The book Reindeer herders’ thinking: A comparative research of relations between economy, cognition and way of life (Verlag Der Kulturstiftung Sibirien, 2021) is a result of more than 10 years of fieldwork in the tundras of Komi Republic and Nenets Okrug.
This book represents over a decade of research on the herding techniques and way of life of Komi and Nenets arctic nomadic reindeer herders who inhabit the Russian north and North-western Siberia. Reviewing current theories and models of human cognition developed in cognitive science, the authors’ build bridges between cognitive science and anthropology by presenting case studies that reveal and “demystify” cognitive mechanisms. In doing so, they challenge the field of anthropology by demonstrating fundamental weaknesses and debunking anthropological theories that ignore cognitive facts. This book exemplifies the contribution of anthropology to building greater understanding of human cognition. However, the authors argue that such an endeavor can only be achieved through embracing advancements made in other disciplines rather than ignoring their existence.