Dwight Read

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July 2017 Structure & Dynamics 2017

Henrik, Structure and Dynamics 10(1), with your article, has now been published and is available online. Dwight Read

April 2017 Structure & Dynamics 2017

Much appreciated, Dwight. Here's the situation: Has the paper by Korotayev already been sent out for review? DW: no, but you're on top of that.

Egbert: Not sent out

Dear Dr. Korotayev,

Doug White has asked me to take over as Senior Editor of Structure and Dynamics due to side effects from his cancer treatment.

I just want to let you know that the change in editorship will not affect the schedule for publication of your paper, though I cannot yet give you a firm date for when the next issue of Structure and Dynamics will be published in 2017.

As incoming Senior Editor, I would like to thank you for your continued interest in publishing in Structure and Dynamics.

Sincerely, Dwight Read Many thanks, Dwight (Doug)


Forwarded Message --------

Subject: Re: two possibilities Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:42:36 +0000 From: Dwight Read <dread@anthro.ucla.edu> To: Doug White <douglas.white@UCI.EDU>

Doug, I’m sorry to hear that even with getting the cancer under control, there are still many physical side effects affecting your daily activities.

I can take over as senior editor of S&D as long as necessary.

Has the paper by Korotayev already been sent out for review? (DRW:no)

I assume the second paper, by Egbert, has not yet been sent out for review. (DRW:correct: no)

I’ll send an email to Korotayev to let him know that his paper is in the pipeline and that there is nothing that he needs to do.

I’m out of the country until May 7, but that won’t be a problem. Dwight

On 4/25/17, 9:12 PM, "Doug White" <douglas.white@uci.edu> wrote:

   my post-cancer endeavors are not working (not that I'm dying) but: Would 
   it be possible that you take over as permanent editor of Str&Dynamics? 
   Inviting whomever you want in addition?  I can give them access as 
   co-editors unless you want to do that step.
   
   I've also attached a new submittal that would follow the those that you 
   just finished.   No problem that its only one contribution,       
   leaving that contribution as the start of a next submittal (issue 10.1) 
   following from the one you just finished.

with Fischer

Cultural Grounding of Kinship new paper resolving the expansion problem addressed by Lounsbury and Scheffler.

with van der Leeuw

Biology is only part of the story ...

  • Dwight Read1,* and Sander van der Leeuw2
  • 1Department of Anthropology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
  • 2School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, PO Box 872404,
  • Tempe, AZ 85287-2402, USA

Biology is only part of the story ... The origins and development of human cognition constitute one of the most interesting questions to which archaeology can contribute today. In this paper, we do so by presenting an overview of the evolution of artefact technology from the maker’s point of view, and linking that development to some hypotheses on the evolution of human cognitive capacity. Our main hypothesis is that these data indicate that, in the first part of the trajectory, biological limits to cognitive capacity were a major constraint that limited technology, whereas, in the second part, this biological constraint seems to have been lifted and others have come in its place. But these are modifiable by means of conceptual frameworks that facilitate concept innovation and therefore enable learning, thereby permitting acceleration in the pace of change in technology. In the last part of the paper, we elaborate on some of the consequences of that acceleration. Keywords: cognition; artefact technology; innovation; evolution; cognitive constraints

Wiley?

Doug,Here is the paper to be considered for Wiley book. With regard to the terminology part of the paper, when I started out on the Hadza terminology I said to myself, “this is going to be the case where a generative algebraic structure does not work — a very strange kin term map.” Well, I was wrong. It all changes together very neatly with a simple male structure, a minimal female structure, a simple way female marked terms are introduced, and an interesting (and unexplained) cultural “add on” to the terminology, namely what appears to be an identification between ‘mother’s brother’ and ‘sister’s son’ vis the kin term for ‘mother’s brother’ being a self-reciprocal kin term. Big part of the paper is showing, exhaustively, the generation of the Hadza terminology. Comparison with !Kung San and Kariera terminologies are very striking —and used on a general set of steps for generating any kinship terminology, thus providing the basis for making a cross-cultural comparison at the level of the generating properties of a kinship terminology.

