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Showing papers in "Hau: The Journal of Ethnographic Theory in 2014"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that to attribute "ethnographicness" to encounters with those among whom we carry on our research, or more generally to fieldwork, is to undermine both the ontological commitment and the educational purpose of anthropology as a discipline, and of its principal way of working.
Abstract: Ethnography has become a term so overused, both in anthropology and in contingent disciplines, that it has lost much of its meaning. I argue that to attribute “ethnographicness” to encounters with those among whom we carry on our research, or more generally to fieldwork, is to undermine both the ontological commitment and the educational purpose of anthropology as a discipline, and of its principal way of working—namely participant observation. It is also to reproduce a pernicious distinction between those with whom we study and learn, respectively within and beyond the academy. Anthropology’s obsession with ethnography, more than anything else, is curtailing its public voice. The way to regain it is through reasserting the value of anthropology as a forward-moving discipline dedicated to healing the rupture between imagination and real life.

393 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that Latour's semiotics are functionalist in a way that mimics industrial logic, discounting both the production of hierarchical differentiation within a given system, and the system's externalizations.
Abstract: I situate Latour’s latest project—An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (AIME)—in the context of late industrialism and query both its conceptual underpinnings and the design of its digital platform. I argue that Latour’s semiotics (and associated conceptions of both networks and ontologies) are functionalist in a way that mimics industrial logic, discounting both the production of hierarchical differentiation within a given system, and the system’s externalizations. The approach thus underestimates the toxicity of its vitalism.

106 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the ontology is taken as designating a more elementary analytical level to study worlding than the one anthropology usually calls for, where basic inferences are made about the kinds of beings that exist and how they relate to each other, that can best fulfill its mission to account for how worlds are composed.
Abstract: Notions like “nature” or “culture” do not denote a universal reality but a particular way, devised by the Moderns, of carving ontological domains in the texture of things. Other civilizations have devised different ways of detecting qualities among existents, resulting in other forms of organizing continuity and discontinuity between humans and nonhumans, of aggregating beings in collectives, of defining who or what is capable of agency and knowledge. The paper emphasizes that these processes of ontological predication are not “worldviews” but, properly speaking, styles of worlding. Ontology is taken here as designating a more elementary analytical level to study worlding than the one anthropology usually calls for. It is at this level, where basic inferences are made about the kinds of beings that exist and how they relate to each other, that anthropology can best fulfill its mission to account for how worlds are composed.

95 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A series of exchanges and entanglements, convergences, and collisions involving ancestral Maori, Western, and modernist onto-logics in relation to fresh water in New Zealand Maori (and by implication, non-Maori) rights to freshwater have been a topic of passionate, often confrontational debate, instigated by the privatization of local power companies as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In this article, I consider a series of exchanges and entanglements, convergences, and collisions involving ancestral Maori, Western, and modernist onto-logics in relation to fresh water in New Zealand Maori (and by implication, non-Maori) rights to fresh water have been a topic of passionate, often confrontational debate, instigated by the privatization of local power companies In an innovative response to a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal by Whanganui iwi (kin groups), the Whanganui River has been declared a legal being, one of the first rivers in the world to gain this status In the Whanganui deed of settlement with the Crown, ancestral Maori and modernist framings are juxtaposed, despite being incommensurable in certain respects Drawing upon divergent forms of order, participants in the process have sought to weave together a concerted approach toward the management of New Zealand's waterways This interweaving avoids the need for a merging of horizons, a "theory of everything" in which only one reality is possible and only one set of assumptions about the world can prevail

90 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Laidlaw, James as mentioned in this paper, The subject of virtue: An anthropology of ethics and freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2014, p. 5.2.1.
Abstract: Comment on Laidlaw, James. 2014. The subject of virtue: An anthropology of ethics and freedom . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

89 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Kohn, Eduardo as discussed by the authors, 2013. How forests think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human. Berkeley: University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, USA..
Abstract: Comment on Kohn, Eduardo. 2013. How forests think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human . Berkeley: University of California Press.

