In this Book

Ethnobiological Classification
summary

A founder of and leading thinker in the field of modern ethnobiology looks at the widespread regularities in the classification and naming of plants and animals among peoples of traditional, nonliterate societies--regularities that persist across local environments, cultures, societies, and languages. Brent Berlin maintains that these patterns can best be explained by the similarity of human beings' largely unconscious appreciation of the natural affinities among groupings of plants and animals: people recognize and name a grouping of organisms quite independently of its actual or potential usefulness or symbolic significance in human society. Berlin's claims challenge those anthropologists who see reality as a "set of culturally constructed, often unique and idiosyncratic images, little constrained by the parameters of an outside world." Part One of this wide-ranging work focuses primarily on the structure of ethnobiological classification inferred from an analysis of descriptions of individual systems. Part Two focuses on the underlying processes involved in the functioning and evolution of ethnobiological systems in general.

Originally published in 1992.

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Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xvii
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  1. Part 1: Plan
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. On the Making of a Comparative Ethnobiology
  2. pp. 3-51
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  1. 2. The Primacy of Generic Taxa in Ethnobiological Classification
  2. pp. 52-101
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  1. 3. The Nature of Specific Taxa
  2. pp. 102-133
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  1. 4. Natural and Not So Natural Higher-Order Categories
  2. pp. 134-196
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  1. Part 2: Process
  2. pp. 197-198
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  1. 5. Patterned Variation in Ethnobiological Knowledge
  2. pp. 199-231
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  1. 6. Manchiing and Bikua: The Nonarbitrariness of Ethnobiological Nomenclature
  2. pp. 232-259
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  1. 7. The Substance and Evolution of Ethnobiological Categories
  2. pp. 260-290
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  1. References
  2. pp. 291-308
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  1. Author Index
  2. pp. 309-312
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  1. Index of Scientific Names
  2. pp. 313-321
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  1. Index of Ethnobiological Names
  2. pp. 322-330
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  1. Subject Index
  2. pp. 331-335
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