I’ve attached the paper with embedded figures as single pdf file, then the text of the paper as a word file with a word file for the one Table in the paper and a pdf file for the 8 figures in the paper. Dwight

The Extension Problem: Resolution Through an Unexpected Source 2-2016 Festshrift

  • "I said, indeed, that the science of colour was mathematical … the absolute certainty of a science cannot exceed the certainty of its principles…. And if these principles be such that on them a mathematician may determine all the phenomena of colours … the science of colour will be granted mathematical … (Sir Isaac Newton 1782[1672]: 342)1

Abstract Much of the writing of Harold Scheffler addresses the “extension problem” posed by a kin term having both close and distant genealogical referents. Scheffler, along with Floyd Lounsbury, tried to resolve the problem through formal equivalence rules, but this became mired down in whether the rules had cultural saliency. Nonetheless, their work implied that terminologies have an internal logic structuring the relationships among the meaning of kin terms. It is here where Scheffler’s work will leave an enduring mark. My Festschrift contribution begins where they left off, namely with the internal logic of kinship terminologies. I show how the extension problem is resolved when we change the existing ontological presumption that kinship relations go from procreation to genealogical relations to categories of genealogical relations to kin terms as labels for those categories to a new ontology that begins with the cultural knowledge culture-bearers bring to bear when they compute kinship relations directly from kin terms without reference to genealogical relations. Thus the extensions posited by Scheffler and Lounsbury are the logical consequence of the generative logic giving structure to a kinship terminology. Though I follow a different route than the one followed by Scheffler and Lounsbury, the solution I present for the extension problem validates Scheffler’s basic ideas.

Structure and Dynamics, called Back to Kinship II 2016

Dear Kinship Circle: The promised Special Issue of Structure and Dynamics, called Back to Kinship II, comprising a collection of articles covering many aspects of kinship, has now been published. The issue is dedicated to the memory of Kris Lehman. So using it in your classrooms would keep his memory alive. The link to the journal issue is http://escholarship.org/uc/imbs_socdyn_sdeas .

There are other news that we have received, including a publication on kinship by Doug Jones, titled "Socially enforced nepotism," published in PLoS http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155596 along with a blogpost on the article at https://logarithmichistory.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/beating-hamiltons-rule/ and a press release at http://unews.utah.edu/why-people-help-distant-kin/

Get ready for Washington DC, AAA 2017. In December we will be contacting everybody as we organize kinship session(s) for submission.

Be well, and never stop kinshipping,

Fadwa and Dwight

lHomme

2014 The cultural grounding of Kinship --also Dwight Read Kariera vs. Dravidian - The Generative Logic of Dravidian Language Terminologies

[http://ucla.academia.edu/DwightRead Books (4), Papers, etc.

Doug, July 2016 Just a heads up to let you know that two special issues are almost finished. One is the Special issue proposed by Rick Feinberg (from two years ago — papers had to go through major revisions) on Polynesian sailing and spatial relations (with Murray as the primary editor), and the other is Back to Kinship: Part II.

The first one on Polynesia should be ready to go within two weeks — just waiting for some minor revisions on one of the papers. The second should be ready in September

How should these be slotted into the publishing sequence for issues of S&D? Dwight

Home

Dwight W. Read

CV and webpage UCLA Home??

Editorial Board, Structure and Dynamics: Anthropological and Related Sciences

Dwight Read San Francisco 2012

SCCS variables

In an hypothetical world where one would code a series of variables for SCCS (even with lots of missing data, say for 40 societies) that deal with kinship - how would you code the differences. In one of your series you have three distinct types of kinship for example. How many exemplars of those three do you have. If we listed those that belonged to those sets of three, could we think of existing variables that might be predicted? Or existing variables that might predict variants of the three?

Kinship June 30 Afternoon 2016

We know that there are a number of constraints having to with the generation of a kinship terminlogy that limit the number of structures. For example, the South African group (name escapes me at the moment) with a Crow (or Crow-like) terminology that Radcliffe-Browne discusses has a structure based on a structure of male terms and a female self term (it was this terminology that led me to seeing how what we call the skewing of the terminology arises from having a female structure based only on female self). I was corresponding with Kris at the time and we were also discussing the Burmese terminology and its structure. It turns out these two terminologies are virtually identical as structures, but obviously no contact between the two groups, so not an instance of diffusion. Rather, it appears to be due to the restricted number of structures that are possible once one has a female structure with just female self at the level of a what are the primary generating terms. So we need to keep this in mind; that there will be terminologies that are very similar, or the same except possibly at the level of details, simply due to the limit range of possible structures.

As we move upward from the deepest level, additional variability enters through alternative ways that other structural properties are introduced; e.g., the distiction among Polynesian, Australian and Dravidian terminologies is with regard to how a structure of male terms and what is initially an independent structure of female terms is linked together to form a single structure. As we move still further upward, we have distinctions that begin to resemble properties that relate to what is happening at the phenomenal level; e.g., the Tongan terminology distinguishes between older/younger ‘brother of mother’ for reasons that appear to relate to their system of inheritance and not for structural reasons.