73 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that the challenge posed by the constant confrontation of "incommensurable" (yet translated) paradigms may become a field for ethnographical inquiry, and propose a new anthropological way to define translation, not only as a key technique for understanding ethnography, but also as a general epistemological principle.
Abstract: Translation has played an important but equivocal role in the history of anthropology and linguistics. At least since Saussure and Boas, languages have been seen as systems whose differences make precise translation exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. More recently, Quine has argued that, in purely abstract terms, reference is ultimately inscrutable and translation between languages is in principle indeterminate. From a Kuhn-inspired point of view, we argue, on the contrary, that the challenge posed by the constant confrontation of "incommensurable" (yet translated) paradigms may become a field for ethnographical inquiry. This approach can provide a new anthropological way to define translation, not only as a key technique for understanding ethnography, but also as a general epistemological principle. Social anthropology would be thus defined not only as the study of cultural differences, but also and simultaneously as a science of translation: the study of the empirical processes and theoretical principles of cultural translation.

64 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The second and final part of an article that considers how some scholars associated with anthropology's "ontological turn" are seeking to transform ethnography as a mode of translation is presented in this article.
Abstract: This is the second and final part of an article that considers how some scholars associated with anthropology’s “ontological turn” are seeking to transform ethnography as a mode of translation. Here I build on insights generated through ethnographic engagements with Te Aitanga a Hauiti whakapapa (detailed in part 1), which foregrounded the kinds of limits and commitments that may be entailed in comparative relations. The ethnography raised questions about aspects of the ways in which recursive anthropological discussions of ontology are developing, including what roles “native thinking” and “native thinkers” are invited to play in these increasingly widespread debates. The aim here is to consider what ontological strategies might be trying to achieve in a broader view, as well as where the recursive approaches I particularly address sit in relation to other aspects of these discussions, within and without anthropology. A general introduction to the ontological turn is offered, in which three ethnographic strategies for addressing ontological alterity are identified. The focus then shifts to explore how language appropriated by some of these scholars from earlier debates about “different worlds” and “ontological relativity” has fed uncertainties about the kinds of disciplinary transformations they seek to advance. The aim in addressing these indirectly related discourses is to clear space for ongoing discussion of the kinds of issues raised ethnographically in part 1, in which the ethnographic commitments of recursive strategies would appear to be at stake.

57 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper argued that animism, totemism, and analogism are three forms of animism: communal, segmentary, and hierarchical, all of which are versions of an anthropomorphism well known as our own default scheme of things.
Abstract: This article is an alternative reading of Philippe Descola’s ontological scheme, arguing that animism, totemism, and analogism are but three forms of animism, namely communal, segmentary, and hierarchical. Often found in various degrees of salience in the same society, all moreover are versions of an anthropomorphism well known as our own default scheme of things. Ethnographic examples are provided.

56 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Sahlins makes a forceful case for unification of Descola's fourfold scheme of ontologies as discussed by the authors, and De Almeida graphically demonstrates differences possible even in unifying models.
Abstract: Sahlins makes a forceful case for unification of Descola’s fourfold scheme of ontologies. De Almeida graphically demonstrates differences possible even in unifying models. Descola continues his synthetic anthropology in Durkheimian, Levi-Straussian mode, answering Sahlins with a strong defense of his four-ontologies view. Fischer tests Descola and Latour with Wittgensteinian skepticism of Whitehead, and a sensibility more post-Foucauldian than Levi-Straussian. Fortun probes the politics of scientific inquiry in an age of extreme risks.

54 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, eight anthropologists working in various parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America reflect on an essay by Edwin Ardener on the concept of remote areas recently reprinted in HAU (Volume 2, Issue 1).
Abstract: Eight anthropologists working in various parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America reflect on an essay by Edwin Ardener on the concept of remote areas recently reprinted in HAU (Volume 2, Issue 1). These reflections all show that the idea of the remote can be detached from its geographical moorings and understood not simply as a spatial concept but as a relativistic social construct. Considered in conjunction with the notion of edginess , they understand remoteness not so much as a place, but as a way of being. By purposefully comparing work in cities and in places more commonly described as remote, they show that the remote may be present in any site of anthropological inquiry.

