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The Anthropology of the Senses and Sensations

Jack Goody
La Ricerca Folklorica
No. 45, Antropologia delle sensazioni (Apr., 2002), pp. 17-28
Published by: Grafo Spa
DOI: 10.2307/1480153
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1480153
Page Count: 12
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The Anthropology of the Senses and Sensations
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Abstract

The activities of the senses are characteristic of the human species, and little average difference is apparent, though individual differences are. But culturally, the senses are conceived and emphasised differently in various cultures, with the conceptual inter-relationships being especially elaborated in written ones. As with images and other forms of representation, at various times and places human cultures have expressed doubts about the validity of sense data as a means of knowing about the world. Such doubts seem less prevalent in oral cultures, perhaps because they have not developed the more precise categorisation of sense experience that we find in written cultures (for example, the Aristotelian); and in any case writing always tends to make the implicit more explicit.

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