With the Polynesian terminologies, we have the best worked out example of a reconstructed historical sequence of terminologies going back (I argue) to two proto polynesian terminologies (there is no a priori reason to assume that the early migrants all had the same terminology, and structurally it is difficult to trace the polynesian terminologies back to a single proto-polynesian kinship terminology). This reconstruction is consistent with (but not identical to) the linguistic reconstructions that have been made going back to a proto-polynesian language. This was done by grouping polynesian terminologies through structural differences in the sibling terms and how these differences would be structural generated.

So a long answer to your questions is that you’ve raised a good point that requires we identify the structural level at which terminologies differ. My suspicion is that the deeper the structural level where difference is found, the less likely that the difference is functional. We know that terminologies are resistant, as it were, to change, especially at a deep structural level; there can be all kinds of change taking place in the society and the terminology remains pretty much the same. Supposedly the Japanese terminology has remained unchanged over the past 3,000 years. Thus I think that we would need to control of similarity at a deep structural level and then consider variability at a more surface level.

Actually from the viewpoint of how a kinship terminology is generated, the claim that bifurcate merging terminologies are ancestral, then through loss of equations became descriptive terminologies doesn’t make sense. You can’t just erase an equation; you would have to change the basis for that equation. Thus the equation FB = B and MZ = M is not an independent feature that simply be removed, but traces, I’ve argued, back to a notion of sibling as those who share common parents and where sibling is conceptualized as a primitive term. To erase this equation requires reformulating the notion of how siblings are conceptualized and literally starting over from scratch. Not that that cannot happen, but obviously it’s much more than the idea of erasing an equation as if it is an independent feature that can simply be added or removed.

By the way, I have 3 different kinship terminologies for huner-gatherrs only because I was focusing on recent work on h-g that largely ignores kinship (e.g., Hadza and Ache, and to some extent the !Kung San). If we add in the Netsilik we have yet another terminology structure, and if we include complex h-g such as the Cahuilla, we get yet another kind of structure — but a structure that does not predict, as it were, there social complexity. Actually, it is a terminology that is inconsistent with their social structure as they had a class moiety structure, with ancestral tracing to Coyote and Wildcat, but a terminology that (as I recall) is vertically bounded.

Dwight



From: Douglas White <douglas.white@uci.edu> Date: Friday, July 1, 2016 at 6:59 PM To: Dwight Read <dread@anthro.ucla.edu> Subject: Fwd: Re: will be sending packets of 3 or 1 chapters of the Wiley book starting with 000 00 01

   In an hypothetical world where one would code a series of variables for SCCS (even with lots of missing data, say for 40 societies) that deal with kinship - how would you code the differences. In one of your series you have three distinct types of kinship for example. How many exemplars of those three do you have. If we listed those that belonged to those sets of three, could we think of existing variables that might be predicted? Or existing variables that might predict variants of the three?

Kinship June 26 Afternoon 2016

Doug,

Early on, Kronenfeld actually did a kin term product (he called it a relative product, which is confusing since relative products have to do with kin type products, not kin term products) of the Fante terminology through making a complete Cayley Product table (he ran into associativity problems due to not recognizing that folks on the ground are not really perceiving kin term relations a an abstract algebra, but know about products of primary terms with other kin terms which is all that is needed for working out the generative logic of the terminology. He also did a Lounsbury rewrite analysis of the terminology, and commented that the former is how the Fanti think about, and talk about kin relations, and they do not do anything that resembles rewrite rules. Despite his own evidence showing that the Fanti think of kin term relations and not kin type genealogical relations, he rejected the kin term product analysis on the grounds that it did not provide universal units (obviously, since the Fanti kin terms are not a universal set of kin terms), whereas the rewrite rules based on a genealogical grid provides a universal way to represent (he claimed) kinship relations. In other words, he assumed that cross cultural comparison had to be done with units of measurement that applied universally, namely kin types. So even though his results showed that rewrite rules are not culturally salient (at least for the Fanti, but there is no reason that that same problems does not arise in general) — which Lounsbury and Scheffler recognized as critical for rewrite rules as they stated explicitly that unless the rewrite rules are culturally salient, then the rewrite rule analysis is just a formal game and shouldn’t be taken seriously — he assumed that universal units are necessary for cross cultural comparison.

The same problem arises in archaeology, where it has been argued that the units used for making a classification must be universal, hence measurement of artifacts should be done by an imposed measurement system with imposed divisions; e.g., the archaeologist decides that, say, length is a dimension that will be measure on all projectile points and decides on three length categories: short (10 –10CM) medium (10 – 20cm) and long (more than 20 cm), which then givens rise to a paradigmatic typology with (in this simplified example) 3 classes (if there are 2 [or more dimensions being measured, then make the classes by taking the intersection of all of the dimensions): short, medium and long. Then, the argument goes, we have a universal typology for projectile points that is objective and one in which the same units are being used regardless of the assemblage. The problem is that this is an imposed order, whereas what we want to make evident it the patterning imposed by the makers and users of projectile points, hence we want emic and not etic units. (These may seem obvious, but the idea of a paradigmatic classification is now deeply entrenched in how archaeologists think about typologies).

