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Anthropology as irony and philosophy, or the knots in simple ethnographic projects.

Carrithers, M. (2014) 'Anthropology as irony and philosophy, or the knots in simple ethnographic projects.', HAU : journal of ethnographic theory., 4 (3). pp. 117-142.


In this essay on the idea of "anthropological knots" I lay out three closely related ideas. One is that the practice of ethnography may be regarded as being also the practice of philosophy, insofar as philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge about ourselves. The second is that this pursuit of ethnography/philosophy is in its nature ironical, which means roughly that it is woven, or knotted, in the encounter of differing viewpoints, just as Socrates' philosophical work was created in ironizing conversation between different persons and their different viewpoints. The third is that our philosophical, ironical ethnography is a performance to be celebrated; and, again, it is a performance that is woven, knotted together.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Publisher statement:This work is licensed under the Creative Commons | © Michael Carrithers.
Date accepted:30 November 2014
Date deposited:01 June 2015
Date of first online publication:31 December 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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