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Cognition and Tool Use: The Blacksmith at Work (Learning in Doing)by Charles M. Keller
Synopses & Reviews
Taking their inspiration from the ancient skill of blacksmithing, the authors of this book take a fresh look at the mental processes involved in the accomplishment of goals. They analyze the way people apply what they know in order to reach a particular end, whether it is material or conceptual, routine or novel. The authors, anthropologists Janet and Charles Keller, provide an account of human accomplishment based on a detailed study of contemporary blacksmiths. The cognitive realm of blacksmithing is of particular interest because it relies on visual imagery and physical virtuosity rather than verbal logic, the conventional yardstick of cognition.
Anthropologists Janet and Charles Keller provide an account of human accomplishment based on ethnographic study. Blacksmithing - the transformation of glowing iron into artistic and utilitarian products - is the activity they chose to develop a study of situated learning. This domain, permeated by visual imagery and physical virtuosity rather than verbal logic, appears antithetical to the usual realms of cognitive study. For this reason, it provides a new entrée to human thought and an empirical test for an anthropology of knowledge.
Anthropologists Janet and Charles Keller provide an account of situated learning based on the ethnographic study of blacksmithing. Through both concrete and abstract accomplishment, they demonstrate a dynamic dialectic between knowledge and practice which characterizes this specific trade and much of human behaviour.
Janet and Charles Keller provide an account of situated learning based on the ethnographic study of blacksmithing.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 181-194) and indexes.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; 2. Profile of artist blacksmiths; 3. The stock of knowledge; 4. Constellations for action; 5. Emergence and accomplishment in an account of production; 6. Imagery in ironwork; 7. Beyond blacksmithing.
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