I don’t’ intend to get into all the above; just that the assumption made by Kronenfeld explicitly (and by archaeologists) and certainly at least implicitly by Lounsbury an Scheffler that one needs a universal system such as genealogy to ground cross cultural comparison ignores the fact that the level at which comparison is being made is not the right level. What appears to be universal is the logic by which a terminology is structurally generated, and even the primary kin terms may be universal in a structural/symbllic sense (e.g., every terminology has an ascending generator and a reciprocal defending generator, though only some terminologies have a sibling generator and in other terminologies a sibling term is generated rather than being primary, and so on), and where the real difference comes in is via the structural equations that express kinship concepts that are part of the kinship of a given group; e.g., for the Hadza, daughter of (brother of mother) is grandmother, where all of these are translations of their kin terms, and this equation is the consequence of the kin terms (brother of mother) being a self-reciprocal kin term— thus is appears that the relationship between make speaker and the man he refers to as brother of mother is a close one by virtue of this being a reciprocal relationship. So here we have a nice example of how what appears to be a kinship concept — the closeness of the relationship between male speaker and the man he refers to as brother of mother — has structural implications that, on the face of it seem “nonsensical” from a genealogical viewpoint, but the latter is solely due to ASSUMING the genealogical grid as primary, whereas what is happening with the Hadza terminology (and with Crow (or Omaha) terminologies in general, I suspect) is that the only generator for females in terms is female self, which means that there is not directly generated structure of female terms, hence there is no embedded generational distinction for the female terms. Absent any directly generated structure, that daughter of (brother of mother) is grandmother (where all of these are translations of Hadza kin terms, not genealogical kin types) is not contradictory of any primary structure since there is no primary structure for the female terms except a structure with exactly one node, marked by female self.

In other words, it is critical to bring out the fact that cross cultural comparison does not, as assumed by Kronenfeld and others) depend on universal units, but rather the units (in the case of terminologies, the primary kin terms for a particular kinship terminology) are emic and need not be identical across all terminologies, as what is common is the process by which structure is generated, not the primary units (though there is substantial agreement among terminologies at least for the units used to generate the ascending structure and the descending structure — through English uses parent, not moter and father, whereas the classificatory terminologies use ‘father’ and ‘mother’ as primary terms).

If you look at Morgan’s diagrams, despite the fact that he assumed procreation and marriage are THE basis for kin relations, he was concerned with the structure of kin terms, not how they mapped onto a genealogical grid; his diagrams are very close to being kin term maps.

What I mean by “contrast” is that at the level of behavior, a description of the !Kung San with regard to residence groups, how one gets access to resources and the like is virtually identical to the same kind of description for the Kariera and for the Hadza. So from this comparison we would say that the these three groups are very similar to one another. Indeed, if we go on to include various biological models such as optimal foraging and the like, we simply reinforce this conclusion. So if this is all we knew, what prediction would be make about their kinship terminology? From a biological kinship viewpoint, we would expect a hight degree of similarity in their kinship terminologies; indeed, the more biologically oriented folks would pretty much assume that the kinship terminology is essentially a means for recognizing biological kin — this is the human society solution to the biological problem of biological kin selection depending on some means by which the agent “knows” who ware one’s biological kin. For those who assume culture is more or less an overall over already existing behavioral patterns — themselves due to the kind of models that the biologically oriented folks work with — they would also predict substantial similarity among the kinship terminologies and how the terminology serves to identify biological kin relations. The contrast we find is that all such predictions are dead wrong. The terminologies are radically different, defined structure who are kin and in what way in very different ways, and so on. Conversely, if we started with the terminologies (here I’m also including marriage rules) and predicted how we might imagine the social organization of folks on the ground, etc., we would not predict that at the behavioral level there is little in the way of differences. So why this disjunction?

