This is the first book to explore the relationship between Martin Heideggers work and modern anthropology. Heidegger attracts much scholarly interest among social scientists, but few have explored his ideas in relation to current anthropological debates. The disciplines modernist foundations, the nature of cultural constructionism and of art even what an anthropology of art must include are all informed and illuminated by Heideggers work. The author argues that many contemporary anthropologists, in their concern to return subjectivity and voice to their interlocutors, neglect to recognize that language and other representational practices conceal the world and human subjectivity as much as reveal it. The author also suggests that Heideggers critique of western technology provides the basis for a return to anthropologys sociological foundations. Emerging from over ten years of original research, and drawing on a rich knowledge of Australian and Melanesian ethnography, this book reassesses the underlying framework of modern and, particularly, visual anthropology. Innovative and provocative, it will be of interest to all anthropologists, philosophers and students of art and culture.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: Heidegger and Anthropology's Nihilism Part I: Place, Death and Voice in Foi 2 Space and Naming: The Inscriptive Effects of Foi Life Activity 3 Being and Striving: Death, Gender and Temporality among the Poi 4 To Be At Home with Others in an Empty Place 51 Part Il: The Limits of Human Relationship 5 The Limit of Relationship 6 Technology and Techne in Trobriand and Yolngu Art Part III: The Aestheticization of Social Relations 7 The Community as a Work of Art 8 Prelude: Light and Language 9 On Televisualist Anthropology: Representation, Aesthetics, Politics, 10 The Scale of Human Life
James F. Weiner is Visiting Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University