Science, ethnoscience, and ethnocentrism

Philosophy of Science 49 (2):236-250 (1982)
The conventionalist epistemology of cultural anthropology can be seen to be embedded in the methods of 'cognitive anthropology', the study of folk conceptual systems. These methods result in indiscriminately depicting all folk systems as conventional, whether or not the systems are intended by the native to represent objective features of the world. Hypothetical and actual ethnographic situations are discussed. It is concluded that the anthropologist's projection of his/her own epistemology onto a native system is ethnocentric. This epistemological prejudice may be peculiar to the cognitive sciences
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