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Scoping Recursivity

A Comment on Franklin and Napier

Martin Holbraad

Commenting on two articles that have appealed to the notion of 'recursivity' to articulate new directions for anthropological thinking, this piece seeks to clarify the scope of a recursive turn in contemporary anthropology, distinguishing it from elements of recursivity that have always been present in the discipline's epistemic procedures.

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Recursivity and the Self-Reflexive Cosmos

Tricksters in Cuban and Brazilian Spirit Mediumship Practices

Diana Espírito Santo

of the dividends of their awareness for human experience. Recursivity here is thus deeply related to self-reflexivity or self-awareness: it is because the cosmos is aware of itself as cosmos (in its constitution) that it is able to describe, produce

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Overcoming the Quantity-Quality Divide in Economic Anthropology

Sandy Ross, Mario Schmidt, and Ville Koskinen

addresses that gap by exploring new dimensions of money’s quantities. Modes of Divisibility: Arithmetic and Recursive Quantities Jean Piaget’s (1965) research on how children understand conservation of quantities can help explain differences between

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Anthropological Entrapments

Ethnographic Analysis Before and After Relations and Comparisons

Alberto Corsín Jiménez

ability to do double duty as ethnographic and analytical effects. This is another way of saying that the work that entrapments do is ‘recursive’, making the effects of analysis visible from the point of view of the very context or form that enables it

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Recursive Tricks and Holographic Infinities

"The Invention of Culture" and After

Doug Dalton

At the beginning of the Winnebago trickster cycle, trickster fails as a chief by repeatedly calling a war party (which chiefs never do) each time only to be found cohabiting with a woman (which war leaders never do). Eventually leading his warriors, trickster utterly alienates them by smashing his own canoe and sacred war bundle. Finally left entirely alone, he then uses straw dummies to trick a buffalo into a quagmire, but as he carves the meat, his left and right arms fight over it; his right arm, holding the knife, butchers his left arm, leaving trickster to despair.

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R. W. Emerson

. By Peter Harries‐Jones Do you see that kitten chasing so prettily her own tail? If you could look with her eyes you might see her surrounded with hundreds of figures performing complex dramas… ‐ and meantime it is only puss and her tail. How long before our masquerade will end its noise and tambourines, laughter and shouting, and we shall find it was a solitary performance? A subject and an object ‐it takes so much to make the galvanic circuit complete, but magnitude adds nothing. What imports it whether it is Kepler and the sphere, Columbus and America, a reader and his book, or puss with her tail?

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Geoffrey Hughes

In 2018, social anthropology finds itself increasingly concerned with its technical, legal and political conditions of possibility. The long‐term effects of austerity, financialisation and the technological transformation of media on teaching, research and publishing have led to intense struggles over the labour and property regimes underpinning the discipline. In responding to these challenges, anthropologists seem to be re‐conceptualising their own personhood and labour through the diverse conceptualisations of their interlocutors. However, it is also important to remember what makes social anthropology and its unique professional challenges but a small facet of a larger human condition. By way of conclusion, I offer kinship (the public's constitutive other) as one potential means of grappling with the limitations of social anthropology's own publicity.

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“Money Is Life”

Quantity, Social Freedom, and Combinatory Practices in Western Kenya

Mario Schmidt

, concrete, and recursive. This equivocality enables actors to use money as a sign that stands against—rather than for—itself ( Wagner 1986 ). On the one hand, money can symbolize cruel, arbitrary omnipotence (abstract money, pesa mok bi rumo , ‘money that

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Icelandic Resource Landscapes and the State

Experiments in Energy, Capital, and Aluminium

James Maguire

towards the apparent stability of industrial production. But what this fieldwork from south Iceland shows is that relations of instability and stability are not absolute, but recursive. As the Icelandic state continues to intercede in the landscape

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Peter Oakley

a comprehensive gold assay, the form of the money chain facilitated its functionality as an object of exchange. In the money chain we find a piece of jewelry that exhibits the same properties as money in terms of recursive divisibility. The chain is