Dwight

Kinship June 26 Noon 2016

Doug, A while back, you asked me about possibly doing a version of the paper I did with Sander for this Handbook. I thought I replied, but it may be that I didn’t. I was not certain how that article would fit in a handbook on cross-cultural research, and had wanted to discuss what you had in mind in more detail. IN any case, now that I’ve seen the table of contents, there might be a paper I’ve being writing that is almost finished that might fit better with the handbook, assuming there is still time and space to add another chapter (which would not be a long chapter). What made me think of this is your comment in the Preface (?) noting that, perhaps surprisingly, few of the chapters deal with kinship. The paper I’ve been writing started out as a reaction to three hunter-gatherer groups (the Ache, the Hadza and to some extent the !Kung San) for which recent ethnographic work focuses largely on behavioral models and kinship systems are peripheral; e.g., Marlowe’s book on the Hadza has a short, perfunctory section on the (one!) Hadza terminology, but otherwise kinship doesn’t appear in the book, and as far as I can tell the folks working on the Ache have pretty much ignored kinship and there is no published terminology for the Ache. The !Kung San is a mixed bag as the original ethnographic work was done while kinship and social organization were primary organizing themes in cultural anthropology. Of course, if we turn to Australia, then we are in the heart of theoretical work on kinship systems and kinship terminologies. My idea for the paper was to take up the contrast between the fact that behavioral models for hunter-gatherers are not all that different, regardless of whether we are talking about the Hadza, the !Kung San or the Ache (or the Australians), and the fact that at the level of kinship terminology structure, the Hadza, the !Kung San and the Kariera have radically different (terminology) structures that do not correlate with differences in behavioral models for these three groups. This takes us back to the first cross-cultural research (in the west, at least, since Ibn Khaldun was doing the equivalent of cross-cultural comparisons and theorizing), namely the work of Lewis Henry Morgan. For Morgan, of course, the evolutionary modeling grew out of the cross cultural comparison of kinship terminology structures, whereas today the evolutionary modeling comes out of differences at the behavioral level. The idea, then, would be to pick up on Morgan’s not in of comparing kinship terminologies and show, at the level of a terminology viewed as a generative structure, the extreme differences among the Hadza, the !Kung San and the Kariera, even though from an ecological/adaptive argument they are not all that different from one another. The paper won’t provide answers as to why we can have extreme differences at the formal, cultural level of terminologies, yet few differences at the level of behavioral adaptations —to be frank, I don’t have answers! —but will highlight by looking cross culturally using two different levels: the phenomenal level of adaptive behavior and the ideational level of (terminological) cultural constructs, we get results that are about as opposite as is possible. The paper would be an example of showing an alternative to behavioral/quantitative cross cultural comparisons (which, I think, characterizes most of the papers in the Handbook) and how one can does a cross cultural comparison at the ideational level without getting trapped in the non-fruitful presumption that a prerequisite of cross-cultural comparison is the use of the same measuring device for all groups (which is a valid concern for quantitative comparisons), which leads to methodologies such as rewrite rules based on the presumption of genealogy as a universal framework for representing kinship relations that then led to the disastrous rejection by Schneider of kinship as a valid domain and the simplistic notions of the “new kinship” that somehow kinship relations are simply negotiated and determined performatively. In other words, what needs to be brought out is that cross-cultural comparison at the ideational level needs to be faithful to “their” ideas, concepts, and the like, thus the units must be “their” units, and comparison is not through quantitative measurements based on using the same units, but through comparability in how structures are generated.

6-30-16 DRW: This chapter is a go. If you drop that a “prerequisite of cross-cultural comparison is the use of the same measuring device for all groups” e.g., for kin relations, what different measuring devices might you employ here? (e.g., terms etc.?, Morgan’s work?) contrasts not quite clear yet. Can you define as yet some emergent types of cross-cultural variables as contrastive measuring devices?

In brief, the paper would use Morgan and his work as a starting point, then introduce the basic issue, namely the disjoint between the implications of phenomenal and ideational models for hunter-gatherer groups, then introduce the three groups to be compared (the Hadza, the !Kung San and the Kariera), next introduce how comparison of terminologies may be made at the level of differences in structure, then that comparison of structures may be made through the generative logic of each structure, next illustrate the idea of the generative logic of a kinship terminology through a detailed rendition of the structural logic of the Hadza terminology, next a comparison of the three terminologies through a kin term map for each terminology and how this relates to differences at the level of the generative logic, next the striking difference between what we observe at the ideational level versus the phenomenal level, and lastly the issues and unsolved questions that this poses — bringing us back to Morgan and the way his cross cultural comparison led to theorizing about the evolutionary origins of differences in kinship terminologies.…