Journal ArticleDOI
Bruno Latour1
TL;DR: The Inquiry into Modes of Existence as mentioned in this paper is an attempt to build on the work of several anthropologists who have tried to go, as Philippe Descola said, beyond nature and culture.
Abstract: The Inquiry into Modes of Existence is an attempt to build on the work of several anthropologists who have tried to go, as Philippe Descola said, “Beyond Nature and Culture.” Since this movement is itself one of the consequences of a reappraisal of the function of science, a new space has been opened up for an anthropology of modernity by using several yardsticks to define the reality of the beings informants say they encounter. It is those connections between science studies, anthropology, and modernity that will be followed in this colloquium.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Latour turns to Wittgensteinian or Lyotardian language games, and Silversteinian deixis and metapragmatics, as formal means of distinquishing modern European discursive categories and institutions.
Abstract: Latour turns to Wittgensteinian or Lyotardian language games, and Silversteinian deixis and metapragmatics, as formal means of distinquishing modern European discursive categories and institutions, each defined by three criteria: the right pre-position, discontinuity from other language games, and felicity conditions. Double-click and the snake of knowledge are metaphorical reminders to not efface the labor of invention and maintenance. In lectures on Gaia, Latour turns toward a Durkheimian politics of the Anthropocene. Descola charts Siberian and North American groups on a north–south historical gradient from animism to analogism, and Amazonian cultural groups as animist transformational sets, reviving a human geography tradition, connecting to Latour’s project through wide-mesh networking of human–nonhuman cosmo-logical modes and relations, and contesting Viveiros de Castro’s uniform Amazonian predation cosmology and multinaturalism–uniculturalism, supporting the earlier work on contrastive Amazonian linguistics. We need not celebrate “humanity as technological detour,” but focus on the “peopling of technologies.”

