The guiding inspiration of this book is the attraction and distance that mark the relation between anthropology and philosophy. This theme is explored through encounters between individual anthropologists and particular regions of philosophy. Several of the most basic concepts of the discipline—including notions of ethics, politics, temporality, self and other, and the nature of human life—are products of a dialogue, both implicit and explicit, between anthropology and philosophy. These philosophical undercurrents in anthropology also speak to the question of what it is to experience our being in a world marked by radical difference and otherness. In The Ground Between, twelve leading anthropologists offer intimate reflections on the influence of particular philosophers on their way of seeing the world, and on what ethnography has taught them about philosophy. Ethnographies of the mundane and the everyday raise fundamental issues that the contributors grapple with in both their lives and their thinking. With directness and honesty, they relate particular philosophers to matters such as how to respond to the suffering of the other, how concepts arise in the give and take of everyday life, and how to be attuned to the world through the senses. Their essays challenge the idea that philosophy is solely the province of professional philosophers, and suggest that certain modalities of being in the world might be construed as ways of doing philosophy. Contributors. João Biehl, Steven C. Caton, Vincent Crapanzano, Veena Das, Didier Fassin, Michael M. J. Fischer, Ghassan Hage, Clara Han, Michael Jackson, Arthur Kleinman, Michael Puett, Bhrigupati Singh
After years of discussion within the field of anthropology concerning how to properly engage with theology, a growing number of anthropologists now want to engage with theology as a counterpart in ethnographic dialogue. Theologically Engaged Anthropology focuses on the theological history of anthropology, illuminating deeply held theological assumptions that humans make about the nature of reality, and illustrating how these theological assumptions manifest themselves in society. This volume brings together leading anthropologists and theologians to consider what theology can contribute to cultural anthropology and ethnography. It provides anthropologists and theologians with a rationale and framework for using theology in anthropological research.
For most of the twentieth century, anthropologists understood themselves as ethnographers. The art of anthropology was the fieldwork-based description of faraway others—of how social structures secretly organized the living-together of a given society, of how a people had endowed the world surrounding them with cultural meaning. While the poetics and politics of anthropology have changed dramatically over the course of a century, the basic equation of anthropology with ethnography—as well as the definition of the human as a social and cultural being—has remained so evident that the possibility of questioning it occurred to hardly anyone. In After Ethnos Tobias Rees endeavors to decouple anthropology from ethnography—and the human from society and culture—and explores the manifold possibilities of practicing a question-based rather than an answer-based anthropology that emanates from this decoupling. What emerges from Rees's provocations is a new understanding of anthropology as a philosophically and poetically inclined, fieldwork-based investigation of what it could mean to be human when the established concepts of the human on which anthropology has been built increasingly fail us.
Taking a novel approach to the contradictory impulses of violence and care, illness and healing, this book radically shifts the way we think of the interrelations of institutions and experiences in a globalizing world. Living and Dying in the Contemporary World is not just another reader in medical anthropology but a true tour de force—a deep exploration of all that makes life unbearable and yet livable through the labor of ordinary people. This book comprises forty-four chapters by scholars whose ethnographic and historical work is conducted around the globe, including South Asia, East Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Bringing together the work of established scholars with the vibrant voices of younger scholars, Living and Dying in the Contemporary World will appeal to anthropologists, sociologists, health scientists, scholars of religion, and all who are curious about how to relate to the rapidly changing institutions and experiences in an ever more connected world.
