This article argues that the moral dimensions of the term 'culture' have been under-theorized in anthropology. The argument stems from a particular reading of the Western philosophy of ethics. Based in economic anthropology, I explore how an understanding of the moral imperative can illuminate differences in processes of accumulation. After a discussion of the concept of morality in philosophy and in recent anthropology, I go on to examine the principles of altruism and reciprocal utility in the light of theories of kinship and of rational choice. I then outline an argument concerning the general form of moral reasoning. According to this argument, kinship classifications function logically to synthesize variable distributions in different societies of two interconnected principles—altruism and reciprocal utility.
A Symposium on Michael Banner's The Ethics of Everyday Life
Michael Banner, Lesley A. Sharp, Richard Madsen, John H. Evans, J. Derrick Lemons, and Thomas J. Csordas
What Moral Theology (and Moral Philosophy) Needs from Social Anthropology Michael Banner
The Ethics of Suffering in Everyday Life Lesley A. Sharp
Ethical Narrative and Moral Theory Richard Madsen
Specifying the Relationship between Social Anthropology and Moral Theology John H. Evans
The Ethics of Everyday Life: The Next Word J. Derrick Lemons
Reading Michael Banner on Moral Theology and Social Anthropology Thomas J. Csordas
Descriptions, Norms, and the Uses of Ethnography Michael Banner
la genèse d’une « imagination sociologique »
Mauss was a student at Bordeaux between 1890 and 1895, and this discussion of his university library loans directly complements an earlier article on those of Durkheim, who taught there from 1897 to 1902. Mauss worked hand in glove with his uncle, and although the profiles of their library use were quite different, all the material borrowed by Mauss was closely related with material amongst Durkheim’s loans. Archival evidence brings out how Mauss prepared for the agrégation in philosophy in a way that went well beyond the examination itself, indeed, that in effect transcended philosophy, and that included a year at the Sorbonne that was crucial for the future. If Durkheim showed a methodological imagination – drawing on a variety of disciplines, albeit largely through a ‘hidden’ reading of uncited references – in order to elaborate a sociological approach for his time, Mauss showed a sociological imagination in an effort, in parallel with his academic commitments, to develop his uncle’s work straightaway. Their close collaboration with one another during this period is a platform for reconsidering the nature, up to 1914, of the intellectual link between Mauss and Durkheim, as two sociologists who were above all separated by a ‘chronological’ gap, who occupied two different positions that, while helping to explain disagreement, made possible their project of disciplinary ‘conquest’ begun at Bordeaux, and who, lastly, produced the same general sociology based on two related approaches. My conclusion returns to their Bordeaux ‘moment’ and the veritable symbolic blitzkrieg they conducted there.
Émile Durkheim ou de l'éducation
This presentation is an invitation to reconsider the importance of Durkheim's lectures on educational systems and pedagogy. Although pedagogy and the 'science of education' were the only way of starting a university career when sociology did not exist as an institutionalized discipline, one should not limit Durkheim's effort to academic strategy. Texts on education are central in the definition of morality, but they may also be viewed as a bench test for developing historical sociology, for introducing new notions (particularly concerning the inertia of a social system) or for refining key concepts (density, corporation, mobility).
Md Saidul Islam
Contesting the U.S.-centric bias of modern environmentalism, this essay uncovers an “old“ paradigm of environmentalism found in the medieval Islamic tradition, the Islamic Ecological Paradigm (IEP)—which, in many respects, is tantamount to many ideologies of modern environmentalism. According to IEP, human beings are a part of, and not above, nature, and have the responsibility to preserve nature. Many paradigms of modern environmentalism have largely embraced this ideology, though they do not necessarily trace their origin to IEP. This essay also analyzes Muslim environmental activism today by focusing on how its proponents are inspired by modern environmentalism while grounding their activism in IEP. Despite substantial variance and occasional tension, the author argues that both modern environmentalism and IEP can form an ontological alliance, an alliance that is of paramount importance to addressing environmental problems that transcend physical and cultural borders.
and bring disparate frameworks from human geography, cultural anthropology, and philosophy; in each article, they engage with both the immediate present and the broader arc of time and reflect on the pragmatic and practical dimensions of relationships
Mood, Intuition and Imagination in Architectural Practice
2011 ; Throop 2010 , 2014 ) and key concepts from phenomenological philosophy, I argue that these modalities of anticipation vary in their focality and availability to conscious reflection. As anticipatory experience emerges in time, the more implicit
“When the purpose at hand begins from the perspective of a philosophy of praxis, that is to say from a motivation to enhance the leverage of radical democratic interventions in history, then the forming of the intellectual problem takes a
Reflections on 'Ontology'
This piece reflects on two 'ontological turns': the recent anthropological movement and that occasioned earlier in analytic philosophy by the work of W. V. O. Quine. I argue that the commitment entailed by 'ontology' is incompatible with the laudable aim of the 'ontological turn' in anthropology to take seriously radical difference and alterity.
Ethnic Symbol in Post-Communist Sakha Republic (Iakutiia)
This report is on contemporary processes related to horse breeding in Sakha (Iakutiia), northeastern Russia. I demonstrate the importance of the horse figure in the philosophy of the Sakha, a hunting and herding people of Siberia, as well as the parallelism between the diminishing utilitarian function of the horse and reinforcing symbolism in the post-communist context.