Atran's biodiversity parser: Doubts about hierarchy and autonomy

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):576-577 (1998)

Abstract
Atran argues that an autonomous ethnobiological information-processing module exists. This module imputes a “deep causal essence” to folk-biological taxa and uses a hierarchy of taxonomic ranks. I argue that Atran's own data suggest that rank is not an essential feature of the ethnobiological module, and that ethnobiological causal essences may be generalized to other domains and vice versa, limiting its autonomy.
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DOI 10.1017/s0140525x98301272
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