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors show how knowledge of climate change is met by disbelief by Muslim farmers living on eroding and accreting silt and sand islands (char s) within the Jamuna River in Bangladesh.
Abstract: Climate change is knowledge produced by running empirical data on weather through global simulation models. In contradistinction to the approach that studies how people come to be schooled to perceive climate change or produce their own accounts of change in an indigenous idiom, I show how knowledge of it is met by disbelief by Muslim farmers ( chaura s) living on eroding and accreting silt and sand islands ( char s) within the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. Such disbelief is not unlike the denial that ordinarily greets news of climate change elsewhere. If one were to turn away from asking how people are taking up (or not) the issue of climate change, it is in smaller gestures of incorporating repugnant others, in this case dogs, that one sees reflections on divine creation qua creatureliness. And following such reflections on Creation through fables, narratives, and the everyday of the chaura s, we see how Muslim cosmology and eschatology hold promise of ecological thought, providing an unexpectedly materialist perspective on our creaturely interconnectedness. They also provide an anticipatory register of climate change within chaura life through the intensification of suffering in the present, while allowing for disbelief in climate change as poisoned knowledge from the West.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that instead of seeing the possibility of translation as a theoretical difficulty for defining thought, instead, we could, on the contrary, consider the ethnography of translation, as a chance to observe the dynamics and structure of thought processes, and to study how they operate in different cultural contexts.
Abstract: Forms of thought, from what Levi-Strauss called the "systematization [of] what is immediately presented to the senses," to the causal theories studied by Evans-Pritchard in witchcraft, have generally been interpreted as an expression of a specific language or "culture." In this paper, I discuss this way of defining thought. Three classic objections are examined: (1) societies sharing the same "system of thought" may speak different languages, and vice versa; (2) if a relation between language and thought exists, it is an indirect and controversial one, and we should never take it for granted (or infer qualities of thought from language structures) without further investigation; (3) the languages that we use to qualify different kinds of thought are constantly translated. Through a discussion of the context of translation, I argue that instead of seeing the possibility of translation as a theoretical difficulty for defining thought, we could, on the contrary, consider the ethnography of translation as a chance to observe the dynamics and structure of thought processes, and to study how they operate in different cultural contexts. Using three Amazonian examples, I will try to describe the kind of cognition involved by the form of translation that Jakobson calls transmutation . I will argue that from this ethnographic analysis, we can not only derive a better (both wider and more precise) idea of some, rarely studied, cultural translation processes, but also draw from it a new way to define the concept of "cultural ontology," both for Amazonian cultures and in more general terms.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors propose a politics combining support for social movements and a prefigurative politics in the academic sphere, which they call "vulgar Foucauldianism".
Abstract: Many of the internal changes within anthropology as a discipline—particularly the "postmodern turn" of the 1980s—can only be understood in the context of broader changes in the class composition of the societies in which university departments exist, and, in particular, the role of the university in the reproduction of a professional-managerial class that has come to displace any working-class elements in what pass for mainstream "left" political parties. Reflexivity, and what I call "vulgar Foucauldianism," while dressed up as activism, seem instead to represent above all the consciousness of this class. In its place, the essay proposes a politics combining support for social movements and a prefigurative politics in the academic sphere.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the HAU Book Symposium on Descola, Philippe et al., 2013. Beyond nature and culture, translated by Janet Lloyd with a foreword by Marshall Sahlins.
Abstract: Response to HAU Book Symposium on Descola, Philippe. 2013. Beyond nature and culture . Translated by Janet Lloyd with a foreword by Marshall Sahlins. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the materiality of ocean waves cannot be separated from the formalisms describing them, and that these formalisms operate to identify and even create new entities in the world.
Abstract: ions (and I love the wavy profile, lower right, of Bourdieu’s rendering of the seasonal calendar of the Kablye, which he offers, in fact, as a warning against the hazards of formalism, though he himself never really steers fully clear of these). The founding premise of my research is that the materiality of waves cannot be separated from the formalisms describing them [SLIDE 12]. The waves in which I am interested are scientific things, entities at once material and measured, concrete and conceptual, and, to borrow phrasing from the historian of science Hans Jörg Rheinberger (1997), epistemic and technical. As an anthropologist of science— someone curious about how authoritative accounts of nature are assembled in practice and discourse, in labs, at conferences, in scientific papers, in public culture—I wish to know how scientific formalisms (such as “the wave,” “species,” or “life”) operate to identify and even create new entities in the world. More particularly, I am curious about how people employ such hybrid onto-epistemo-forms as “waves” to think across domains [SLIDE 13]. My wider project asks after wave phenomena and models as described by cosmologists, cardiologists, artists, oceanographers, surfers, economists, social theorists (see, e.g., Helmreich 2013). I am interested in the analogies and disanalogies conjured across such zones as the watery, the acoustic, and the social—believing, with Marilyn Strathern, that culture, “consists in the way people draw analogies between different domains of their worlds” (1992: 47). A second reason to study waves is to extend and query contemporary anthropological conversations about “the nonhuman” [SLIDE 14, a visual bibliography], conversations that have so far treated multispecies collectives (including insects, fungi, trees, microbes) as well as, quite recently, water, air, oil, light, mud, and rocks. Waves, as amalgams of the physical, formal, abstract, and agentive, are enticing objects with which to puzzle through what several scholars are starting to call an anthropology beyond/beside humans. Tonight, I will speak about ocean waves and climate futures [SLIDE 15]. To best appreciate that future, we might first ask: do ocean waves have a history? The question may sound odd: surely waves are simple facts of nature, timeless matters of the substance of the sea. As historian of oceanography Helen Rozwadowski writes, “most glimpses out to sea reveal endless waves reaching to the horizon rather than any lasting evidence of human presence” (2010: 162). Waves may have diverse manifestations in marine and maritime lore [SLIDE 16], a variety of effects on political economic enterprise, and a range of meanings for surfers, artists, or mathematicians. But as formal and material entities, the common wisdom might go: there they are, more or less well captured by the scientific apparatuses—increasingly computational and Internetworked—crafted to measure and model them. For some wave scientists, however, not only are scientific modes of representing waves transforming (increasing in power, fidelity) but the patterns and shapes of waves themselves are also transmuting, as storm tracks shift closer to the poles, as the global distribution of significant wave heights begins to wobble, and (the claim is controversial) as rogue waves (waves uncharacteristically and unexpectedly larger than those immediately around them) grow in number. In what follows, I report on debates among ocean wave scientists about whether Earth’s wavescape might be transforming in synchrony with the political, economic, and social scene of the Anthropocene [SLIDE 17], that name ecologist Eugene Stoermer and atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen proposed in 2000 to designate the contemporary geological epoch, dating to the Industrial Revolution, during