The Indian subdistrict of Shahabad, located in the dwindling forests of the southeastern tip of Rajasthan, is an area of extreme poverty. Beset by droughts and food shortages in recent years, it is the home of the Sahariyas, former bonded laborers, officially classified as Rajasthan’s only “primitive tribe.” From afar, we might consider this the bleakest of the bleak, but in Poverty and the Quest for Life, Bhrigupati Singh asks us to reconsider just what quality of life means. He shows how the Sahariyas conceive of aspiration, advancement, and vitality in both material and spiritual terms, and how such bridging can engender new possibilities of life. Singh organizes his study around two themes: power and ethics, through which he explores a complex terrain of material and spiritual forces. Authority remains contested, whether in divine or human forms; the state is both despised and desired; high and low castes negotiate new ways of living together, in conflict but also cooperation; new gods move across rival social groups; animals and plants leave their tracks on human subjectivity and religiosity; and the potential for vitality persists even as natural resources steadily disappear. Studying this milieu, Singh offers new ways of thinking beyond the religion-secularism and nature-culture dichotomies, juxtaposing questions about quality of life with political theologies of sovereignty, neighborliness, and ethics, in the process painting a rich portrait of perseverance and fragility in contemporary rural India.
This work is the product of several years of intense study of the various aspects of Kant's work, and the attempt to provide insights for students both with respect to the details of the Kantian system, and into the development and implications of the system as a whole. During that time many individuals have contributed to its ultimate formulation, and I would like to express my appreciation at least to the more generous contributors. For a careful reading of the manuscript in its earlier forms, and suggestions which helped in many ways to improve the work and to crystalize its thesis, I would like to thank Professors Wilbur Long, A. C. Ewing, and Richard Bosley. For their interest and encouragement in the later stages of the project, I must thank Professor Lewis White Beck, and the many students who have taken my Kant seminar at the University of Alberta, especially Mr. Dieter Hartmetz. And finally, 1 acknowledge with pleasure my longstanding debt to Professor William H. Werkmeister for his years of critical advice and encouragement. Perhaps only Kant and my wife have contributed more to my philosophic development. Acknowledgment must also be made of the permission kindly granted by various publishers for the use of material from the following works under their copyright. Kant's Critique of Practical Reason, translated by Lewis White Beck (copyright 1956, by The Liberal Arts Press, Inc.
A Companion to Moral Anthropology is the first collective consideration of the anthropological dimensions of morals, morality, and ethics. Original essays by international experts explore the various currents, approaches, and issues in this important new discipline, examining topics such as the ethnography of moralities, the study of moral subjectivities, and the exploration of moral economies. Investigates the central legacies of moral anthropology, the formation of moral facts and values, the context of local moralities, and the frontiers between moralities, politics, humanitarianism Features contributions from pioneers in the field of moral anthropology, as well as international experts in related fields such as moral philosophy, moral psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroethics
"Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty inaugurates a novel way of understanding the trajectories of health and disease in the context of poverty. It traces the unfolding of illness within families, local communities, neighborhood markets and in occult worlds. Privileging the experience of people living in these neighborhoods it asks how can global health be made to take this experience into account rather than escape from it?"--Provided by publisher.
Through an absorbing investigation into recent, high-profile scandals involving one of the largest kosher slaughterhouses in the world, located unexpectedly in Postville, Iowa, Aaron S. Gross makes a powerful case for elevating the category of the animal in the study of religion. Major theorists have almost without exception approached religion as a phenomenon that radically marks humans off from other animals, but Gross rejects this paradigm, instead matching religion more closely with the life sciences to better theorize human nature. Gross begins with a detailed account of the scandals at Agriprocessors and their significance for the American and international Jewish community. He argues that without a proper theorization of "animals and religion," we cannot fully understand religiously and ethically motivated diets and how and why the events at Agriprocessors took place. Subsequent chapters recognize the significance of animals to the study of religion in the work of Ernst Cassirer, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, Jonathan Z. Smith, and Jacques Derrida and the value of indigenous peoples' understanding of animals to the study of religion in our daily lives. Gross concludes by extending the Agribusiness scandal to the activities at slaughterhouses of all kinds, calling attention to the religiosity informing the regulation of "secular" slaughterhouses and its implications for our relationship with and self-imagination through animals.
Gerald Moore shows how the problematic of the gift drives and illuminates the last century of French philosophy. By tracing the creation of the gift as a concept, from its origins in philosophy and the social sciences, right up to the present, Moore shows