Hunter-Gatherers: Problems in Theory
Hunter-gatherers are problems in theory. Because that is so, the future of hunter-gatherer research will rest in large part on the extent to which it is grounded in a clear and concise body of theory. Not just any body of theory will do: To qualify it must contain, at minimum, both a general theory and a number of limited theories that illustrate the operation of the general theory in the presence of special circumstances. Such a framework is basic to all productive scientific investigation because facts never speak for themselves. For every “obvious” fact (e.g., the definition of “hunter-gatherer”), there is a theory that defines where that fact starts and stops, what its variation consists of, and what causes that variation. Until the theory exists, the fact as a scientific phenomenon (i.e., as useful data) does not.
KeywordsEvolutionary Ecologist Limited Theory Darwinian Theory Adaptive Logic Marxist Theory
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.