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Cannibal Metaphysics

Cannibal Metaphysics Author Eduardo Viveiros De Castro
ISBN-10 1517905311
Release 2017-10-23
Pages 229
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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.



Truth in Motion

Truth in Motion Author Martin Holbraad
ISBN-10 9780226349206
Release 2012-06-01
Pages 320
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Embarking on an ethnographic journey to the inner barrios of Havana among practitioners of Ifá, a prestigious Afro-Cuban tradition of divination, Truth in Motion reevaluates Western ideas about truth in light of the practices and ideas of a wildly different, and highly respected, model. Acutely focusing on Ifá, Martin Holbraad takes the reader inside consultations, initiations, and lively public debates to show how Ifá practitioners see truth as something to be not so much represented, as transformed. Bringing his findings to bear on the discipline of anthropology itself, he recasts the very idea of truth as a matter not only of epistemological divergence but also of ontological difference—the question of truth, he argues, is not simply about how things may appear differently to people, but also about the different ways of imagining what those things are. By delving so deeply into Ifá practices, Truth in Motion offers cogent new ways of thinking about otherness and how anthropology can navigate it.



Partial Connections

Partial Connections Author Marilyn Strathern, Professor, University of Cambridge
ISBN-10 9780759114937
Release 2005-03-22
Pages 188
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Available with a new Preface, Marilyn Strathern's seminal book challenges the routine ways in which anthropologists have thought about the complexity and quantity of their materials, focusing on a problem normally thought of as commonplace; that of scale and proportion. Revealing unexpected replications in modes of thought and in the presentation of ambiguous images, Strathern has fashioned a unique contribution to the anthropological corpus.



Beyond Nature and Culture

Beyond Nature and Culture Author Philippe Descola
ISBN-10 9780226145006
Release 2013-08-01
Pages 488
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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.



Dark Shamans

Dark Shamans Author Neil L. Whitehead
ISBN-10 9780822384304
Release 2002-09-16
Pages 324
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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.



The Ecology of Others

The Ecology of Others Author Philippe Descola
ISBN-10 0984201025
Release 2013
Pages 91
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Since the end of the nineteenth century, the division between nature and culture has been fundamental to Western thought. In this groundbreaking work, renowned anthropologist Philippe Descola seeks to break down this divide, arguing for a departure from the anthropocentric model and its rigid dualistic conception of nature and culture as distinct phenomena. In its stead, Descola proposes a radical new worldview, in which beings and objects, human and nonhuman, are understood through the complex relationships that they possess with one another. The Ecology of Others presents a compelling challenge to anthropologists, ecologists, and environmental studies scholars to rethink the way we conceive of humans, objects, and the environment. Thought-provoking and engagingly written, it will be required reading for all those interested in moving beyond the moving beyond the confines of this fascinating debate.



The Ends of the World

The Ends of the World Author Déborah Danowski
ISBN-10 9781509503995
Release 2017-05-23
Pages 180
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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.



Notes on Love in a Tamil Family

Notes on Love in a Tamil Family Author Margaret Trawick
ISBN-10 0520912802
Release 1990-07-17
Pages 320
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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.



A Final Story

A Final Story Author Nasser Zakariya
ISBN-10 9780226500737
Release 2017-11-14
Pages 608
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Popular science readers embrace epics—the sweeping stories that claim to tell the history of all the universe, from the cosmological to the biological to the social. And the appeal is understandable: in writing these works, authors such as E. O. Wilson or Steven Weinberg deliberately seek to move beyond particular disciplines, to create a compelling story weaving together natural historical events, scientific endeavor, human discovery, and contemporary existential concerns. In A Final Story, Nasser Zakariya delves into the origins and ambitions of these scientific epics, from the nineteenth century to the present, to see what they reveal about the relationship between storytelling, integrated scientific knowledge, and historical method. While seeking to transcend the perspectives of their own eras, the authors of the epics and the debates surrounding them are embedded in political and social struggles of their own times, struggles to which the epics in turn respond. In attempts to narrate an approach to a final, true account, these synthesizing efforts shape and orient scientific developments old and new. By looking closely at the composition of science epics and the related genres developed along with them, we are able to view the historical narrative of science as a form of knowledge itself, one that discloses much about the development of our understanding of and relationship to science over time.



Cartography of Exhaustion

Cartography of Exhaustion Author Peter Pal Pelbart
ISBN-10 1937561518
Release 2015-11-01
Pages 300
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In a contemporary landscape of communicative and connective excess, a very novel contemporary exhaustion exacerbated by our relation to the postdigital terrain is ever present. The Brazilian philosopher and schizoanalyst Peter Pál Pelbart pushes the vital question of our nihililstic age to the limits: how can one learn to be left alone, live alone, and perhaps, by way of a Deleuzian "absolute solitude," conjure a vitality for living again and, indeed, finding something truly "worthy of saying"? Through various poetic meanderings, meditations, and building on the works of Blanchot, Musil, Guattari, and Delingy, among others, Pelbart reestablishes the possibility of fighting off the exhaustion of our current state of affairs. For Pelbart, we must chart the cartography of exhaustion as if it were a sort of molecular symptomology.



