While their health has suffered enormously because of the arrival of the Europeans, it is assumed that Aboriginal people enjoyed good health before 1788. Using data collected from all parts of the continent, this 1995 book studies the health of Australia's original inhabitants over 50,000 years. It represents the first continental survey of its kind and is the first to quantify and describe key aspects of Australian hunter-gatherer health. The book takes a theoretical approach to Upper Pleistocene regional epidemiology and presents empirical data of the health of late Pleistocene and Holocene populations. Major categories of disease described are: stress, osteoarthritis, fractures, congenital deformations, neoplasms and non-specific and treponemal infections. The author also describes surgical techniques used by Aboriginal people. Offering fresh insight into the study of Australian prehistory and Aboriginal culture, this book will be accessible to specialists and general readers alike. It illuminates the origins of human disease, and will fill a gap in our knowledge of health in the Australasian region.
Toward a Metaphysics of Culture provides an initial, minimal, and original analysis of the concept of uniquely enlanguaged cultures of the human world and of the distinctive metaphysical features of whatever belongs to the things of that world: preeminently, persons, language, actions, artworks, products, history, practices, institutions, and norms. Emphasis is placed on the artifactual and hybrid nature of persons, naturalistic and post-Darwinian evolutionary considerations, and the bearing of the account on a range of disputed inquiries largely centered on the relationship between physical nature and human culture and between the natural and human sciences. The schema offered lays a foundation for a closer analysis of the human mind, cognition, interpretation, nomologicality, normativity, intentionality, realism, and related matters. The central thesis advances the heterodox notion, congruent with post-Darwinian studies in paleoanthropology, that the human person is a natural artifact, a functional transform of the primate members of Homo sapiens, by way of a complexly intertwined biological and encultured evolution, primarily dependent on the invention, transmission, and mastery of true language and the novel hybrid abilities that that makes possible. The emergence of persons is taken to be the obverse side of the mastery of language itself.
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