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Delta Ontologies

Infrastructural Transformations in the Chao Phraya Delta, Thailand

Atsuro Morita and Casper Bruun Jensen

possible for local inhabitants as well as local and foreign ‘innovators’ to enact deltaic landscapes in radically divergent ways. Here we focus on divergent but co-existing ontologies in the Chao Phraya Delta in Thailand. Characterizing these ontologies

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David Zeitlyn

From the outside, it seems that many of those circling round the ontological turn seem to take for granted that anthropologists can recognize an ontology when they see, taste, or smell one and that no further definition is needed. However, turning

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The Ontological Turn

Taking Different Worlds Seriously

Andrew Pickering

nonhuman world we all inhabit. There’s nothing very disturbing there after all. But in the twenty-first century, the social constructivist consensus has broken down, and both anthropology and science and technology studies (STS) have taken an ontological

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William Matthews

lines prediction are justified according to an explicit ontology—a fully established account of the fundamental kinds of things that exist—which diviners draw on to explain how their practice works. The six lines method is based on the two

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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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A political ontology of seeds

The transformative frictions of a farmers' movement in Europe

Elise Demeulenaere

This article follows the trajectory of a French farmers' movement that contests the seed production and regulation system set in place during agricultural modernization. It focuses on the creativity of the movement, which ranges from semantic innovations (such as “peasant seeds”) to the reinvention of onfarm breeding practices based on new scientific paradigms, and includes new alliances with the social movements defending the commons. The trajectory of the movement is shaped by its encounters—with scientists, other international seed contestations, and other social movements—and by the productive frictions they create. This in-depth reframing of the activities connected to seeds contributes to building a counternarrative about farmers and seeds that reopens spaces for contestation. In this counternarrative, “peasant seeds” play a central and subversive role in the sense that they question the ontological assumptions of present seed laws.

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T. M. S. Evens

This essay argues that the Manchester case study method or situational analysis has theoretical implications more radical than Gluckman was in a position to see, implications bearing on the nature of the reality of society. In effect, the essay is an anthropological exercise in ontology. It maintains that the problems situational analysis was designed to address were integral to, and hence irresolvable in, the Durkheimian social ontology then characterizing British social anthropology, and that situational analysis insinuated an altogether different ontology. The latter is adumbrated here by appeal to certain Heideggerian concepts in an effort to bring into relief the unique capacity of situational analysis to capture social practice in its dynamic openness and, correlatively, in relation to human agency as a distinctively creative force.

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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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Ontological Opportunism

Reanimating the Inanimate in Physics and Science Communication at CERN

Anne Dippel

underline ontological understanding of science at its most fundamental level. The claim that science is infused with magical thought, animist concepts and has ‘never been modern’ ( Latour 1993 ) has been a long-standing given in anthropology as well as

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Unsettling the Land

Indigeneity, Ontology, and Hybridity in Settler Colonialism

Paul Berne Burow, Samara Brock, and Michael R. Dove

What are the stakes of different ontologies of land in settler colonialism and Indigenous movements for decolonization and environmental justice? Settler colonialism describes a structure of exogenous domination in which Indigenous inhabitants of a