A. L. Epstein’s enduring argument
The reasonable man and emotion
in Anthropology after Gluckman
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Chapter 7 considers the work on law, courts and justice by A. L. ‘Bill’ Epstein, the only one among Gluckman’s students who engaged publicly in sustained debate with Gluckman about the most cherished ideas of his mentor, colleague and life-long cherished friend. Whle he criticized Gluckman’s core arguments on the reasonable man, he and Gluckman remained on the very best of terms. They continued, also, always to make the most of actual cases, the very stuff of everyday hearings in court. Chapter 7, which discloses how they brought their case method to bear in interpretive, forensic and ethical reasoning, locates their arguments in a wider discussion of legal anthropology. Epstein made his contributions with characteristic deliberation. His moves were not only in ethnographic area – from his fieldwork in Zambia and his interest in Central African courts to his research on dispute settlement in Melanesia – but also in a turn from problems of the importance of reason and reasonableness, morality and ethics, in the affordance of justice. In this later turn, his cutting-edge exploration, bridging the anthropology of affect and legal anthropology, continues to be challenging for future research.

Anthropology after Gluckman

The Manchester School, colonial and postcolonial transformations

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