Thick description, fat syntax, and alternative conceptual systems

Pragmatics and Cognition 5 (1):131-162 (1997)

Abstract

Many philosophers have claimed that intentional ascription is not possible if alien peoples are truly radically different from ourselves. At the same time, many anthropologists have claimed that the people they study think very differently from the way that we do. I claim that it is possible for both the anthropologists and the philosophers to be right. Giving intentional descriptions is problematic for people unlike ourselves, but anthropologists can, and do give good descriptions of alien mental states using descriptions not unlike those given in certain formulations of cognitive psychology.

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Todd Jones
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Uncovering "Cultural Meaning": Problems and Solutions.Todd Jones - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):247 - 268.

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