Dwight

Kinship June 25 2016

Doug, A while back, you asked me about possibly doing a version of the paper I did with Sander for this Handbook. I thought I replied, but it may be that I didn’t. I was not certain how that article would fit in a handbook on cross-cultural research, and had wanted to discuss what you had in mind in more detail. IN any case, now that I’ve seen the table of contents, there might be a paper I’ve being writing that is almost finished that might fit better with the handbook, assuming there is still time and space to add another chapter (which would not be a long chapter). What made me think of this is your comment in the Preface (?) noting that, perhaps surprisingly, few of the chapters deal with kinship. The paper I’ve been writing started out as a reaction to three hunter-gatherer groups (the Ache, the Hadza and to some extent the !Kung San) for which recent ethnographic work focuses largely on behavioral models and kinship systems are peripheral; e.g., Marlowe’s book on the Hadza has a short, perfunctory section on the Hadza terminology, but otherwise kinship doesn’t appear in the book, and as far as I can tell the folks working on the Ache have pretty much ignored kinship and there is no published terminology for the Ache. The !Kung San is a mixed bag as the original ethnographic work was done while kinship and social organization were primary organizing themes in cultural anthropology. Of course, if we turn to Austalia, then we are in the heart of theoretical work on kinship systems and kinship terminologies. My idea for the paper was to take up the contrast between the fact that behavioral models for hunter-gatherers are not all that different, regardless of whether we are talking about the Hadza, the !Kung San or the Ache (or the Australians), and the fact that at the level of kinship terminology structure, the Hadza, the !Kung San and the Kariera have radically different structures that do not correlate with differences in behavioral models for these three groups. This takes us back to the first cross-cultural research (in the west, at least, since Ibn Khaldun was doing the equivalent of cross-cultural comparisons and theorizing), namely the work of Lewis Henry Morgan. For Morgan, of course, the evolutionary modeling grew out of the cross cultural comparison of kinship terminology structures, whereas today the evolutionary modeling comes out of differences at the behavioral level. The idea, then, would be to pick up on Morgan’s not in of comparing kinship terminologies and show, at the level of a terminology viewed as a generatie structure, the extreme differences among the Hadza, the !Kung San and the Kariera, even though from an ecological/adaptive argument they are not all that different from one another. The paper won’t provide answers as to why we can have extreme differences at the formal, cultural level of terminologies, yet few differences at the level of behavioral adaptations —to be frank, I don’t have answers! —but will highlight by looking cross culturally using two different levels: the phenomenal level of adaptive behavior and the ideational level of cultural constructs, we get results that are about as opposite as is possible. The paper would be an example of showing an alternative to behavioral/quantitative cross cultural comparisons (which, I think, characterizes most of the papers in the Handbook) and how one can does a cross cultural comparison at the ideational level without getting trapped in the non-fruitful presumption that a prerequisite of cross-cultural comparison is the use of the same measuring device for all groups (which is a valid concern for quantitative comparisons), which leads to methodologies such as rewrite rules based on the presumption of genealogy as a universal framework for representing kinship relations that then led to the disastrous rejection by Schneider of kinship as a valid domain and the simplistic notions of the “new kinship” that somehow kinship relations are simply negotiated and determined per formatively. In other words, what needs to be brought out is that cross-cultural comparison at the ideational level needs to be faithful to “their” ideas, concepts, and the like, thus the units must be “their” units, and comparison is not through quantitative measurements based on using the same units, but through comparability in how structures are generated.

In brief, the paper would use Morgan and his work as a starting point, then introduce the basic issue, namely the disjoint between the implications of phenomenal and ideational models for hunter-gatherer groups, then introduce the three groups to be compared (the Hadza, the !Kung San and the Kariera), next introduce how comparison of terminologies may be made at the level of differences in structure, then that comparison of srutcures may be made through the generative logic of each structure, next illustrate the idea of the generative logic of a kinship terminology through a detailed rendition of the structural logic of the Hadza termino[logy, next a comparison of the three terminologies through a kin term map for each terminology and how this relates to differences at the level of the generative logic, next the striking difference between what we observe at the ideational level versus the phenomenal level, and lastly the issues and unsolved questions that this poses — bringing us back to Morgan and the way his cross cultural comparison led to theorizing about the evolutionary origins of differences in kinship terminologies.

If it is either too late to add a chapter, or a chapter along these lines is not really what is needed, don’t hesitate to say so. Cheers, Dwight

General

Read, Dwight and Michael D. Fischer, F. K. Lehman (Chit Hlaing). 2014. The Cultural Grounding of Kinship: A Paradigm Shift. L'Homme, 210. pp. 63-89. ISSN 9782713224430. The Cultural Grounding of Kinship: A Paradigm Shift. L'homme 210:63-90. Kinship systems are conceptually grounded in culturally formulated idea-systems we refer to as kinship terminologies and through which the boundaries, form and structure of human social systems are culturally constituted. A terminology, contrary to a long-standing assumption in anthropology, is not based on a prior categorization of genealogical relations, as the latter is derived from the structural logic of the kinship terminology. The terminology structure, formally represented as an algebraic structure, can be generated from primary kin terms in accordance with a hypothesized universal theory of kinship terminology structures. Terminologies differ culturally according to the primary terms and equations used for generating them. This requires a paradigm shift from the received view of genealogy as the primary basis for kin relations to a new paradigm in which kinship incorporates both a kin term space expressed through a culturally constituted idea-system we refer to as a kinship terminology and a genealogical space constructed recursively using parent-child relations. Both of these spaces are grounded in a family space composed of parent-child, spouse and sibling positions.

