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Cannibal Metaphysics

Author : Eduardo Viveiros De Castro
ISBN : 1937561216
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 58.85 MB
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The iconoclastic Brazilian anthropologist and theoretician Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, well known in his discipline for helping initiate its “ontological turn,” offers a vision of anthropology as “the practice of the permanent decolonization of thought.” After showing that Amazonian and other Amerindian groups inhabit a radically different conceptual universe than ours—in which nature and culture, human and nonhuman, subject and object are conceived in terms that reverse our own—he presents the case for anthropology as the study of such “other” metaphysical schemes, and as the corresponding critique of the concepts imposed on them by the human sciences. Along the way, he spells out the consequences of this anthropology for thinking in general via a major reassessment of the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, arguments for the continued relevance of Deleuze and Guattari, dialogues with the work of Philippe Descola, Bruno Latour, and Marilyn Strathern, and inventive treatments of problems of ontology, translation, and transformation. Bold, unexpected, and profound, Cannibal Metaphysics is one of the chief works marking anthropology's current return to the theoretical center stage.
Category: Philosophy

Beyond Nature And Culture

Author : Philippe Descola
ISBN : 9780226145006
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 64.87 MB
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Philippe Descola has become one of the most important anthropologists working today, and Beyond Nature and Culture has been a major influence in European intellectual life since its French publication in 2005. Here, finally, it is brought to English-language readers. At its heart is a question central to both anthropology and philosophy: what is the relationship between nature and culture? Culture—as a collective human making, of art, language, and so forth—is often seen as essentially different from nature, which is portrayed as a collective of the nonhuman world, of plants, animals, geology, and natural forces. Descola shows this essential difference to be, however, not only a specifically Western notion, but also a very recent one. Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world and theoretical understandings from cognitive science, structural analysis, and phenomenology, he formulates a sophisticated new framework, the “four ontologies”— animism, totemism, naturalism, and analogism—to account for all the ways we relate ourselves to nature. By thinking beyond nature and culture as a simple dichotomy, Descola offers nothing short of a fundamental reformulation by which anthropologists and philosophers can see the world afresh.
Category: Social Science

The Ends Of The World

Author : Déborah Danowski
ISBN : 9781509503995
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84.20 MB
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The end of the world is a seemingly interminable topic Ð at least, of course, until it happens. Environmental catastrophe and planetary apocalypse are subjects of enduring fascination and, as ethnographic studies show, human cultures have approached them in very different ways. Indeed, in the face of the growing perception of the dire effects of global warming, some of these visions have been given a new lease on life. Information and analyses concerning the human causes and the catastrophic consequences of the planetary ‘crisis’ have been accumulating at an ever-increasing rate, mobilising popular opinion as well as academic reflection. In this book, philosopher Déborah Danowski and anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro offer a bold overview and interpretation of these current discourses on ‘the end of the world’, reading them as thought experiments on the decline of the West’s anthropological adventure Ð that is, as attempts, though not necessarily intentional ones, at inventing a mythology that is adequate to the present. This work has important implications for the future development of ecological practices and it will appeal to a broad audience interested in contemporary anthropology, philosophy, and environmentalism.
Category: Social Science

Notes On Love In A Tamil Family

Author : Margaret Trawick
ISBN : 0520912802
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 23.31 MB
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Love, as a force in human affairs, is still not given much attention or credency by social scientists. With Notes on Love in a Tamil Family, Margaret Trawick places the notion of love prominently in social scientific discourse. Her unforgettable and profusely illustrated study is a significant contribution to anthropology and to South Asian studies. Trawick lived for a time in the midst of one large South Indian family and sought to understand the multiple and mutually shared expressions of anpu--what in English we call love. Often enveloping the author herself, changing her as she inevitably changed her hosts, this family performed before the young anthropologist's eyes the meaning of anpu: through poetry and conversation, through the not always gentle raising of children, through the weaving of kinship tapestries, through erotic exchanges among women, among men, and across the great sexual boundary. She communicates with grace and insight what she learned from this Tamil family, and we discover that love is no less universal than selfishness and individualism.
Category: Social Science

Coyote Anthropology

Author : Roy Wagner
ISBN : 9780803268197
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20.95 MB
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Coyote Anthropology shatters anthropology’s vaunted theories of practice and offers a radical and comprehensive alternative for the new century. Building on his seminal contributions to symbolic analysis, Roy Wagner repositions anthropology at the heart of the creation of meaning—in terms of what anthropology perceives, how it goes about representing its subjects, and how it understands and legitimizes itself. Of particular concern is that meaning is comprehended and created through a complex and continually unfolding process predicated on what is not there—the unspoken, the unheard, the unknown—as much as on what is there. Such powerful absences, described by Wagner as “anti-twins,” are crucial for the invention of cultures and any discipline that proposes to study them. As revealed through conversations between Wagner and Coyote, Wagner's anti-twin, a coyote anthropology should be as much concerned with absence as with presence if it is to depict accurately the dynamic and creative worlds of others. Furthermore, Wagner suggests that anthropologists not only be aware of what informs and conditions their discipline but also understand the range of necessary exclusions that permit anthropology to do what it does. Sly and enticing, probing and startling, Coyote Anthropology beckons anthropologists to draw closer to the center of all things, known and unknown.
Category: Social Science

