Neo-Boasianism, a form of critical structural realism: It’s better than the alternative
AbstractA good paper should have fortifying doses of reason and revelation. The revelation in this paper is the identity of ‘the alternative’ mentioned in the title. The article reasons that neo-Boasianism should be an approach of broad interest in anthropological research. Argumentation extends across two sections. The first section explains the merits of critical structural realism. Different sub-sections introduce the realism, structuralism, and critical science of critical structural realism, taking pains to compare it with postmodernism. The second section introduces neo-Boasianism, showing how it is a form of critical structural realism – one that permits analysis of connections between brain and social structural realms. The notion of a cultural neurohermeneutic system is advanced as a neurological structure allowing antecedent social action to be connected with subsequent action. Finally, revelation comes at the paper’s conclusion: it is shown what alternative neo-Boasianism is better than.