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Ethnobiological Classification:
Principles of Categorization of Plants and Animals in Traditional Societies
Brent Berlin

Paperback | 2014 | $52.00 | £43.95 | ISBN: 9780691601267
Hardcover | 2016 | $130.00 | £108.95 | ISBN: 9780691631004
354 pp. | 6 x 9
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A founder of and leading thinker in the field of modern ethnobiology looks at the widespread regularities in the classification and naming of plants and animals among peoples of traditional, nonliterate societies--regularities that persist across local environments, cultures, societies, and languages. Brent Berlin maintains that these patterns can best be explained by the similarity of human beings' largely unconscious appreciation of the natural affinities among groupings of plants and animals: people recognize and name a grouping of organisms quite independently of its actual or potential usefulness or symbolic significance in human society. Berlin's claims challenge those anthropologists who see reality as a "set of culturally constructed, often unique and idiosyncratic images, little constrained by the parameters of an outside world." Part One of this wide-ranging work focuses primarily on the structure of ethnobiological classification inferred from an analysis of descriptions of individual systems. Part Two focuses on the underlying processes involved in the functioning and evolution of ethnobiological systems in general.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Reviews:

"This well-researched and enthusiastically written book is a major contribution to ethnobiology.... This book is aimed at professional ethnobiologists, but it will also be of value to those who are interested in linguistics, systematics, psychological mechanisms, and the postmodernist debate."--The Quarterly Review of Biology

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