Explaining Human Origins : Myth, Imagination and Conjecture
Wiktor Stoczkowski, a palaeo-anthropologist, argues that the theories of human origins developed by archaeologists and physical anthropologists from the early nineteenth century to the present day are structurally similar to Western folk theories, and to the speculations of earlier philosophers. Reviewing a remarkable range of thinkers writing in a variety of European languages, he makes a convincing argument for this case. Even though the book criticises the lack of development in theories of human origins, its conclusion is optimistic about the power of the scientific approach to deliver more reliable theories - but only if the influences of popular discourse on its thinking are properly identified.
- Online resource
- 05 Jun 2012
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 7 tables
Table of contents
1. Introduction; 2. Prehistory and the conditioned imagination; 3. Anthropogenesis and science; 4. In search of causes; 5. A double game.
About Wiktor Stoczkowski
Wiktor Stoczkowski (b.1959) was trained as a prehistoric archaeologist and ethnologist and, later, as an historian of science. He is lecturer in anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, is director of Groupe de recherches sur les savoirs (EHESS) and research member of Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale. His publications include Anthropologie naive, anthropologie savante (1994), Aux origines de l'humanite: Anthologie (1996), and Des Hommes, des extraterrestres et des dieux (1999), and numerous articles.