Philosophical premises of functional anthropology

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 22 (3):357-369 (1992)
The philosophical roots of Malinowski's functionalism are in the academic circles of Krakow, where three figures seem to have exerted a particularly strong influence: Pawlicki, Straszewski, and Heinrich. The predominant trend in philosophy at that time was empiriocriticism, as developed by Mach and Avenarius. Also important were F. A. Lange's interpretation of Marburg neo-Kantianism. It should be noted that the historical philosophy field was extremely broad and diverse. Functionalism, a philosophically open concept, cannot be subordinated to any one philosophical system, although the "openness" of functionalism is not absolute but complemented by its "closedness" to certain other philosophies. Praxism pervades functionalist theory and even creates its foundation. Malinowski approach is entirely scientific, but functionalism is never just empirical. Malinowski realized that pure experience is as impossible as pure reasoning.
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