This article outlines a conceptual dyad that maps onto a widespread preoccupation with the untangling and elimination of religious traces among avowedly nonreligious people: clarification and disposal. Clarification denotes the reworking of morality, ceremonial conduct, and artistic expression as endeavors that are essentially human or cultural and therefore only incidental to religious traditions. Disposal refers to practices that aim to remove that which is deemed religious and irrational. We suggest that dilemmas of clarification and disposal are felt by all self-consciously nonreligious people. Combining ethnographic research in India and a comparative engagement with findings from elsewhere, the article also demonstrates how clarification and disposal offer a corrective contribution to analytical languages in the study of nonreligion.
Clarification and Disposal as Key Concepts in the Anthropology of Nonreligion
John Hagström and Jacob Copeman
Keynes and Marx, Merchants, and Poets
meaning had to be subordinated to the primary signification of clarity. The dominant meaning of liquidity as clarification is established in dictionaries in French, English, German, and Italian. In French, we are given a typical example from the early
Systematizing Democratic Systems Approaches
Seven Conceptual Building Blocks
Rikki Dean, Jonathan Rinne, and Brigitte Geissel
approaches. Moreover, we build on existing approaches by introducing new conceptual clarifications within building blocks; for example, we introduce a differentiation between the individual and the collective dimension of norms, functions, practices, and
Sociality, Seriousness, and Cynicism
A Response to Ronald Santoni on Bad Faith
. This article therefore begins with a clarification of Sartre's conception of a project, followed by an explanation of his claim that one project is fundamental. We are then in a position to see clearly what it means to call bad faith a fundamental
The Human Body as Raw Material
cinematic depictions of the human body as raw material. My investigation will proceed, first, by explicating an ontological distinction between being-in-itself and being-for-itself , which will allow for a clarification of the processes involved in the
Being-looked-at: Ontological Grounding for an Ethics in Being and Nothingness
The importance of freedom in Sartre’s philosophy cannot be overestimated, and the understanding of Sartre’s account of freedom is necessary for the understanding of Sartre’s philosophy as a whole. In this article, I will show that there are two distinct, but related, notions of freedom used in Being and Nothingness, and will suggest that a clarification of the two notions will open the possibility of grounding Sartre’s demand that each individual should promote the freedom of all Others.
The Human and the Social
A Comparison of the Discourses of Human Development, Human Security and Social Quality
This paper presents a structured comparison of the social quality approach with the UNDP-led 'human development' approach and its sister work (especially in the UN system and Japan) on 'human security'. Through clarification of their respective foci, roles and underlying theoretical and value assumptions, the paper suggests that partnership of the social quality approach with these 'human' approaches appears possible and relevant for each side.
Commoning and publicizing
Struggles for social goods
Public goods have been neglected, if not outright rejected, by the anti-capitalist literature, which favors “commons.” This article argues that equal attention should be given to commons and to public goods—both are essential to social reproduction. Their difference is not one of nature, but of status; it results from the way they are managed and distributed. I offer some conceptual clarifications in the literature on commons, public goods, club goods and private goods, and argue for an approach that looks at the status of goods. This opens up room for examining two ways struggles for social goods are and may be waged: commoning and publicizing. While commoning practices require organization at the community level, publicizing practices make claims on the state as a provider of public goods.
Reflections on the Meaning of the “Crisis of Democracy”
This article addresses a question that sits at the heart of democracy studies today: What do we mean when we speak about a “crisis of democracy”? The article opens with introductory clarifications on the meanings of the concept of crisis—namely its root in medicine, and on three contemporary perspectives of democracy—trilateral, deliberative, and crisis. These perspectives are analyzed using monoarchic and diarchic distinctions. Next, the article lists the main discourses about crisis in recent political theory literature. In conclusion, the article proposes an answer to the question of what we mean by crisis of democracy by arguing that it is not democracy in general but one form of democracy in particular that is in crisis—a parliamentary democracy based on the centrality of suffrage and political parties.
Cuing Deception through Performance in 1940s Hollywood Cinema
J. Brandon Colvin
People are bad at recognizing liars. Data culled from several psychological experiments demonstrates that even the most well trained individuals – government agents, police officers, and so on – can barely succeed at a 50 percent rate. Lying and deception, however, are fundamental narrative elements in several film genres – particularly the detective film and the female gothic, genres that peaked in popularity in 1940s Hollywood. Considering their real-life lack of proficiency, how do viewers successfully spot deception in such films? Drawing on findings from a handful of experiments, this article brings cognitive psychological concepts to bear on two 1940s films: Out of the Past (1947) and Secret Beyond the Door (1948). The article claims that filmmakers, particularly actors, exaggerate, simplify, and emphasize deception cues to selectively achieve narrative clarification or revelation. This process reveals not only how viewers recognize deception, but how actors stylize real-life behavior in service of narrative and aesthetic priorities.