New #1 Paul Rabinow wrote 0 sec ago

Lyle's lucid and insightful post opens up an important field of discussion and thought.
It would be important for several people to pursue this synthesis and to expand to discuss to other venues.

One question that arises for me: why now? There would seem to be at least two dimensions to this (no doubt there are others). (1) Is there a problematization to which this ontological term is one possible solution? and (2) it strikes me that there is a re-occupation of older problem spaces (nineteenth century) that is a mistake.


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lyle wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

The question of the current

The question of the current problematization to which this is one possible response, but where there could be others is excellent and it will be interesting to investigate. A quick comment: in Gildas Salmon's review piece, he notes a transformation which he situates in a move from Strathern to Descola/Latour in which the problematization of Nature/Culture shifts from being a feminist one to being an environmentalist one. Or at least this is the alliance that gives it broader force. In the earlier Descola writings, the problem seems to be much more along the lines of how to synthesize Marx and Levi-Strauss. So there has been an implicit alliance made with media publicity and power of the environmentalist movement/problematization. This alliance with environmentalism also partly explains the accord with Latour.

A third problematization of nature/culture leads towards the questions of truth, power and ethics in anthropological inquiry put forward in "Humanism as nihilism".

Is there something that draws all these together and could be effectively encompassed or is it better to leave in dispersal?

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