The Huarochiri Manuscript

The Huarochiri Manuscript Author
ISBN-10 9780292787643
Release 2010-07-05
Pages 288
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One of the great repositories of a people's world view and religious beliefs, the Huarochirí Manuscript may bear comparison with such civilization-defining works as Gilgamesh, the Popul Vuh, and the Sagas. This translation by Frank Salomon and George L. Urioste marks the first time the Huarochirí Manuscript has been translated into English, making it available to English-speaking students of Andean culture and world mythology and religions. The Huarochirí Manuscript holds a summation of native Andean religious tradition and an image of the superhuman and human world as imagined around A.D. 1600. The tellers were provincial Indians dwelling on the west Andean slopes near Lima, Peru, aware of the Incas but rooted in peasant, rather than imperial, culture. The manuscript is thought to have been compiled at the behest of Father Francisco de Avila, the notorious "extirpator of idolatries." Yet it expresses Andean religious ideas largely from within Andean categories of thought, making it an unparalleled source for the prehispanic and early colonial myths, ritual practices, and historic self-image of the native Andeans. Prepared especially for the general reader, this edition of the Huarochirí Manuscript contains an introduction, index, and notes designed to help the novice understand the culture and history of the Huarochirí-area society. For the benefit of specialist readers, the Quechua text is also supplied.



The Ontological Turn

The Ontological Turn Author Martin Holbraad
ISBN-10 9781316883198
Release 2017-03-10
Pages
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A new and often controversial theoretical orientation that resonates strongly with wider developments in contemporary philosophy and social theory, the so-called 'ontological turn' is receiving a great deal of attention in anthropology and cognate disciplines at present. This book provides the first anthropological exposition of this recent intellectual development. It traces the roots of the ontological turn in the history of anthropology and elucidates its emergence as a distinct theoretical orientation over the past few decades, showing how it has emerged in the work of Roy Wagner, Marilyn Strathern and Viveiros de Castro, as well a number of younger scholars. Distinguishing this trajectory of thinking from related attempts to put questions of ontology at the heart of anthropological research, the book articulates critically the key methodological and theoretical tenets of the ontological turn, its prime epistemological and political implications, and locates it in the broader intellectual landscape of contemporary social theory.



Post history

Post history Author Vilém Flusser
ISBN-10 1937561097
Release 2013
Pages 167
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In Post-History, Vilém Flusser asks the essential question: Is there any room left for freedom in a programmed world? Written as a series of lectures to be delivered at universities in Brazil, Israel, and France, this first English translation of Post-History brings to an anglophone readership Flusser's first critique of apparatus as the aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological model of present times.



Bela Tarr the Time After

Bela Tarr  the Time After Author Jacques Ranciere
ISBN-10 1937561151
Release 2013
Pages 81
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From Almanac of Fall (1984) to The Turin Horse (2011), renowned Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr has followed the collapse of the communist promise. The “time after” is the time when we are less interested in histories and their successes or failures than we are in the delicate fabric of time from which they are carved.



The Relative Native

The Relative Native Author Eduardo Viveiros De Castro
ISBN-10 0990505030
Release 2015-05-15
Pages 412
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This volume is the first major collection of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's best yet hitherto scattered essays and lectures, including his momentous 1998 Cambridge University Lectures, "Cosmological perspectivism in Amazonia and Elsewhere." Included are new English translations of essays from the original Portuguese and previously unpublished material. A force to be reckoned with, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's "ouevre" has gained immense popularity in anthropology over the past two decades, most notably through his elucidation of Amazonian perspectivism--a major influence on discipline's recent "ontological turn." Here is Viveiros de Castro at his finest--philosopher and anthropologist, ethnographer and ethnologist, superbly engaging with classic topics such as kinship yet subverting nature/culture ideologies, and taking us into the theoretical depths of magic, cosmology, ontology, and history.



From the Enemy s Point of View

From the Enemy s Point of View Author Eduardo Viveiros de Castro
ISBN-10 0226858014
Release 1992-07-15
Pages 407
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"Translated and revised version of author's 1986 doctoral thesis, one of the most influential monographs in Brazilian ethnology of the last decade. Describes and interprets cosmology and social philosophy of the Arawete, a Tupi-Guarani people of easternA



Palma Africana

Palma Africana Author Michael Taussig
ISBN-10 9780226516271
Release 2018-05-01
Pages 224
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“It is the contemporary elixir from which all manner of being emerges, the metamorphic sublime, an alchemist’s dream.” So begins Palma Africana, the latest attempt by anthropologist Michael Taussig to make sense of the contemporary moment. But to what elixir does he refer? Palm oil. Saturating everything from potato chips to nail polish, palm oil has made its way into half of the packaged goods in our supermarkets. By 2020, world production will be double what it was in 2000. In Colombia, palm oil plantations are covering over one-time cornucopias of animal, bird, and plant life. Over time, they threaten indigenous livelihoods and give rise to abusive labor conditions and major human rights violations. The list of entwined horrors—climatic, biological, social—is long. But Taussig takes no comfort in our usual labels: “habitat loss,” “human rights abuses,” “climate change.” The shock of these words has passed; nowadays it is all a blur. Hence, Taussig’s keen attention to words and writing throughout this work. He takes cues from precursors’ ruminations: Roland Barthes’s suggestion that trees form an alphabet in which the palm tree is the loveliest; William Burroughs’s retort to critics that for him words are alive like animals and don’t like to be kept in pages—cut them and the words are let free. Steeped in a lifetime of philosophical and ethnographic exploration, Palma Africana undercuts the banality of the destruction taking place all around us and offers a penetrating vision of the global condition. Richly illustrated and written with experimental verve, this book is Taussig’s Tristes Tropiques for the twenty-first century.