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The Ontological Turn

Taking Different Worlds Seriously

Andrew Pickering

agency. 4 This is the ontological picture I want to dwell on. I want first to connect it back to the problematic of different worlds in science before situating it with regard to the ontological turn more generally. I then need to add a new concept

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Jeanne Favret-Saada’s Minimal Ontology

Belief and Disbelief of Mystical Forces, Perilous Conditions, and the Opacity of Being

Theodoros Kyriakides

This article explores belief and disbelief in Jeanne Favret-Saada’s writings on witchcraft and connects them to the ontological turn in anthropology. The term ‘ontology’ carries a long philosophical trajectory, and its appropriation in anthropology

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Who Is Afraid of the Ontological Wolf?

Some Comments on an Ongoing Anthropological Debate

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

This article, which was delivered as the 2014 Annual Marilyn Strathern Lecture, outlines both some of the stimuli that led to the 'ontological turn' in anthropology and some of its implications. Ontology is outlined here by the author as an anti-epistemological and counter-cultural, philosophical war machine.

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Jamie Barnes

This article offers a reflexive and phenomenological response to some of the challenges of the recent ontological turn. It argues, first, that a focus on embodiment is crucial in understanding the formation of ontological assumptions, and, second, that researchers have an ethical responsibility to practice an ‘ontological reflexivity’ that goes beyond the conceptual reflexivity of much recent ontological work. It conceives the anthropological domain as a place of ‘intra-actment’ and maintains that to avoid ontological closure, researchers must contextualize their ontological assumptions by reflexively sensitizing themselves to how these assumptions are shaped by both embodied experience and the contexts in which they are articulated and performed. This article seeks to enact this through an auto-ethnographic exploration of the author’s own embodied experience as it relates to demonic manifestations and the divine.

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Materiality as an Agency of Knowledge

Competing Forms of Knowledge in Rachel's Tomb in Tiberias

Nimrod Luz

Turn .” The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Anthropology . Available at: www.anthroencyclopedia.com/entry/ontological-turn (accessed April 15 , 2019 ). https://doi.org/10.29164/17ontology Hazard , Sonia . 2013 . “ The Material Turn in the Study

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Casper Bruun Jensen, Andrea Ballestero, Marisol de la Cadena, Michael Fisch, and Miho Ishii

This paper discusses the recent emergence of ontological approaches in science and technology studies (STS), anthropology and philosophy. Although it is common to hear of a turn, or turn, to ontology, more than one line of intellectual development is at stake. In reality, we are witness to a plural set of partly overlapping, partly divergent, turns.

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Anthropology and What There Is

Reflections on 'Ontology'

Paolo Heywood

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.

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Maryon McDonald

There has been much debate about the ‘ontological turn’ in anthropology, to the point, some might say, of near intellectual numbness. However, in the opening article of this issue, by Aparecida Vilaça, we ask readers to think this through in a new way. Vilaça’s article examines whether one can talk literally and empirically of an ‘ontological turn’ amongst a group of people in Amazonia who have converted to Christianity. The argument employs more than one source of ‘ontology’ in anthropology and the answer is tantalising and instructive.

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Maryon McDonald

There has been a certain dizziness wrought by ‘turns’ in Social Anthropology of late – one of these being the ‘ontological turn’. In the first article of this issue, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro – perhaps the enfant terrible of the ontological turn – sets out what he sees as being at stake in this turn and tries to meet some of the critics head-on. In an article provocatively entitled ‘Who is Afraid of the Ontological Wolf?’, he outlines some of the complexities whilst suggesting to readers that anthropology ‘is always about sticking one’s neck out through the looking glass of ontological difference’. The article originated as the 2014 Annual Marilyn Strathern Lecture and the author acknowledges a debt to Strathern – one of ‘more fat pigs than I could ever hope to assemble.’