In this article I discuss different scientific and non-modern
worlds as they appear in a performative (rather than representational)
idiom, situating my analysis in relation to the recent ontological turns
in science and technology studies (STS) and anthropology. I propose
an ontology of decentered becoming that can help us take seriously the
multiplicity of ‘found’ ontologies. A key concept is that of ‘islands of
stability’, which enables a comparative transition between the worlds of
science and shamanism. This offers an opportunity to reflect back critically
and politically on modernity, while highlighting the problems of
anthropological translation that surface in a performative apprehension
of non-modern worlds. In conclusion, I touch on scientific and nonscientific
worlds (complexity theory, cybernetics, Taoism, Zen) that do
not center themselves on islands of stability.
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