[2013 how culture makes us human] What separates modern humans from our primate cousins—are we a mere blink in the march of evolution, or does human culture represent the definitive evolutionary turn? Dwight Read explores the dilemma in this engaging, thought-provoking book, taking readers through an evolutionary odyssey from our primate beginnings through the development of culture and social organization. He assesses the two major trends in this field: one that sees us as a logical culmination of primate evolution, arguing that the rudiments of culture exist in primates and even magpies, and another that views the human transition as so radical that the primate model provides no foundation for understanding human dynamics. Expertly synthesizing a wide body of evidence from the anthropological and life sciences in accessible prose, Read’s book will interest a broad readership from experts to undergraduate students and the general public.

"How Culture Makes Us Human is an intriguing book that I like very much. My appreciation stems from the author´s ability to explicitly outline the cognitive capabilities within various primate lineages in order to demonstrate qualities of mind that allow for a cultural kinship system to develop. The book should appeal to both the evolutionary theory camp and the culture-is-unique camp in anthropology (and the social sciences) because it implies that both sides have a point. Clearly written, the book also contains numerous useful figures and illustrations. I recommend it highly for use in both graduate and undergraduate anthropology courses pertaining to evolution, the primates, hunter-gatherers, and culture. See the full review: http://wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/cgi/showme.cgi?keycode=4333 "

- William Raymond Yaworsky, Anthropology Review Database

"Read argues for the emergence of enhanced cognitive abilities, and especially an increase in short-term working memory, as a driving force behind human behavioral evolution. The author reviews the diversity of social systems among Old World monkeys and chimpanzees, humans' closest living relatives, in an attempt to establish the foundation of human social organization. The book lead readers from an appreciation of the complexities of monkey and ape societies to an understanding of the sophistication of modern human communities; this transition is accompanied by an organizationl shift from biological kin selection to cultural group selection. Summing up: Recommended. Undergraduate students and general readers."

- A. Delgado Jr., CHOICE

"Dwight Read has brought his strong mathematical and logical skills to bear on the fundamental issue of what distinguishes cultural phenomena, both as systems and as evolutionary phenomena. Anyone concerned with 'what makes us human' will find new and important perspectives in this work."

- Henry Wright, University of Michigan

Reviews, of and by

Culture, Weak and Strong Reciprocity

Melissa Thompson's Review of "How Culture Makes Us Human" by Dwight Read

Anthro Commentaries re: Science

Critique of Game Theory

  1. Dwight W. Read; Catherine E. Read. [ 1970. A critique of Davenport's game theory analysis. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 72, No. 2. (Apr., 1970), pp. 351-355.
Davenport's attempt to analyze a Jamaican fishing village by means of a zero-sum, two-person game theory is shown to be invalid. A way to determine whether the village as a whole in fact maximizes profit and minimizes losses is then indicated.

New on Human Evolution and Cognition

  1. Read, D. 2004 The Emergence of Order from Disorder as a Form of Self Organization Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory 9: 195-225.
  2. Read, D. 2005 Change in the Form of Evolution: Transition from Primate to Hominid Forms of Social Organization. J. of Mathematical Sociology 29: 91-114.
  3. Leeuw, S. E. van der, D. Lane, and D. Read. 2009. The long-term evolution of social organization. In Complexity Perspective in Innovation and Social Change. Lane, D., Pumain, D., Leeuw, S.E. van der, and West, G. (Eds.), pp. 85-116. Springer: Berlin.
  4. Lane, D., R. M. Maxfield, D. Read and S. van der Leeuw. 2009. From population to organization thinking. In Complexity Perspective in Innovation and Social Change. Lane, D., Pumain, D., Leeuw, S.E. van der, and West, G. (Eds.), pp. 11-42. Springer: Berlin.
  5. Read, D., D. Lane, and S. van der Leeuw 2009. The Innovation innovation, in Complexity perspectives on innovation and social change. D. Lane, D. Pumain, S. van der Leeuw, G. West Eds. (Springer Verlag, Berlin) pp. 43-84.
  6. Read, D. (In Press). Reconstructing the Proto-Polynesian Terminology: Kinship Terminologies as Evolving Logical Structures. In Kinship Systems: Change and Reconstruction. P. McConvell and I. Keen, editors. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.
  7. Read, D. and D. Lane. 2008. Darwinian evolution—Broad enough for culture? Comment on Ingold and Mesoudi,Whiten and Laland (AT 23[2) and Reynolds (AT 23[5])]. Anthropology Today 24:26-27.
  8. Read, D. 2008. Working memory: A cognitive limit to non-human primate recursive thinking prior to hominid evolution. Evolutionary Psychology 6(4):603-638.
  9. Read, D. 2010. From Experiential-Based to Relational-Based Forms of Social Organization: A Major Transition in the Evolution of Homo sapiens. Chapter 10, in Social brain, distributed mind. R. Dunbar, C. Gamble and J. Gowlett, Eds. Pp. 203-234. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

