David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
No one owns 'culture' [i]: anyone with a viable theoretical proposal can contend for the right to determine that concept's fate. Not everyone agrees with this view. Throughout its century long struggle for academic respectability, anthropology has regularly insisted on its unique role as the proprietor of 'culture.' Its variety of approaches and feuding factions notwithstanding, it is this proprietary claim that unifies anthropology to an extent sometimes unrecognized even by its own (post modernist) practitioners. The history of anthropology has witnessed at least three important moments in the case for autonomous cultural phenomena based, first, on traditional ontological and methodological presumptions, second, on the hermeneutic turn, and third, on postmodern analyses of discourses and their influences. Historically, anthropologists cite two closely related bases for these proprietary presumptions. The first, which we shall not belabor here, hearkens to inevitably vague discussions about culture's autonomy (with various passes at making sense of the ontological foundations of that alleged autonomy). Cultural anthropologists have advanced such claims for a century, but Geertz' gloss on this topic is representative both in what it endorses and in the vagueness of the grounds for the endorsement. While advancing a host of claims about culture's ontological status (for example, (1) that culture is "ideational," (2) that it, nonetheless, "does not exist in someone's head," (3) that it has the same status -whatever that is -as a Beethoven quartet, and (4) that it is "public"), Geertz insists that "the thing to ask . . . is not what . . . [its] ontological status is." (Geertz 1973: 10 12.) Unfortunately for Geertz and cultural anthropology generally, any convincing case for the autonomy of culture must account for its relations to the things that constitute it. Moreover, because Geertz never relinquishes anthropology's scientific aspirations, the issue of clarifying such ontological questions....
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Akhil Gupta & James Ferguson (eds.) (1997). Culture, Power, Place: Explorations in Critical Anthropology. Duke University Press.
John P. Jackson (2010). Definitional Argument in Evolutionary Psychology and Cultural Anthropology. Science in Context 23 (1):121.
Maria Kronfeldner (2009). If There is Nothing Beyond the Organic...: Heredity and Culture at the Boundaries of Anthropology in the Work of Alfred L. Kroeber. [REVIEW] NTM - Journal of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine 17 (2):107-134.
Christian Lotz (2005). From Nature to Culture? Diogenes and Philosophical Anthropology. Human Studies 28 (1):41 - 56.
I. C. Jarvie (1984). Anthropology as Science and the Anthropology of Science and of Anthropology or Understanding and Explanation in the Social Sciences, Part II. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:745 - 763.
Thomas McCarthy (1992). Doing the Right Thing in Cross-Cultural Representation:The Predicament of Culture. James Clifford; Writing Culture. James Clifford, George E. Marcus; Works and Lives. Clifford Geertz; Anthropology as Cultural Critique. George E. Marcus, Michael M. J. Fischer. [REVIEW] Ethics 102 (3):635-.
Kei Yoshida (2007). Defending Scientific Study of the Social: Against Clifford Geertz (and His Critics). Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (3):289-314.
Karen Fog Olwig & Kirsten Hastrup (eds.) (1997). Siting Culture: The Shifting Anthropological Object. Routledge.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #126,914 of 1,099,017 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?