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that situation, not emergence or performance, captures the ontological side of relativity, partner to the conception of reflexivity that adroitly articulates implications of relativity for the epistemology of our scientific practice.
Abstract: Philippe Descola’s anthropology is rooted in ethnology and Amazonian ethnography; Bruno Latour’s ontological turn begins in Science and Technology Studies and technographic development of French philosophies of emergence. Sahlins and de Almeida continue a French anthropological conversation about universals and cultural relativity, recently on Amazonian perspectivism, and fundamentally about extremities in realities of different human groups. Fischer and Fortun address poetics and politics of Science Studies, from Fischer’s perception of language games in ontology claims, to Fortun’s insistence on the priority of environmental crisis in late industrialism. If there is now an ontological turn, succeeding a twentieth-century epistemological turn, it addresses both perspectivism and technography. It is not clear what concept concretely synthesizes newfound ontological wisdom. My view is that situation, not emergence or performance, captures the ontological side of relativity, partner to the conception of reflexivity that adroitly articulates implications of relativity for the epistemology of our scientific practice.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors traces the history of translation theory in the modern West and argues that translation and ethnography require each other, and draws some of the implications of these arguments on the basis of text-artifacts constructed from Central Himalayan oral traditions.
Abstract: If different languages orient the speaker toward different aspects of experience, then translation can be seen as a passage between lived worlds. This paper traces out some key moments in the history of translation theory in the modern West and argues that translation and ethnography require each other. Free of the constraint that professional translators produce easily digestible texts for the target audience, anthropologists are particularly well placed to carry out translations that take context seriously into account, as well as ethnographies centered on texts. Such "ugly" translations (Ortega y Gasset) can force the reader to work to reorient him- or herself, to cross a boundary into what is potentially another world, initially another language-world. Through the history, we seek to distinguish the translation of referential content, something that is always possible, and translating stylistic and indexical (contextual) elements, something that has often been declared impossible. The paper draws some of the implications of these arguments on the basis of text-artifacts constructed from Central Himalayan oral traditions.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Laidlaw, James as discussed by the authors, The subject of virtue: An anthropology of ethics and freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2014, p. 5.2.1.
Abstract: Comment on Laidlaw, James. 2014. The subject of virtue: An anthropology of ethics and freedom . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors make a distinction between cross-linguistic and cultural interpretation, which is related but distinct, and endogenous translation that takes place within a single language or culture, and make a three-way distinction between translation as a method of revealing difference and similarity.
Abstract: This paper explores the space of translation spanning cross-cultural description and the verbal act of rendering in one language what is expressed in another. We make a three-way distinction between translation as a method of revealing difference and similarity, cultural interpretation, which is related but distinct, and endogenous translation that takes place within a single language or culture. Intracultural translation plays a constitutive role in the social life of any human group, and not only in mediating between different groups and languages. This is evident in all varieties of reported speech, paraphrase, commentary, and exegesis. These share with translation two features that distinguish it from other kinds of interpretation: a translation both refers to and paraphrases its source text. It is the target language into which one translates that ultimately constrains the process . An adequate target language must be functionally capable of self-interpetation through metalanguage. Cross-linguistic translation presupposes intralinguistic translation. Historical examples of languages changing through intertranslation abound in (post)colonial contexts in which authoritative texts in a dominant language are translated into a subordinated language. This process inevitably alters the semantics and pragmatics of the subordinate language. The direction, scope, and depth of change are historically variable. Examples are adduced from modern and colonial Yucatec Maya and Spanish.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Kohn, Eduardo as mentioned in this paper, 2013. How forests think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human. Berkeley: University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, USA..
Abstract: Comment on Kohn, Eduardo. 2013. How forests think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human . Berkeley: University of California Press.

