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will be given by

Professor Ian Hacking, Professor Emeritus at University of Toronto

“The Anthropology (and Archaeology) of Numbers”

Friday 14 September 2012, at 5pm (approximately) in the Stevenson Theatre, Clore Education Centre, the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

The lecture will be preceded by the RAI’s AGM. All are welcome to the AGM; only RAI Fellows may vote.

The event is free, but places must be booked. Please email Amanda Vinson on admin@therai.org.uk to book your place.


We are, among many other things, the mathematical animal. That is a fact about human nature, a fitting subject for anthropology to address. How did mathematics become possible for a species like ours, in a world like this one? That is a question in ecological history, and prehistory, to which many disciplines are now offering fragmentary answers—cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, neurology, and developmental psychology, for example, but also the history of science. I shall discuss how ethnography and ‘the archaeology of mind’ can contribute to understanding this aspect of being human.