Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics
By (author) Clifford Geertz
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Available Light by Clifford Geertz
Book DescriptionClifford Geertz, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, here discusses some of the most urgent issues facing intellectuals today. In this collection of personal and revealing essays, he explores the nature of his anthropological work in relation to a broader public, serving as the foremost spokesperson of his generation of scholars, those who came of age after World War II. His reflections are written in a style that both entertains and disconcerts, as they engage us in topics ranging from moral relativism to the relationship between cultural and psychological differences, from the diversity and tension among activist faiths to "ethnic conflict" in today's politics. Geertz, who once considered a career in philosophy, begins by explaining how he got swept into the revolutionary movement of symbolic anthropology. At that point, his work began to encompass not only the ethnography of groups in Southeast Asia and North Africa, but also the study of how meaning is made in all cultures--or, to use his phrase, to explore the "frames of meaning" in which people everywhere live out their lives. His philosophical orientation helped him to establish the role of anthropology within broader intellectual circles and led him to address the work of such leading thinkers as Charles Taylor, Thomas Kuhn, William James, and Jerome Bruner. In this volume, Geertz comments on their work as he explores questions in political philosophy, psychology, and religion that have intrigued him throughout his career but that now hold particular relevance in light of postmodernist thinking and multiculturalism. Available Light offers insightful discussions of concepts such as nation, identity, country, and self, with a reminder that like symbols in general, their meanings are not categorically fixed but grow and change through time and place. This book treats the reader to an analysis of the American intellectual climate by someone who did much to shape it. One can read Available Light both for its revelation of public culture in its dynamic, evolving forms and for the story it tells about the remarkable adventures of an innovator during the "golden years" of American academia.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691089560
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 2-Jul-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Clifford Geertz
Schools of Thought, Paperback (October 2001)
Assesses the intellectual revolution in the social sciences. This collection of 20 essays stems from a 1997 conference that celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Institute for Advanced Study's School of Social Science. It is suitable for those interested in how changing trends in scholarship shape the understanding of our social worlds.
After the Fact, Paperback (September 1996)
In looking back on four decades of anthropology in the field, Geertz creates a personal history that is also a retrospective reflection on developments in the human sciences amid political, social, and cultural changes in the world.
Local Knowledge, Paperback (June 1993)» View all books by Clifford Geertz
This sequel to "The Interpretation of Cultures" is a collection of essays which reject large abstractions, going beyond the mere translation of one culture into another, and looks at the underlying, compartmentalized reality.
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