Journal ArticleDOI
Peter Pels1
TL;DR: The authors argue that the mission of anthropologists is based on an expertise about cultural classification that cannot be divorced from the asymmetrical breaks with everyday perceptions provided by ethnographic methodology, and they conclude that the currently popular romantic ideal of a dyad of interchanges between researcher and researched does not give a proper impression of what anthropology is about.
Abstract: Intersubjectivity in anthropology has rarely been studied against the broader background of the place of intersubjective exchanges in the long-term history of anthropology. This article attempts to do so by setting the history of anthropology against the history of objectivity since the Enlightenment as outlined by Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison’s seminal Objectivity (2007). On that basis, it concludes that the currently popular romantic ideal of a dyad of interchanges between researcher and researched does not give a proper impression of what anthropology is about. Instead, it argues that the mission of anthropology is based on an expertise about cultural classification that cannot be divorced from the asymmetrical breaks with everyday perceptions provided by ethnographic methodology.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that objects typically labeled as fetishes are not fetishized, but rather reflect a cosmology of material entities as containers for spirit, and explore the sociality of possessions as belongings that truly belong.
Abstract: In this article, I employ West African ideas of spirited materiality to rethink the semiosis of possession in North Atlantic societies. I investigate this ethnographically through the lens of storage—those things kept out of sight and unused in US attics, basements, closets, and storage units. Things contained in storage form a residual category of animated detritus that US society often pathologizes as "hoarding" when it makes public appearances in the visible space of the home or the television set. Arguing that the concept of fetishism is hopelessly tied to the "naturalist" divide of Western rationality and the dichotomy between persons and things, I argue that objects typically labeled as fetishes are not fetishized, but rather reflect a cosmology of material entities as containers for spirit. By constructing an ethnographic model of the unfetish in West Africa, I explore the sociality of possessions as belongings that truly belong.

Journal ArticleDOI
Keir Martin1
TL;DR: The authors argue that a posthuman philosophy guided by a rigid anti-anti-fetishism is in danger of failing to take seriously the experience of people for whom the adoption of a perspective that stresses the unique characteristics of human agency and relations is a matter of great political importance.
Abstract: In this paper, I explore what might count as political intervention in contemporary anthropological descriptions. In doing so I take a particular focus on the work of Bruno Latour, as the clearest exponent of a posthuman philosophy critiqued by some of the contributors to this special section. I argue that a posthuman philosophy guided by a rigid anti-anti-fetishism is in danger of failing to take seriously the experience of people for whom the adoption of a perspective that stresses the unique characteristics of human agency and relations is a matter of great political importance. The contemporary posthumanist claim that a disavowal of politics as it is currently configured is necessary to avoid an elitist disdain for our informants is examined from different perspectives, from which posthumanism itself might be viewed as an expression of precisely that elitist disdain that it professes to disavow.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A posthumanist theory of value that attributes agency to things has been proposed in the cultural economy of the twenty-first century as discussed by the authors, which is based on the marginal utility theory.
Abstract: Revolutionary developments in the social organization of capitalism give birth to revolutionary developments in ideas about the economy and value. Just as the industrial revolution in England in the late eighteenth century saw the emergence of political economy and the labor theory of value, and the age of imperialism in the late nineteenth century saw the emergence of economics and the marginal utility theory of value, so the age of globalization in the late twentiethand early twenty-first centuries has seen the emergence of cultural economy and a new posthumanist theory of value that attributes agency to things. What are the assumptions that inform this new posthuman theory of value? Does it dehumanize anthropology, or does it pave the way for an anthropology of the future based on a radically new ethics of possibility? Whatever, the provocations of cultural economy demand a robust debate.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The relationship between epistemology and ethics generally, and problems with deriving from epistemological insights methodological prescriptions or ethical rules for field research specifically, are discussed in this article.
Abstract: Here I want to offer a few thoughts for discussion by returning to key notions— intersubjectivity, coevalness, and communication—I worked with and helped to propagate. Some of them will be second thoughts that inevitably come up upon further reflection, others are prompted by worries I have expressed ever since I took a position in critical debates almost forty years ago. They concern the relationship between epistemology and ethics generally, and problems with deriving from epistemological insights methodological prescriptions or ethical rules for field research specifically. It is perhaps also time to ask another general question: Is it possible or desirable to promote a renewed “critical anthropology” as a distinctive school of thought? And if critical once meant antipositivist where is the adversary today?

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Descola, Philippe as discussed by the authors, translated by Janet Lloyd with a foreword by Marshall Sahlins, 2013. Beyond nature and culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Abstract: Comment on Descola, Philippe. 2013. Beyond nature and culture . Translated by Janet Lloyd with a foreword by Marshall Sahlins. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, Descola, Philippe 2013 Beyond nature and culture, Translated by Janet Lloyd with a foreword by Marshall Sahlins Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Abstract: Comment on Descola, Philippe 2013 Beyond nature and culture Translated by Janet Lloyd with a foreword by Marshall Sahlins Chicago: University of Chicago Press