An Anthropology of the Enlightenment : Moral Social Relations Then and Today book cover
1st Edition

An Anthropology of the Enlightenment
Moral Social Relations Then and Today

ISBN 9781350086593
Published October 16, 2020 by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $37.95

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Book Description

In a time of intellectual uncertainty, the question of how we know what we do about human lives becomes ever more pressing. The essays collated in this volume argue that anthropology can be used to acknowledge, explore and interpret divergence and ideological conflict over human meaning. Using questions raised as part of the Enlightenment movement, this volume is structured around some of the key themes the Enlightenment fostered, including human nature, time, Earth and the Cosmos, beauty, order, harmony and design, moral sentiments, and the query of whether wealthy nations make for healthy publics. The volume focuses in particular on how 'moral sentiment' offered a guiding idea in Enlightenment thought. The idea of 'moral sentiment' is central to the essays' grappling with the ethical anxieties of contemporary anthropology. The essays therefore trace historical connections and fissures and focus on Adam Smith's attempts toward an understanding of what would later be called 'modernity'. With an afterword from Marilyn Strathern, this volume will be a strong addition to the Association of Social Anthropologists conference proceedings.

Table of Contents

List of ContributorsPreface: The 'Star' Consortium and the ASA Decennial ConferenceIntroduction: Moral Social Relations as Methodology and Everyday PracticeNigel Rapport (University of St. Andrews, UK) and Huon Wardle (University of St. Andrews, UK)1. After Sympathy, a QuestionAnne Line Dalsgård (Aarhus University, Denmark)2. His Father Came to Him in His Sleep: An Essay on Enlightenment, Mortalities and Immortalities in IcelandArnar Anason (University of Aberdeen, UK)3. On 'Bad Mind': Orienting Sentiments in Jamaican Street LifeHuon Wardle (University of St Andrews, UK)4. Westermarck, Moral Relativity and Ethical BehaviourDavid Shankland (University of Bristol, UK)5. Saving Sympathy: Adam Smith, Morality, Law and CommerceDiane Austin-Broos (University of Sydney, Australia)6. 'Can We Have Our Nature/Culture Dichotomy Back, Please'?Nigel Clark (Lancaster University, UK), Rupert Stasch (University of Cambridge, UK) and Jon Bialecki, (Lancaster University, UK)7. Who Are We to Judge? Two Metalogues on MoralityRonald Stade (University of Malmo, Sweden)8. 'We Are All Human': Cosmopolitanism as a Radically Political, Moral ProjectElisabeth Kirtsoglou (Durham University, UK)9. Transference and Cosmopolitan Politesse: Coming to Terms with the Distorted, ‘Tragic’ Quality of Social Relations between Individual Human BeingsNigel Rapport (University of St Andrews, UK)10. Afterword: Becoming Enlightened About RelationsMarilyn Strathern (University of Cambridge, UK)Index

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Nigel Rapport is Professor of Anthropological and Philosophical Studies at the University of St Andrews, UK.Huon Wardle is Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews, UK.


"This is a noteworthy and laudable effort to bridge Enlightenment thought, that Age of Reason, with the social world of today, which many would assert is an Age of Unreason. - Lee Drummond, McGill University, Canada This brilliant book illuminates acute issues in anthropology on methodology, ontology and epistemology by suggesting an anthropologically inspired moral voice and vision. - Helena Wulff, Stockholm University, Sweden This wide-ranging collection of essays clearly demonstrates the undiminished value of Enlightenment thinking. - Martin L. Davies, University of Leicester, UK The mandate of this exciting collection is a re-engagement with Enlightenment ideas, particularly the concept of “moral sentiment”. Its accomplished set of authors challenge us to consider what such ideas mean for contemporary anthropological practice and theory. - Vered Amit, Concordia University, Canada"