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Apy_105_descrip_spring_07-1

Apy_105_descrip_spring_07-1 - APY 105 R K Dentan BLDG...

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APY 105   R. K. Dentan BLDG:  Fillmore 170 DAY: T Th BEGIN:12:30      END: 1:50 OFFICE: 177 Spaulding 4 Dentan's Office Hours:  T    11:30-12:30, 177 Spaulding 4,  1:50-   (depends on attendance) Coffee Shop down the hall from 170  Th  11:30-12:30, 177 Spaulding 4  1:50-  (depends on attendance)  Coffee Shop Th 17:15-18:45   Dr Bird’s Caribbean RastaRant  (3104 Main Street, 837-6426) and by appointment.     We'll announce TA office hours in class.  We make every effort to be  accessible, but it's  pointless if you don't make use of our availability.   While we  may have scheduling problems outside office hours, we don't have a lot of things  to do that we think more important than talking to you.   "The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstition or taboo". H. L. Mencken, right wing columnist of the 1920s. Summary This class introduces anthropology, a holistic understanding of the human  condition from biological, psychological and social perspectives.  What are the  limits of human freedom and societal variability as set by the history of the  species?  What can we get away with?  What’s bound to get us in trouble?  Those limits are biological and cultural.  One of the major issues throughout the  class is that adults have a "culture" which gives them answers to ordinary  problems, so that they don't have to think (e.g., about how a car works) but  believe that they know what's going on in their lives, rather than knowing that  they only believe.     To answer these questions, we need to know a lot and to rethink a lot of  what we think we know.  At some times the learning may seem irrelevant to our  daily lives, but it isn’t.  We need to know what adaptations to what ecological  conditions made us “successful” as a species.  We need to know that  evolutionary “success” is not the same as military victory or making a fortune in 
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stock market but just a matter of “differential reproduction” = having more (fertile)  offspring than one’s competitors.  And we need to recognize that that kind of  success can threaten our survival.   To understand who we are as animals, we need to look at our primate  cousins, that is, to begin studying primatology, a branch of physical anthropology.  That's what we'll spend the first five weeks talking about.  To understand what we  are as a culture, we need to look at people in other cultures.  That'll be the  second five weeks.  Only then, armed with this knowledge and a look at the past 
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