Tradition as Truth and Communication: A Cognitive Description of Traditional Discourse
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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abstract activities actual ancestors anthropological anthropologists apply argument aspects assume assumptions beliefs causal cause certain chapter claims cognitive common conceptions concerned consequence conservative considered consists contexts course criteria crucial cultural dealing deﬁnition described discourse discussion distinction divination divinatory domain effects empirical evur examine example expert explain expressed fact Fang ﬁrst focus formalised give given hand hypotheses idea implies important initiation instance institutions interpretation involved judged kind knowledge language listeners means mechanisms memory mentioned models namely natural necessary notion objects Obviously ordinary people’s persons positions possible precisely present principles problem procedures properties question reason relevant repetition representations represented result ritual seems sense sentence simple singular situations social societies speakers speciﬁc speech statements strong supposed theories things traditional interaction true truth understand usually utterances witchcraft