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Anthropology, cosmology, and alterity
Michael W. Scott

chapter offers reflections on the relationship among wonder, cosmology, ontology, and anthropology as stimulated by two sources: my fieldwork among the Arosi of the island of Makira in Solomon Islands and my engagement with current trends in anthropological approaches to ontology. In order to suggest a logical and historical relationship among these four terms, I begin with two propositions laid out in syllogistic style. The first proposition runs as follows: if, as Plato makes Socrates say in the Theaetetus, wonder is the beginning of philosophy; and if, as Luce

in Framing cosmologies
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Fabian Graham

the cosmology upon which contemporary ritual practices are based. To achieve this, what have previously been regarded as conflicting approaches in the study of Chinese vernacular religion have been embraced. These include ontological and dialogic 5 approaches to religious phenomena including tang-ki in trance possession states, combined with historical sociology and an interpretative societal analysis. The rationale behind adopting these methodologies and how they become complementary requires elucidation. While there has been a

in Voices from the Underworld
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Doing cosmology and transforming the self the Saiva way
Soumhya Venkatesan

3 Auto-relations: doing ­cosmology and transforming the self the Saiva way Soumhya Venkatesan I contend, in this chapter, that in order to understand certain projects of ethical self-cultivation or transformation, we must pay attention to the ontological, cosmological, and anthropological assumptions and ideas in relation to which these activities are enacted. Further, attempts to understand such projects of self-cultivation necessitate the addition to the standard focus on social relations (relations external to the self) of a new attentiveness to relations

in Framing cosmologies
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Death and security – the only two certainties
Charlotte Heath-Kelly

nothing can be said to be certain, except death and security’. Mortality is, of course, the epitome of inevitability. We are all aware of our individual impermanence. But what are the political consequences of this certainty? This book argues that death is ontologically coupled with state security practice. Security responds to, and functions to displace, the anxiety of mortality – which would otherwise

in Death and security
Ontological coordination and the assessment of consistency in asylum requests
Bruno Magalhães

). How assessments of inconsistency manage to achieve truth-value is the main puzzle that concerns me here. The argument put forward in this chapter is twofold. First, I borrow the notion of ontological coordination from the work of Dutch philosopher Annemarie Mol (1999, 2002a) to spell out a further reason to doubt the use of inconsistency as justification for denial. I argue

in Security/ Mobility
The imaginary in the aesthetic of cinema
Bruce Kapferer

impetus within humanity of the Will to Power (the force of human self-creation) expressed in his poetic masterpiece, Thus Spake Zarathustra, constitutes the thematic unity of the film.1 Thus, while passing through great leaps in consciousness and development – from its primordial beginnings to its civilisational and technological mastery – humanity is presented as bound to a cycle of the repetition of the same within which it, nonetheless, can become reoriented in original ontological directions. The past is implicated in the future. However, through action in the

in Framing cosmologies
The myth and reality of social existence
Anthony King

can be employed so that it, too, contributes to contemporary debates in social theory. Certainly, this myth cannot resolve the technical issues of those debates – it cannot demonstrate the shortcomings of the concepts of structure and agency – but it does usefully symbolise the major positions in this debate. Thus, the work operates around two visions of social order, symbolised by the Ring and the Fellowship. Each represents alternative social ontologies: while the Ring signifies a dualistic society of autonomous individuals, unified only by a centralised, all

in Human agents and social structures
Jeremy C.A. Smith

dual character. That Japan’s relational orientation is reaffirmed throughout its history is evident in major episodes of engagement with the outside world and reflection on its existing dynamic traditions. The formative period features in the three major perspectives. The three diverge, however, on how social change is conditioned by relations with the East Asian region. For Eisenstadt, Japan was an unusual de-​axialising civilisation (1996). In its digestion and relativisation of the world religions, Japan had a foundational moment in which a pattern of ontological

in Debating civilisations
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The cosmological frame in anthropology
Allen Abramson and Martin Holbraad

uniformity of nature, and the Romantic enchantment with the diversities of human genius (e.g. Dupré 1993). Here, however, we may note only that, based on an ontology of a uniform nature subject to a diversity of cultural viewpoints, this image provided also the framework for the anthropological study of indigenous cosmologies, as well as a template for their overall shape. In particular, it framed the study of indigenous cosmologies with reference to what we may call a topology of reflexive ethnocentrism. According to this image, the human cosmos marks out a particular

in Framing cosmologies
Dimitris Dalakoglou

critical thinking addressing the issue of automobile highways considers them one of the most crucial elements in the development of modern capitalism. This is probably embedded within the wider school of thought that considers Nazism and fascism as programmatic of late modern capitalism (Arendt 1951; Bauman 1989; Virilio 1974). For example, Arendt, in her discussion of the banality of evil (1951), suggested that the ontology of the modern capitalist state (dictatorial or democratic) is such that it facilitates the organization and the performance of a potential holocaust

in The road