Between Two Truths

Time in Physics and Fiji

in Social Analysis
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Abstract

This article provides an ontological reconsideration of time, which anthropological theory has typically presumed as a given. It does so by ‘comparing’ two truth claims: that of native activists in Fiji, who worked to actualize their leader’s prediction and ‘His Time’, and that of physics, the sturdiest of the scientific disciplines. The aim of this thought experiment is to expand our understanding of natives’ claims but also to question our perception of time and how our technological environment preserves its reality. The article argues for an understanding where the levels of qualia and quanta cease to be disconnected, thereby confirming the significance of ontological approaches in anthropology today.

Contributor Notes

Naoki Kasuga is a Professor of Anthropology at Hitotsubashi University. He has written on a wide range of topics from mathematics to crime novels. Among his many publications are Rasputin in the Pacific: The Historical Anthropology of the Viti Kambani Movement (2001, Kyoto: Sekai Shisosha, in Japanese) and “Total Social Fact: Structuring, Partially Connecting, and Reassembling” (Revue du MAUSS, 2010).

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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