Abracadabra: Language, Memory, Representation


Reprise and Coda: The Anthropology of Science and Rationality

The course began here, here and here with the proposition that science and technology can be studied in the same way anthropologists study the exotic and magical rituals of aborigines, trobriand islanders or eskimos.

In particular, that the essential components: language, memory and writing should be so studied.

For those of you who do not plan to forget this material upon leaving the class room today, here are some things to ponder:

  • Consider whether a science aware of its own history and constitution is more scientific than one without...
  • If science is not destined to develop only one way, consider what and who is responsible for its development...
  • Always learn from failures in science, never dismiss them as mad, unreasonable, or less intelligent than putative successes...
  • Remember that memory is not just storage. Write it down if you must.
  • Reconsider whether Quincy is a vampire.

For those interested in taking another, more indepth class, consider: Anthropology 455: Introduction to Science and Technology Studies.

For those of you interested in keeping a complete copy of these lectures, there is an archive here.

Christopher M. Kelty
Last modified: Fri Apr 25 09:54:24 CDT 2003