Anthropology 2
Image from Bernd Helfert

Anthropology was originally the scientific study of human culture, habits, beliefs, traditions, and origins when humans were the only sophont Terragens. Long ago the field was extended to cover sophonts in general.

Anthropology includes analysis of comparative sophont biology, memeticities (beliefs, customs, and local cultures), language, development, history, and so on. Anthropologists may specialize in a single culture or clade, or have a vast database that includes millions of cultures and subcultures. Often they have spent years or centuries of real or virtual time studying their favourite culture, clade, or phyle.

Sometimes the term is preceded by a suffix. To list just a few:

AI-anthropology - study of ai cultures
Comparative Anthropology - studies and compares different (even millions) clades or cultural differences.
Cyber-anthropology - includes the study of virtuals, cyberians and so on
Nano-anthropology - study of solid-state civilizations
Xeno-anthropology - study of alien cultures

  • Asymptote System  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A place where many species converge. Usually trading and network nexuses, and generally core systems for a Cooperative Venture.
  • Cymbiotic  - Text by John B
    Beings unable to self-reproduce without physical/nanotech manipulation of their bodies.
  • Ethnobotany - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Study of how plants are used in various (mostly prim, neo-prim, or bioborg) hu, tweak, splice, provolve, and xenosophont cultures.
  • Ethology  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from the original by Robert J. Hall
    Originally the study of animal behavior and psychology, especially in the wild; later came to mean the study of the behaviour of any sentient creature of at least one toposophic node below the level of the observer.
  • Political Science - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The branch of the social sciences concerned with the description and analysis of polities, government, politics, and political institutions and processes. Fields of study include political parties and ideology, types of government, administration, regulation, statecraft, foreign policy, war, civil rights, political thought, constitutions, historical politics (specializing in a particular polity or era), comparative politics, xenopolitics, the relation between people and government, or between lower toposophic citizens and higher toposophic sovereigns.
  • Sabinian Kalyptism  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Form of kalyptism that asserts all stable civilizations eventually disintegrate, according to specific variables.
  • Sociology  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on original by Robert J. Hall
    Branch of science dealing with the study of the societies of sentient beings.
  • Strong Convergence Hypothesis - Text by Nick Bostrom in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    The postulate that all sufficiently advanced cultures converge towards the same state. A rival hypothesis is the divergent track hypothesis.
  • Tachistorics  - Text by Jay Dugger
    Study of fast and hyperfast virch societies, especially those that simulate real-world conditions, by researchers living at conventional subjective speed. Or, more occasionally, the study of embodied societies by virch dwellers who have chosen a very slow subjective speed.
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
modified from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall
Initially published on 13 September 2001.

Additional Information