Tradition as Truth and Communication: A Cognitive Description of Traditional Discourse

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 30, 1990 - Social Science - 143 pages
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Tradition is a central concept in the social sciences, but it is commonly treated as unproblematic. Dr. Boyer insists that social anthropology requires a theory of tradition, its constitution and transmission. He treats tradition "as a type of interaction which results in the repetition of certain communicative events," and therefore as a form of social action. Tradition as Truth and Communication deals particularly with oral communication and focuses on the privileged role of licensed speakers and the ritual contexts in which certain aspects of tradition are characteristically transmitted. Drawing on cognitive psychology, Dr. Boyer proposes a set of general hypotheses to be tested by ethnographic field research. He has opened up an important new field for investigation within social anthropology.
 

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Contents

1 Conserved worldviews or salient memories?
1
2 How to think with empty notions
24
3 Criteria of truth
46
truth without intentions
61
truth without meaning
79
initiation competence and position
94
7 Conclusions and programme
107
Notes
121
Bibliography
131
Index
138
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