Vital Diplomacy

Author : Chloe Nahum-Claudel
ISBN : 9781785334078
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.69 MB
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In Brazil, where forest meets savanna, new towns, agribusiness and hydroelectricity plants form a patchwork with the indigenous territories. Here, agricultural work, fishing, songs, feasts and exchanges occupy the Enawenê-nawê for eight months of each year, during a season called Yankwa. Vital Diplomacy focuses on this major ceremonial cycle to shed new light on classic Amazonian themes such as kinship, gender, manioc cultivation and cuisine, relations with non-humans and foreigners, and the interplay of myth and practice, exploring how ritual contains and diverts the threat of violence by reconciling antagonistic spirits, coordinating social and gender divides, and channelling foreign relations and resources.
Category: Social Science

Christian Moderns

Author : Webb Keane
ISBN : 0520939212
Genre : Religion
File Size : 26.49 MB
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Across much of the postcolonial world, Christianity has often become inseparable from ideas and practices linking the concept of modernity to that of human emancipation. To explore these links, Webb Keane undertakes a rich ethnographic study of the century-long encounter, from the colonial Dutch East Indies to post-independence Indonesia, among Calvinist missionaries, their converts, and those who resist conversion. Keane's analysis of their struggles over such things as prayers, offerings, and the value of money challenges familiar notions about agency. Through its exploration of language, materiality, and morality, this book illuminates a wide range of debates in social and cultural theory. It demonstrates the crucial place of Christianity in semiotic ideologies of modernity and sheds new light on the importance of religion in colonial and postcolonial histories.
Category: Religion

Environmental Law And Governance For The Anthropocene

Author : Louis Kotzé
ISBN : 9781509906543
Genre : Law
File Size : 57.85 MB
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The era of eco-crises signified by the Anthropocene trope is marked by rapidly intensifying levels of complexity and unevenness, which collectively present unique regulatory challenges to environmental law and governance. This volume sets out to address the currently under-theorised legal and consequent governance challenges presented by the emergence of the Anthropocene as a possible new geological epoch. While the epoch has yet to be formally confirmed, the trope and discourse of the Anthropocene undoubtedly already confront law and governance scholars with a unique challenge concerning the need to question, and ultimately re-imagine, environmental law and governance interventions in the light of a new socio-ecological situation, the signs of which are increasingly apparent and urgent. This volume does not aspire to offer a univocal response to Anthropocene exigencies and phenomena. Any such attempt is, in any case, unlikely to do justice to the multiple implications and characteristics of Anthropocene forebodings. What it does is to invite an unrivalled group of leading law and governance scholars to reflect upon the Anthropocene and the implications of its discursive formation in an attempt to trace some initial, often radical, future-facing and imaginative implications for environmental law and governance.
Category: Law

Dark Shamans

Author : Neil L. Whitehead
ISBN : 9780822384304
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 90.43 MB
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On the little-known and darker side of shamanism there exists an ancient form of sorcery called kanaimà, a practice still observed among the Amerindians of the highlands of Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil that involves the ritual stalking, mutilation, lingering death, and consumption of human victims. At once a memoir of cultural encounter and an ethnographic and historical investigation, this book offers a sustained, intimate look at kanaimà, its practitioners, their victims, and the reasons they give for their actions. Neil L. Whitehead tells of his own involvement with kanaimà—including an attempt to kill him with poison—and relates the personal testimonies of kanaimà shamans, their potential victims, and the victims’ families. He then goes on to discuss the historical emergence of kanaimà, describing how, in the face of successive modern colonizing forces—missionaries, rubber gatherers, miners, and development agencies—the practice has become an assertion of native autonomy. His analysis explores the ways in which kanaimà mediates both national and international impacts on native peoples in the region and considers the significance of kanaimà for current accounts of shamanism and religious belief and for theories of war and violence. Kanaimà appears here as part of the wider lexicon of rebellious terror and exotic horror—alongside the cannibal, vampire, and zombie—that haunts the western imagination. Dark Shamans broadens discussions of violence and of the representation of primitive savagery by recasting both in the light of current debates on modernity and globalization.
Category: Social Science

Archeology Of Violence

Author : Pierre Clastres
ISBN : NWU:35556041258104
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63.14 MB
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Clastres's final, posthumous book on the affirmative role of violence in "primitive societies."
Category: Social Science