Top Anthropologist Quotes

Browse top 34 famous quotes and sayings about Anthropologist by most favorite authors.

Favorite Anthropologist Quotes

1. "The gods have fled, I know. My sense is the gods have always been essentially absent. I do not believe human beings have played games or sports from the beginning merely to summon or to please or to appease the gods. If anthropologists and historians believe that, it is because they believe whatever they have been able to recover about what humankind told the gods humankind was doing. I believe we have played games, and watched games, to imitate the gods, to become godlike in our worship of eachother and, through those moments of transmutation, to know for an instant what the gods know."
Author: A. Bartlett Giamatti
2. "Maiz which was well tasted, bak'd, dry'd and made into flour." In the same week, they saw some Taino Indians sticking cylinders of smoldering weed in their mouths, drawing smoke into their chests, and pronouncing the exercise satisfying. Columbus took some of this odd product home with him, too. And so began the process known to anthropologists as the Columbian Exchange—the transfer of foods and other materials from the New World to the Old World and vice versa."
Author: Bill Bryson
3. "You get one experience of a thing when you look along it and another when you look at it. Which is the "true" or "valid" experience? Which tells you most about the thing? And you can hardly ask the question without noticing that for the last fifty years or so everyone has been taking the answer for granted. It has been assumed without discussion that if you want the true account of religion you must go, not to religious people, but to anthropologists; that if you want the true account of sexual love you must go, not to lovers, but to psychologists... The answer is that we must never allow the rot to begin. We must, on pain of idiocy, deny from the very outset the idea that looking at is, by its own nature, intrinsically truer or better than looking along. One must look both along and at everything."
Author: C.S. Lewis
4. "Anthropologist Donald Symons is as amazed as we are at frequent attempts to argue that monogamous gibbons could serve as viable models for human sexuality, writing, "Talk of why (or whether) humans pair bond like gibbons strikes me as belonging to the same realm of discourse as talk of why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings."
Author: Cacilda Jethá
5. "The Yale anthropologist Weston La Barre goes far as to argue that `a surprisingly good case could be made that much of culture is hallucination` and that `the whole intent and function of ritual appears to be... a group wish to hallucinate reality`."
Author: Carl Sagan
6. "We have known for a long time that Prince Charles' empty sails are so rigged as to be swelled by any passing waft or breeze of crankiness and cant. He fell for the fake anthropologist Laurens van der Post. He was bowled over by the charms of homeopathic medicine. He has been believably reported as saying that plants do better if you talk to them in a soothing and encouraging way."
Author: Christopher Hitchens
7. "Marriage," "mating," and "love" are socially constructed phenomena that have little or no transferable meaning outside any given culture. The examples we've noted of rampant ritualized group sex, mate-swapping, unrestrained casual affairs, and socially sanctioned sequential sex were all reported in cultures that anthropologists insist are monogamous simply because they've determined that something they call "marriage" takes place there. No wonder so many insist that marriage, monogamy, and the nuclear family are human universals. With such all-encompassing interpretations of the concepts, even the prairie vole, who "sleeps with anyone," would qualify."
Author: Christopher Ryan
8. "Younger anthropologists have the notion that anthropology is too diverse. The number of things done under the name of anthropology is just infinite; you can do anything and call it anthropology."
Author: Clifford Geertz
9. "Fawcett could never take the final leap of a modern anthropologist and accept that complex civilizations were capable of springing up independently of each other."
Author: David Grann
10. "It's a common mistake for vacationing Americans to assume that everyone around them is French and therefore speaks no English whatsoever. [...] An experienced traveler could have told by looking at my shoes that I wasn't French. And even if I were French, it's not as if English is some mysterious tribal dialect spoken only by anthropologists and a small population of cannibals."
Author: David Sedaris
11. "This was the most important discovery I had ever made in my life. It was a discovery which has irrevocably changed my whole life's direction. It immediately elevated me to the status of one of the world's leading anthropologists."
Author: Donald Johanson
12. "In one ear the anthropologist (daughter): how are you? meaning: stay alive. In the other the artist (mother): I don't know. meaning: prepare to die, and transmit."
Author: Erin Moure
13. "The historical development of the work of anthropologists seems to single out clearly a domain of knowledge that heretofore has not been treated by any other science."
Author: Franz Boas
14. "It is to the Riddle of the Sphinx that I have devoted fifty years of professional life as an anthropologist."
Author: Gregory Bateson
15. "I specialise in taking teams of designers, psychologists, usability experts, sociologists and ethnographers into the field. It's called 'corporate anthropology,' but personally I'm more comfortable with 'design research,' because I'm not an anthropologist by training."
Author: Jan Chipchase
16. "• "To us today, it is tempting to ask why societies with early writing systems accepted the ambiguities that restricted writing to a few functions and a few scribes. But even to pose that question is illustrate the gap between ancient perspectives and our own expectations of mass literacy. The intended restricted uses of early writing provided a positive disincentive for devising less ambiguous writing systems. The kings and priests of ancient Sumer wanted writing to be used by professional scribes to recorded numbers of sheep owed in taxes, not by the masses to write poetry and hatch plots. As the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss put it, ancients writing's main function was "to facilitate the enslavement of other human beings." Personal uses of writing by nonprofessionals came only much later, as writing systems grew simpler and more expressive"
