologie.
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  32. Marc Augé (1982). The Anthropological Circle Symbol, Function, History. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  33. Marc Augé & Tom Conley (2002). In the Metro. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  34. Corrado Augias (2009). Disputa Su Dio E Dintorni. Mondadori.
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  35. Robert Aunger (2004). Reflexive Ethnographic Science.
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  36. Diane Austin-Broos (2010). Quarantining Violence: How Anthropology Does It. In Jon C. Altman & Melinda Hickson (eds.), Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia. University of New South Wales Press. 136--149.
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  37. Hans A. Baer (1996). Bringing Political Ecology Into Critical Medical Anthropology a Challenge to Biocultural Approaches.
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  38. Johannes Balthasar (1991). Anthropological Ideograms. What Kind of Species is Man? Philosophy and History 24 (1/2):29-29.
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  39. Alan Barnard (2000). History and Theory in Anthropology. Cambridge University Press.
    Anthropology is a discipline very conscious of its history. Alan Barnard has written a clear, detailed overview of anthropological theory that brings out the historical contexts of the great debates, tracing the genealogies of theories and schools of thought. His book covers the precursors of anthropology; evolutionism in all its guises; diffusionism and culture area theories, functionalism and structural-functionalism; action-centered theories; processual and Marxist perspectives; the many faces of relativism, structuralism and poststructuralism; and recent interpretive and postmodernist viewpoints. This is (...)
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  40. S. R. Barrett (1989). On Anthropological Knowledge. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 19 (1):103-104.
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  41. S. R. Barrett (1985). Book Reviews : The Building of British Social Anthropology. By Ian Langham. Dordrecht: Holland, Boston: U.S.A., London: England: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1981. Pp. XXXII + 392. $72.50 (Cloth), $29.50 (Paper. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 15 (1):103-107.
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  42. Stanley R. Barrett (1996). Anthropology a Student's Guide to Theory and Method. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  43. Stanley R. Barrett (1984). Racism, Ethics and the Subversive Nature of Anthropological Inquiry. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 14 (1):1-25.
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  44. Stanley R. Barrett (1984). The Rebirth of Anthropological Theory. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  45. Richard Bauman (2001). Tradition, Anthropology Of. In N. J. Smelser & B. Baltes (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 15819--15824.
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  46. J. H. M. Beattie (1984). Objectivity and Social Anthropology. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 17:1-20.
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  47. A. Beaulieu (2004). Mediating Ethnography: Reflections on Ethnographic Practices and the Study of the Internet. Social Epistemology 18 (2-3):139-163.
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  48. Ernest Becker (1971). The Lost Science of Man.
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  49. Jeremy Beckett (2010). National Anthropologies and Their Problems. In Jon C. Altman & Melinda Hickson (eds.), Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia. University of New South Wales Press. 33--44.
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  50. Richard H. Beis (1964). Some Contributions of Anthropology to Ethics. The Thomist 28 (2):174.
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