Anpassung und Entwicklung in Evolution und Kulturwandel. Erkenntnisse aus der Wissenschaftsgeschichte für die Forschung der Gegenwart und eine Erinnerung an das Werk A. Bastians
(Ethnologie 14)
Wien: Lit Verlag 2004
465 pp., Euro 35.90; ISBN 3-8258-6817-6

Adaptation and development in evolution and cultural change. Insights from the history of science for present research - and remembering the work of A. Bastian
The first part deals with approaches of early German-language anthropology, giving Bastian´s theory a prominent place. The second part is devoted to the explanation of the relation between common cultural traits and differences, universal roots of being human, and cultural development. So, first Bastain´s system of ideas is portrayed including related historical background, followed by F. Ratzel´s contrasting program and the ensuing paradigmatic controversy. Then, the systems of pupils is discussed: F. Boas, L. Frobenius, and another chapter analyzes notions of history and development in followers: in ’cultural morphology´ and in ’cultural-historical´ approaches. Next, the concepts of adaptation and development in the historical context of early German-language anthropology is discussed. Chevron then describes the human condition and cultural development in other disciplines: biology, philosophy, and of Bastian´s system of ideas. The final chapter looks at ’universals and development´, and ­ to conclude - Chevron pleads for an anthropology that reflects on, and practices, the ongoing feedback between theory and practice (in order to avoid speculative systems), and she pleads for a unity of the ’human sciences´, that is, a concerted effort of anthropology and related fields, such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.

Keywords: Bastian, A., Ratzel, F., Boas, F., Frobenius, L., development, evolution, cultural change, human condition, theory and practice, practice and theory, universals s