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Toward a Perceptual Model of Folk Biological Classification

Eugene Hunn
American Ethnologist
Vol. 3, No. 3, Folk Biology (Aug., 1976), pp. 508-524
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/643769
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Toward a Perceptual Model of Folk Biological Classification
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Abstract

The notion of taxonomic structure has played a central role in recent descriptions and analyses of folk systems of biological classification. The increasingly apparent inadequacies of that notion as a model of folk classification processes justify a fundamental theoretical reorientation. Reasonably interpretable and formally adequate definitions of inductive classification (Postulate I) and of dissimilarities in a classification space (Postulate II) are more adequate than the taxonomic model for understanding patterns observed in folk biological classification systems. A non-rigorous extension of this "perceptual model" deals with the key problem of taxonomic ranks.

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