KAES

KAES: Kinship Algebra Expert System

  • Read, Dwight W. 2008 (2007) "Kinship theory: A paradigm shift." Ethnology 46(4):329-365: An international journal of cultural and social anthropology, ISSN 0014-1828. Abstract: Despite the centrality of kinship in anthropological theorizing about human social systems, a satisfactory account for the conceptual basis of kin relations expressed in the form of kinship terminologies has only recently been worked out. The prior, long-standing assumption has been that the kin terms making up a kinship terminology have primary meaning as semantic labels for a classification of positions in an ego-centric, genealogical space and secondary meaning arising through metaphorical extensions. This assumption, however, runs counter to ethnographic observations regarding the way kin relations are calculated and leaves unexplained precisely what needs to be explained, namely the particular kin relations identified in a kinship terminology and the reasons underlying differences in the way the domain of kin relations is constituted when one compares one kinship terminology with another terminology. The received view of kinship terminologies as being derived from a genealogical domain has erred by not recognizing that a kinship terminology is a culturally constructed system of concepts with an underlying generative structure that determines the genealogical distinctions associated with kin terms and not the reverse. Analysis of the logic underlying the generative structure of kinship terminologies makes evident commonality across terminologies regarding the way the domain of kin relations is constituted and allows us to account for differences in properties of kinship terminologies by referring to this logical basis for the generation of a particular terminology. More broadly, the paradigm shift introduced by the discovery that kinship terminologies have an underlying generative structure leads to a far richer and more encompassing understanding of what is entailed by considering kinship in human societies to be based on a system of culturally constructed kin relations.
  • Read, Dwight W. 2008a. A Formal Explanation of Formal Explanation Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences 3(2): Article 4.
  • Read, Dwight W. 2008b. KAES: Kinship Algebra Expert System - Java program KAES: Kinship Algebra Expert System. Once you download the program, right click the *.jar file and Open with/Java.
  • Read, Dwight W. 2006. Kinship Algebra Expert System (KAES): A Software Implementation of a Cultural Theory. Social Science Computer Review 24(1): 43-67.
  • Read, Dwight W. 2003. A Kinship Parable. Human Complex Systems. eRepository Paper DWR2007
  • Read, Dwight W. 2001. What is kinship? in The cultural analysis of kinship: The legacy of David M. Schneider and its implications for cultural relativism. Edited by R. Feinberg and M. Ottenheimer, pp. 78-117. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Read, Dwight W. 2000. Formal analysis of kinship terminologies and its relationship to what constitutes kinship, in Mathematical Anthropology and Cultural Theory, vol. 1.
  • Read, Dwight W. 1984. An algebraic account of the American kinship terminology. Current Anthropology 25:417-440.
  • Read, Dwight W. 1974. “Kinship algebra: A mathematical study of kinship structure,” in Genealogical Mathematics. Edited by P. Ballonoff, pp. 135-160.

!Kung San Kinship Terms

!kung san terminology

Doug,

I've attached a kin term map for the !Kung san terminology. It should clarify the fact that this terminology has a structure unlike either that of a descriptive (single ascending generator) or a classificatory (ascending generator, sibling generator) terminology.

Note that the kin term map does not refer to the system whereby there are putative kin relations for each of the names in the list of names for males and for females in !Kung san society. That system of putative relations is (in my framework) a cultural instantiation of the kinship terminology structure and thus is neither causal with respect to that structure nor a logical consequence of the kinship terminology structure, but a system they have devised for the usage of kin terms.

The terminology structure only uses their notion that the name giver/name receiver relation, whereby a child is named for a close relative of the parents (with "rules" such as first born male almost always named for genealogical father's father, second born male usually named for genealogical mother's father, and so on -- these appear to be statistical regularities,not rules), establishes a conceptual identity between name giver and name receiver and the name receiver reckons kin relations from the position of the name giver. It is this identity between name giver and name receiver that links the two structures together.

Dwight

Archaeology

  • Read, Dwight W. 1990. "The utility of mathematical constructs in building archaeological theory," in

Mathematics and information science in archaeology. Edited by A. Voorrips, pp. 29-60. Bonn: Helos.

  • Read, Dwight W. 1989. Group structure, group decision making and conflict at /xai/xai waterhole. Unpublished Manuscript.

Innovation

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