Why anthropology is ‘true’ even if it is not ‘science

“A recent article in Inside Higher Ed documented the latest ‘issue’ in anthropology making its way around the Internet: anger amongst ‘scientific’ anthropologists that the executive board of the American Anthropological Association has rewritten the mission statement of the association and removed language which describes anthropology as a science.Now, I have no intention to defend the executive board of the AAA, and I have no objection to labeling myself a social scientist. However, I am concerned that objections to the new statement 1) do a bad job of understanding what ‘science’ is and 2) fail to understand that the knowledge anthropology produces can still be ‘true’ even if it is not ‘scientific’.”


12 Claims of the Verstehen Position

“However, not all philosophers agree with the ideal of unified science. They argue that the actions of human beings comprise a unique and ultimate category of events, and that therefore such fields as social psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science cannot be studied by the methods of the natural sciences (by which they usually mean physics).”