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World. An anthropological examination (Part 1)

Pina-Cabral, Joao (2014) World. An anthropological examination (Part 1). Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 4 (1). pp. 49-73. ISSN 2049-1115. E-ISSN 2049-1115. (doi:10.14318/hau4.1.002) (KAR id:50443)

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Anthropologists often take recourse to the word “world” as if its meaning were selfevident,

but the word remains highly ambivalent, often extending its meaning in a

perilously polysemic fashion. So, the question of “what world are we engaging?” imposes

itself, particularly as it leads to another important question: are there “worlds”? This latter

question raises some of the fundamental perplexities that have haunted anthropological

theory throughout the past century. In this series of two articles, I propose to abandon the

established dichotomy between rather crude forms of realism and equally crude forms of

semiotic idealism. I sustain that we cannot discuss world without considering for whom,

but that this is fully compatible with single-world ontology if we take into account the role

of personhood in the human condition. This first article argues for a single-world ontology

and for the centrality of personhood. It explores the implications of a form of minimal

realism that best suits the ethnographic gesture, while the second article responds to the

question of world-forming, the matter of worldview.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.14318/hau4.1.002
Uncontrolled keywords: world, ontology, worldview, representation, intentionality, monism.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Joao de Pina Cabral
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 15:21 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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