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The Shapes of Relations: Anthropology as Conceptual Morphology

Holbraad, M; (2020) The Shapes of Relations: Anthropology as Conceptual Morphology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 10.1177/0048393120917917. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Building critically on anthropology’s “ontological turn,” this article isolates conceptualization (as distinct from explanation and interpretation) as a core concern for anthropological thinking: anthropology as the activity of transfiguring the contingency of ethnographic materials in the formal language of conceptual relations and distinctions. Focusing on works by Mauss and Evans-Pritchard, as well as my own research, the article articulates the morphological character of such a project. While akin also to philosophy, such attention to the “shapes” of conceptual relations is analogous to the practice of art in its concern for the expressive potentials of these acts of conceptual transfiguration.

Type: Article
Title: The Shapes of Relations: Anthropology as Conceptual Morphology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0048393120917917
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0048393120917917
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Ethics, Philosophy, Social Sciences - Other Topics, Ontological turn, conceptualization, explanation, interpretation, conceptual morphology, ONTOLOGY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104824
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