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Technological Animism

The Uncanny Personhood of Humanoid Machines

Kathleen Richardson

, and scientific exploration are brought to bear on the question of what it means to be human. I propose the term ‘technological animism’ to describe the conceptual model of personhood that emerges in the interaction between fiction, robotics, and

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Introduction

Anthropological Knowledge Making, the Reflexive Feedback Loop, and Conceptualizations of the Soul

Katherine Swancutt and Mireille Mazard

body and soul that may enable us to redefine the boundaries of animism as theory and as practice. Kathleen Richardson’s study of robotics in this issue shows the power of ‘technological animism’ even in the absence of souls and soul theory, whereby

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Recursivity and the Self-Reflexive Cosmos

Tricksters in Cuban and Brazilian Spirit Mediumship Practices

Diana Espírito Santo

, through forms of technological animism. We are reminded here of Kapferer’s (2005: 131) evocative argument that Singhalese exorcistic rites work precisely because there is no reality that is not at once illusory, “that is, constituted and sensible through

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The Algebra of Souls

Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China

Mireille Mazard

–143) describes spectral doppelgängers as a “defence against annihilation” that nevertheless become “object[s] of terror.” He sees them as liminal beings between life and death, as Richardson notes in her ethnography of technological animism (this issue). However