Cognitive Anthropology

Cognitive Anthropology

A cornerstone of human development is the process by which we create and recreate meaning for ourselves, in our children, and in our culture.  Psychologists, linguists, and others have attempted to construct understandings of cognitive processes, of language, and of shared public knowledge or culture.  Anthropologists bring a much needed comparative focus to the study of cognition, language, meaning production, knowledge representation, cultural models, emotions, and motivation.  By evaluating cross-cultural data from kinship analyses, linguistics, myth, taxonomies, ethnobotony, metaphor, discourse, and other sources, anthropology offers a more universal picture of meaning and its representation in thought and expression.  This cross-cultural perspective fosters in our students a respect and appreciation of cultural differences, while providing at the same time a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.

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