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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Truth Matters? Anthropological Conversations


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 31 Aug 10:00 - 14:00


Room 2.19

"Questions of truth have become increasingly important, both in the hurly-burly of a conjuncture of crisis and the conversations of intellectual worlds in doubt. Is the President Trump correct, and it is true that climate change is no crisis, just a ‘Chinese hoax’? Is the philosopher Richard Rorty spot-on, and there are simply positions in ‘conversations’, no truths -with only political, historical or aesthetic grounds for taking one position over another? This session takes up the matter of truth within, and for, anthropology. It does so by inviting papers that contribute answers to the following questions: - What have different approaches to truth been in the history of anthropology? - Are there different types of truth –absolute truths, approximate truths, partial truths, multiple truths, relative truths, regimes of truth, all of the above? - Is it possible to distinguish between the truthfulness of truths? If so, how! - Is there a political-economy of truth? - How is it possible to make the search for anthropological truths more rigorous? The session’s goal is to encourage a double conversation: first, generally, to enrich the intellectual ability to speak truth to power; and second, specifically, to help anthropology do this job with spirited precision"


  • P 96.1
    • Dr. Martinez, Damian O. (Anthropological Theory and University of Tuebingen)
    • Dr. Reyna, Stephen (Anthropological Theory and University of New Hampshire)
  • P 96.2
    • Dr. Martinez, Damian O. (Anthropological Theory and University of Tuebingen)
    • Dr. Reyna, Stephen (Anthropological Theory and University of New Hampshire)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 9 contributions out of 9
This paper examines the question of the relationship between truth and religion from a radical empiricist perspective. To this end, it focuses on Michael Jackson’s work, in particular, on the way in which he approaches the divining practices of the Kuranko of Sierra Leone. In developing a perspective that takes inspiration from William James, John Dewey, Richard Rorty, and many others, Jackson i ... More
Presented by Dr. Lorenzo D'ANGELO
This talk is about cash-compensated crowds that assemble for political gatherings - protest marches, road blocks, campaign rallies – in the Indian city of Mumbai. Popular and scholarly discourse tends to dismiss paid crowds as inauthentic, even fraudulent forms of political assembly. This research instead explores cash-compensated crowds as instances of political utterance and representation, pr ... More
Presented by Dr. Lisa BJÖRKMAN on 31/8/2019 at 11:00
In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the global elimination of leprosy as a public health problem. Since the introduction of multidrug therapy (MDT) in the 1980s, the number of cases registered globally has decreased from over 5 million to about 200,000 cases. However, although it has been taken for granted that leprosy can be cured after some months of treatment, the MDT regimen ... More
Presented by Glaucia MARICATO on 31/8/2019 at 10:40
Anthropology requires an aspiration to objective truth if it is to retain explanatory value (even if such truth is not achievable in practice), and such an aspiration depends on a careful consideration of scale across three levels. On a cross-disciplinary level, this means acknowledging the position of anthropology within the wider study of human behaviour, especially the cognitive and evolutionar ... More
Presented by Dr. William MATTHEWS on 31/8/2019 at 10:00
As anthropologists we believe in responding to questions of our own context with posing them in another one. Hence, we might understand our discipline’s current epistemological crisis by looking at a different, quite remote discipline in crisis itself. After 1900, mathematical logic had re-awakened the hopes of a Leibnizian universal language of scientific truth. But soon it faced two funda ... More
Presented by Gabriel ZIMMERER on 31/8/2019 at 12:15
Classic views of hegemony including Gramsci, Hall and Roseberry, position ongoing struggles by ruling classes to control, define and delimit the parameters of what is defined as knowledge. From that perspective, the role of critique is to uncover, unveil, and voice relations of power, exploitation, and oppression and to struggle against official narratives and their legitimating power. The postmod ... More
Presented by Dr. Nina GLICK SCHILLER on 31/8/2019 at 12:55
This article seeks not to arrive at the truth, but to suggests ways of distinguishing more truthful from less truthful statements. More truthful assertions are said to be approximately truer. Ways of conceptualizing and seeking objectivity are introduced to facilitate creation of approximate truths. Approximate truths are judged not in terms of how well they correspond to, or represent, reali ... More
Presented by Dr. Stephen REYNA on 31/8/2019 at 12:35
It is difficult to imagine how anthropology could have privileged access to truth over other disciplines in the academia. On the contrary: anthropology might even be less well equipped to research truth in the singular. At the core a cultural relativist discipline, anthropology has always been fascinated by the variability of how different versions of reality are plausible to different people in t ... More
Presented by Dr. Jonas BENS on 31/8/2019 at 10:20
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