How far is the ethnographic study of 'cosmologies' relevant to contemporary anthropology, and how might it illuminate understandings of the contemporary world? In this article we argue for a renewed anthropological interest in matters cosmological by seeking to disentangle the study of cosmology from the concomitants with which it was associated in earlier periods of anthropological research. In particular, we argue that an orientation toward cosmology continues to be of prime importance to the discipline insofar as it can be freed from its associations with holism and exoticism. The shift from 'high modernity' (in which orientations toward cosmos are variously constrained and circumscribed) to the flattening effects of the 'fluid' modernity of neoliberalism, we argue, has tended to thrust concerns with cosmic orders and dynamics back onto the forefront of people's lives. We end the article with a series of programmatic observations of how anthropologists might respond to these shifts, both ethnographically and analytically.
Allen Abramson and Martin Holbraad
A Conceptual Inquiry
Timo Pankakoski and Antto Vihma
Nevertheless, for Montaigne, it was still possible to construct meaningful wholes from ancient wisdom: a good student would adopt “pieces” from antiquity, yet transform these into something new like bees in producing honey. 54 In high modernity, the same
A Complex and Ambivalent Identity
-bestowing claims and hence perpetually ambivalent ,” while Beck (1994: 33) argues that as high modernity abolishes its own ordering categories, “irreducible ambivalences, the new disorder of risk civilization, openly appear.” Such ambivalence, intensified by the
through millennia of adaptation under natural selection ( Ingold 2000: 373–391 ). At the other end of history stand the arch-representatives of high modernity, namely scientists, in whom an absolute commitment to reason has finally put paid to the