An Anthropology of the Subject: Holographic Worldview in New Guinea and Its Meaning and Significance for the World of Anthropology

Univ of California Press
Free sample

An Anthropology of the Subject rounds out the theoretical-philosophical cosmos of one of the twentieth century's most intellectually adventurous anthropologists. Roy Wagner, having turned "culture" and "symbols" inside out (in The Invention of Culture and Symbols That Stand for Themselves, respectively), now does the same for the "subject" and subjectivity. In studying the human subject and the way human culture mirrors itself, Wagner has redefined holography as "the exact equivalence, or comprehensive identity, of part and whole in any human contingency."
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About the author

Roy Wagner is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. The classic The Invention of Culture (1975; 1981) is one of a half-dozen highly regarded works of ethnography and theory by Wagner.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Univ of California Press
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Published on
Apr 3, 2001
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780520925823
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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How can we hold both public and personal worlds in the eye of a unified theory of meaning? What ethnographic and theoretical possibilities do we create in the balance? Anthropology Through a Double Lens offers a theoretical framework encompassing both of these domains—a "double lens." Daniel Touro Linger argues that the literary turn in anthropology, which treats culture as text, has been a wrong turn. Cultural analysis of the interpretive or discursive variety, which focuses on public symbols, has difficulty seeing—much less dealing convincingly with—actual persons. While emphasizing the importance of social environments, Linger insists on equal sensitivity to the experiential immediacies of human lives. He develops a sustained critique of interpretive and discursive trends in contemporary anthropology, which have too strongly emphasized social determinism and public symbols while too readily dismissing psychological and biographical realities.

Anthropology Through a Double Lens demonstrates the power of an alternative dual perspective through a blend of critical essays and ethnographic studies drawn from the author's field research in São Luís, a northeastern Brazilian state capital, and Toyota City, a Japanese factory town. To span the gap between the public and the personal, Linger provides a set of analytical tools that include the ideas of an arena of meaning, systems of systems, bridging theory, singular lives, and reflective consciousness. The tools open theoretical and ethnographic horizons for exploring the process of meaning-making, the force of symbolism and rhetoric, the politics of representation, and the propagation and formation of identities. Linger uses these tools to focus on key issues in current theoretical and philosophical debates across a host of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, history, and the other human sciences.

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant famously defined anthropology as the study of what it means to be a human being. Following in his footsteps Anthropology and the Human Subject provides a critical, comprehensive and wide-ranging investigation of conceptions of the human subject within the Western intellectual tradition, focusing specifically on the secular trends of the twentieth century. Encyclopaedic in scope, lucidly and engagingly written, the book covers the man and varied currents of thought within this tradition. Each chapter deals with a specific intellectual paradigm, ranging from Marxs historical materialism and Darwins evolutionary naturalism, and their various off shoots, through to those currents of though that were prominent in the late twentieth century, such as, for example, existentialism, hermeneutics, phenomenology and poststructuralism. With respect to each current of thought a focus is placed on their main exemplars, outlining their biographical context, their mode of social analysis, and the ontology of the subject that emerges from their key texts. The book will appeal not only to anthropologists but to students and scholars within the human sciences and philosophy, as well as to any person interested in the question: What does it mean to be human? Ambitions in scope and encyclopaedic in execution...his style is always lucid. He makes difficult work accessible. His prose conveys the unmistakable impression of a superb and meticulous lecturer at work. Anthony P Cohen Journal Royal Anthropological Institute There is a very little I can add to the outstanding criticism Brian Morris levels at deep ecology...Insightful as well as incisive...I have found his writings an educational experience. Murray Bookchin Institute of Social Ecology
Graham Hancock's multi-million bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods remains an astonishing, deeply controversial, wide-ranging investigation of the mysteries of our past and the evidence for Earth's lost civilization. Twenty years on, Hancock returns with the sequel to his seminal work filled with completely new, scientific and archaeological evidence, which has only recently come to light...

Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap. The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth's crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world. A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.

The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago. But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning. They settled at key locations - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru and across the Pacific where a huge pyramid has recently been discovered in Indonesia. Everywhere they went these 'Magicians of the Gods' brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price. A memory and a warning to the future...

For the comet that wrought such destruction between 12,800 and 11,600 years may not be done with us yet. Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide 'dark' fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within its debris stream and threatens the Earth. An astronomical message encoded at Gobekli Tepe, and in the Sphinx and the pyramids of Egypt,warns that the 'Great Return' will occur in our time...

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