Culture and Cognition

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Science  02 Feb 1962:
Vol. 135, Issue 3501, pp. 351-357
DOI: 10.1126/science.135.3501.351


Anthropologists are turning their attention to the cognitive structures which are basic to customary behavior in society (24). In general, these studies work to expose the abstract calculus underlying the specific content of behavior by the use of a symbolic notation and the application of available logical-mathematical models as hypotheses. Particular attention has been paid to the semantic analysis of folk taxonomies, such as kinship terminologies, but formal analysis of other aspects of culture, such as values, the program of behavior released in particular situations, and folk science, is also a promising area of work. The principles of the metacalculi to which the diverse cognitive structures of individuals sum in stable social systems are, then, to be regarded as principles of sociocultural organization itself.