Author: Jared Diamond
17. "Today, what's normal is being redefined: from vaginal birth to surgical birth; from 'My water broke,' to 'Let's break your water;' from 'It's time' to 'It's time for the induction.' As medical anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd writes, 'in the early twenty-first century, we do not know what normal birth is.' Most practicing obstetricians have never witnessed an unplugged birth that wasn't an accident. Women are even beginning to deny normal birth to themselves: if 'normal' means being induced, immobilized by wires and tubes, sped up with drugs, all the while knowing that there's a good chance of surgery, well, might as well just cut to the chase, so to speak. 'Just give me a cesarean,' some are saying. And who can blame them? They want to avoid what they think of as normal birth."
Author: Jennifer Block
18. "Karen told me about an old woman who was the last surviving inhabitant of one of the Hermit Islands. She was the only one left who could speak her tribe's language, but the anthropologists didn't realize it and never bothered to learn it from her. When the old woman died, the language died with her."
Author: Jerzy Kosiński
19. "I am an anthropologist who lost faith in her own method, who stopped believing that observable activity defined anthropos."
Author: Joan Didion
20. "My tastes, like my bones, fossilized decades ago. Reach a certain age and you are obliged to become an anthropologist. It's the only way to ignore that the rest of the world regards you as an artifact, that your culture has faded beyond the horizon, leaving you adrift on your tiny, solitary life raft."
Author: Julia Glass
21. "I grew up certain for a while that I was going to be an anthropologist, until film turned my head."
Author: Ken Burns
22. "The belief that every living thing has an individual soul is called animism. (Anima, which means 'soul,' is also the root of the word 'animal.') Anthropologists have found this belief to be universal in children, though the children themselves don't think of it as a belief. It is, to them, one of the most obvious features of the world around them, and the most obvious way of interpreting what goes on in that world."
Author: Linda Bender
23. "Most Kikuyu marriages were arranged on the basis of what is described by anthropologists as the bride price."
Author: Louis Leakey
24. "We may think that it makes sense to compare the Americans and the Yoruba because there is a Yoruba polity and an American (U.S.) nation. But note that these are historical, purposeful constructions. They are not the effect of some natural similarity. Indeed, if we look at people's actual behavior and representations in either group, we will find that quite a lot of what they do and think can be observed outside these groups. Many norms and ideas of American farmers are more common to farmers than to Americans; many norms and ideas of Yoruba businessmen are more common among businesspeople than among the Yoruba. This confirmed what anthropologists had long suspected, that the choice of human groupings for cultural comparisons is not a natural or scientific choice, but a political one."
Author: Pascal Boyer
25. "Perhaps the most mysterious of all mammals is the male Homo sapiens. Indeed, many anthropologists classify the group as a subspecies."
Author: Patricia Marx
26. "The classical anthropological question, What is man?—"how like an angel, this quintessence of dust!"—is not now asked by anthropologists. Instead, they commence with a chapter on Physical Anthropology and then forget the whole topic and go on to Culture."
Author: Paul Goodman
27. "In truth, philosophy is the mode of thought shaped by the most radical form of prejudice: the passion of being-in-the-world. With the sole exception of specialists in the field, virtually everyone senses that anything which offers less than this passion play remains philosophically trivial. Cultural anthropologists suggest the appealing term 'deep play' for the comprehensively absorbing preoccupations of human beings. From the perspective of a theory of the practising life we would add: the deep plays are those which are moved by the heights."
Author: Peter Sloterdijk
28. "Show me a cultural relativist at 30,000 feet and I'll show you a hypocrite ... If you are flying to an international congress of anthropologists or literary critics, the reason you will probably get there - the reason you don't plummet into a ploughed field - is that a lot of Western scientifically trained engineers have got their sum right."
Author: Richard Dawkins
29. "Anthropologists say that in every culture in history, children have played the game hide and seek."
Author: Rob Brezsny
30. "Customs tell a man who he is, where he belongs, what he must do. Better illogical customs than none; men cannot live together without them. From an anthropologist's view, 'justice' is a search for workable customs."
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
31. "Mental patterns do not originate out of inorganic nature. They originate out of society, which originates out of inorganic nature. And, as anthropologists know so well, what a mind thinks is as dominated by biological patterns as social patterns are dominated by biological patterns and as biological patterns are dominated by inorganic patterns. There is no direct scientific connection between mind and matter. As the atomic scientist, Niels Bohr, said, "We are suspended in language." Our intellectual description of nature is always culturally derived."
Author: Robert M. Pirsig
32. "And when they found our shadowsGrouped around the TV setsThey ran down every leadThey repeated every testThey checked out all the data on their listsAnd then the alien anthropologistsAdmitted they were still perplexedBut on eliminating every other reasonFor our sad demiseThey logged the only explanation leftThis species has amused itself to death"
Author: Roger Waters
33. "The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee."
Author: Terry Pratchett
34. "When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white men came, an Indian said simply "Ours."
Author: Vine Deloria Jr.

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We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going... Concentrate on something useful."
Author: Arnold Bennett

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