Monday, June 11, 2012

Cultural biases

Regardless of whom you think of as (more) correct and whether the language problem in science is real or imagined , from this essay one would have to conclude that people project the implicit assumptions of their culture even onto the animals they study.

Here is an article about Kinji Imanishi and his ground-breaking research in primatology ( Current Biology Vol 18 No 14, Tetsuro Matsuzawa and William C. McGrew )
Imanishi’s focus was to seek the evolutionary origin of human society. For him the central issue was society, and society had its own reality: it cannot be reduced to its constituent individuals nor just relationships among individuals. The society exists as a whole. This belief was the primary force for Imanishi sending the expeditions to study the society of monkeys and the society of chimpanzees in the wild.