Anthropology As A Humanistic Science

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To quote from Eric Wolf’s book entitled Anthropology, he describes Anthropology as “both the most scientific of all humanities and the most humanistic of all the sciences” (88). As a social science, Anthropology can easily be classified as one of the most scientific of all humanities because it is the study of social behavior and applies scientific principles to have a better understanding of human behavior and the like. The other description made by Wolf is how it is considered to be the most humanistic of all sciences, which will be the focus of this paper.

Conrad Phillip Kottak, the author of Anthropology: Appreciating Human Diversity, discusses that what makes anthropology a humanistic science is because it is “devoted to discovering,
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Wright Mills' idea of sociological imagination. It seeks to understand how history affects events that are experienced by society, in which people become aware of their social positions and how one's experiences are connected to the ones of the society. What makes this idea of Mills humanistic is the fact that it delves into how people are interconnected. As social beings, one's experiences can affect the whole society and vice versa; thus, a part of understanding what it means to become human is seeing how individuals are connected to various aspects such as history and even the people around…show more content…
Humanism is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as a system of values and beliefs that is based on the idea that people are basically good an that problems can be solved using reason instead of religion and stresses and individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. Toni Flores Fratto says: “The central focus, as we see it, of humanistic anthropology is the individual human being. Not culture, be it noted, and not society, which are vital and indispensable concepts but, after all, ultimately mediating factors. No, the focus is on the individual and, more specifically, on the individual’s striving for freedom and creativity within the confines and opportunities of nature, culture, and society” (“What is Humanistic Anthropology?”). The concept of humanistic anthropology is an important aspect to understand what makes anthropology humanistic by focusing on an individual’s experiences, capabilities, and
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