Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (3):384-395 (1995)
Robin Horton has studied modes of thought for decades. His attitude is strongly "intellectualist" and directed against "symbolic" interpretation in anthropology A contrast between these two standpoints is regarded in this paper as axiomatic, derived from worldview assumptions presented as a scientific debate. Divergences concern isssues such as the objective status of human cognition, the degree of rationality of a given thought system, and the desirable status of anthropological interpretations of human thought. Horton's standpoint is criticized, mainly his views on the universality of standards of rationality established in the West, and the presentism of his "cognitive foundationalism," which claims that cognition is the primary function of any thought/belief system. His intellectualist position is placed in the context of contemporary postmodern anthropological discourses.
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