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Ontography and alterity: Defining anthropological truth

Holbraad, M; (2009) Ontography and alterity: Defining anthropological truth. Social Analysis , 53 (2) 80 - 93. 10.3167/sa.2009.530205.

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Abstract

This article holds that deeply entrenched assumptions about the nature, provenance, and value of truth can be brought into view and examined critically when set against the backdrop of a radically different set of concepts and practices that are associated with truth seeking in contemporary Afro-Cuban divination. Drawing briefly on an ethnographic analysis of the ways in which Cuban cult practitioners use oracles, the article seeks to formulate a radically alternative concept of truth. This viewpoint eschews common premises about the role of 'representation' in the pursuit of truth in favor of a notion of truth as 'conceptual redefinition'. If the ethnography of divination in Cuba forces the analyst radically to reformulate the concept of truth, what effect might this new approach have on the project of anthropology itself?. © Berghahn Journals.

Type:Article
Title:Ontography and alterity: Defining anthropological truth
DOI:10.3167/sa.2009.530205
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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