Tim Ingold on Anthropology, Ars, and Self-Transformation

Tim Ingold on Anthropology, Ars, and Self-Transformation

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Link to the video of the lecture: here

“Comparing the work of anthropologists with the work of artists, Ingold declares: “I believe that the real people who are doing anthropology these days are artists. Anthropologists have for the most part of them settled for something else. What they call ethnography”. In Ingold’s view, the purpose of anthropology is not to convert ethnography into data, as grist to the mill of scientific generalisation. Rather, to practice anthropology is to join with those among whom we work, in a speculative inquiry into the possibilities and potentials of human life in the one world we all inhabit. Anthropology, in this sense, is not a positive science but an art of inquiry. He goes on: “The only way you can know things is through a process of self discovery. To know things you have to grow into them and let them grow in you so that they become part of who you are. It is by paying attention to what the world has to tell us that we learn. (…) In this sense, anthropology is transformational. Its is ‘studying with’ and ‘learning from’. Ethnography is a ‘study of’ and ‘learning about’.”

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