Advanced

Animism, fetishism, and objectivism as strategies for knowing (or not knowing) the world

Hornborg, Alf LU (2006) In Ethnos 71(1). p.21-32
Abstract
Animistic or 'relational' ontologies encountered in non-Western (i.e. premodern) settings pose a challenge to Western (i.e. modern) knowledge production, as they violate fundamentalassumptions of Cartesian science. Naturalscientists who have tried seriously to incorporate subject-subject relations into their intellectual practice (e.g. Uexküll, Bateson) have inexorably been relegated to the margins. Surrounded by philosophers and sociologists of science (e.g. Latour) announcing the end of Cartesian objectivism, however,late modern or 'post-modern' anthropologists discussing animistic understandings of nature will be excused for taking them more seriously than their predecessors. It is incumbent on them to analytically sort out what... (More)
Animistic or 'relational' ontologies encountered in non-Western (i.e. premodern) settings pose a challenge to Western (i.e. modern) knowledge production, as they violate fundamentalassumptions of Cartesian science. Naturalscientists who have tried seriously to incorporate subject-subject relations into their intellectual practice (e.g. Uexküll, Bateson) have inexorably been relegated to the margins. Surrounded by philosophers and sociologists of science (e.g. Latour) announcing the end of Cartesian objectivism, however,late modern or 'post-modern' anthropologists discussing animistic understandings of nature will be excused for taking them more seriously than their predecessors. It is incumbent on them to analytically sort out what epistemological options there are, and to ask why pre-modern, modern, and post-modern people will tend to deal with culture/nature or subject/object hybridity in such different ways. Animism, fetishism, and objectivism can be understood as alternative responses to universal semiotic anxieties about where or how to draw boundaries between persons and things. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Animism, fetishism, objectivism, modernity, epistemology, semiotics
in
Ethnos
volume
71
issue
1
pages
21 - 32
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • wos:000236324500004
  • scopus:33644802558
ISSN
0014-1844
DOI
10.1080/00141840600603129
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ecc24d61-bea9-4654-92a8-27c36959e20b (old id 161577)
date added to LUP
2007-07-26 10:37:43
date last changed
2019-04-07 04:14:19
@article{ecc24d61-bea9-4654-92a8-27c36959e20b,
  abstract     = {Animistic or 'relational' ontologies encountered in non-Western (i.e. premodern) settings pose a challenge to Western (i.e. modern) knowledge production, as they violate fundamentalassumptions of Cartesian science. Naturalscientists who have tried seriously to incorporate subject-subject relations into their intellectual practice (e.g. Uexküll, Bateson) have inexorably been relegated to the margins. Surrounded by philosophers and sociologists of science (e.g. Latour) announcing the end of Cartesian objectivism, however,late modern or 'post-modern' anthropologists discussing animistic understandings of nature will be excused for taking them more seriously than their predecessors. It is incumbent on them to analytically sort out what epistemological options there are, and to ask why pre-modern, modern, and post-modern people will tend to deal with culture/nature or subject/object hybridity in such different ways. Animism, fetishism, and objectivism can be understood as alternative responses to universal semiotic anxieties about where or how to draw boundaries between persons and things.},
  author       = {Hornborg, Alf},
  issn         = {0014-1844},
  keyword      = {Animism,fetishism,objectivism,modernity,epistemology,semiotics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {21--32},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Ethnos},
  title        = {Animism, fetishism, and objectivism as strategies for knowing (or not knowing) the world},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00141840600603129},
  volume       = {71},
  year         = {2006},
}