Symbolism and literalism in anthropology

D'Agostino, FB and Burdick, HR (1982) Symbolism and literalism in anthropology. Synthese, 52 2: 233-265. doi:10.1007/BF00869195


Author D'Agostino, FB
Burdick, HR
Title Symbolism and literalism in anthropology
Journal name Synthese   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0039-7857
1573-0964
Publication date 1982-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/BF00869195
Volume 52
Issue 2
Start page 233
End page 265
Total pages 33
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Abstract We have considered two strategies for using native utterances as evidence for assigning native beliefs. We have shown that each of these two strategies (literalism and symbolism) can avoid the logical difficulties mentioned in section 1 - so long, at least, as we employ an account of the logical form of belief sentences developed by Burdick. We have also considered the methodological principles which provide the basis for translational practice. Based on our consideration of these principles, we then argued that we must prefer the literalist strategy for attributing beliefs. Only the literalist strategy enables us to provide a recursive account of the significance of native utterances, and only the literalist strategy enables us to maximize the truth of our claims about native beliefs.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Publications
 
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