Cannibal Metaphysics by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

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By Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

The iconoclastic Brazilian anthropologist and theoretician Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, popular in his self-discipline for assisting begin its “ontological turn,” bargains a imaginative and prescient of anthropology as “the perform of the everlasting decolonization of thought.” After displaying that Amazonian and different Amerindian teams inhabit a notably varied conceptual universe than ours—in which nature and tradition, human and nonhuman, topic and item are conceived in phrases that opposite our own—he provides the case for anthropology because the learn of such “other” metaphysical schemes, and because the corresponding critique of the thoughts imposed on them through the human sciences. alongside the way in which, he spells out the results of this anthropology for considering as a rule through an important reassessment of the paintings of Claude Lévi-Strauss, arguments for the continuing relevance of Deleuze and Guattari, dialogues with the paintings of Philippe Descola, Bruno Latour, and Marilyn Strathern, and artistic remedies of difficulties of ontology, translation, and transformation. daring, unforeseen, and profound, Cannibal Metaphysics is without doubt one of the leader works marking anthropology’s present go back to the theoretical middle degree.

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Labor? The Lichtungi Prohibition? Neoteny? Metaintentionality? 3. This perspective on immanence is not exactly the same as that of Levi-Straus in the passage cited above. 43 All these absences resemble each other. For in truth, taking them for the problem is exactly the problem, which thus contains the form o f the response: the form o f a Great Divide, the same gesture o f exclusion that made the human species the biological analogue o f the anthropological West, confusing all the other spe­ cies and peoples in a common, privative alterity.

We have to grasp the consequences o f the idea that those societies and cultures that are the object o f anthropological research influence, or, to put it more accurately, coproduce the theories o f society and culture that it formulates. To deny this would be to accept a par­ ticular kind o f constructivism that, at the risk o f imploding in on itself, inevitably ends up telling the same simple story: anthropol­ ogy always poorly constructed its objects, but when the authors o f the critical denunciations put pen to paper, the lights came on, and it begin to construct them correctly.

31 Defining the moderns by drawing internal contrasts among them is not entirely flush with perspectivism’s demand to push them outside themselves, and Latour’s symmetrization o f anthro­ pology is thus probably asymmetrically achieved (the moderns look very different from the outside than they do from within). Yet at the same time, Latour’s metaphysics is perhaps the very first to constrain itself to the ontology o f a people, and it is in this respect entirely amenable to being joined to an account o f the ontologies o f others.

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