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Read e-book online An Anthropology of the Subject: Holographic Worldview in New PDF

By Roy Wagner

An Anthropology of the topic rounds out the theoretical-philosophical cosmos of 1 of the 20 th century's so much intellectually adventurous anthropologists. Roy Wagner, having grew to become "culture" and "symbols" within out (in the discovery of tradition and emblems That Stand for Themselves, respectively), now does an identical for the "subject" and subjectivity. In learning the human topic and how human tradition mirrors itself, Wagner has redefined holography as "the detailed equivalence, or finished identification, of half and entire in any human contingency."

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

Example text

Reason enables its own enabling. So the facts that nothing “counts” as evidence for a subconscious— what it is or how it works—that has not been made conscious first, nothing exemplifies “the exotic” in any conclusive way that does not familiarize it, nothing demonstrates the form or content of a trope that does not literalize and disempower it, all follow from Wittgenstein’s “finishing” of thought. The “sense” that things make, directly and physically as perception or sensation and indirectly as the logical or reasoning sense made of that sensing, always threatens to lead a life of its own.

The performance is not about the rite; the rite is about the performance. The performative or operative symbol is based on a confusion of trope with meaning or understanding and the glossing that is necessary to them, but there is no point where the performer is more mystified about these matters than during the performance itself. If the performer could only really know the rite in doing it, then what was remembered would be beside the point, and the anthropologist would emerge from the experience in no better shape than the indigenous performers.

The search for a criterion of measure or limitation at the roots of subjective capability brings us to the same variety of causal enchainment or postponement that we find in the reception of trope as linguistic icon or metaphor. If one can only do justice to the sense of a metaphor through the office of another metaphor, and if the “performance” of what it may mean is always another performance, as distinct from the original, then the contagion has no practical limits. The idea that a metaphor could “cause” or provoke another metaphor is, however credible, itself another metaphor—that of telling the one from the other.

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