P20
'Anthropology is philosophy with the people in'

Convenors:
Alexander Badman-King (University of Exeter)
Location:
Room 12
Start time:
16 April, 2015 at 9:15
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Anthropology is philosophy with the people in' (Ingold 1992, p.696) This panel will invite contributors to discuss whether any true distinction can or should be drawn between anthropology and philosophy.

Long abstract:

This panel will invite contributors to discuss whether any true distinction can or should be drawn between anthropology and philosophy. If Ingold is correct in his claim that anthropology is philosophy with people in, what are we to make of the idea of philosophy without people in? Does the methodology of participant observation set anthropology aside or are the boundaries between this kind of lived investigation and the lives of those who investigate the questions of philosophy too blurry to make sense of? Far from taking an historical or etymological line of discussion, this panel invites contributors to explore the issues surrounding these disciplinary distinctions on the basis of the methods and insights which anthropology and philosophy offer. Does this division offer any real benefit or only obstacles to the insight which each seek? Can the efforts of 'philosophy without people in' be taken seriously or does participant observation represent an overarching development in the history of philosophy? The activities of conceptual and linguistic analysis may seem a far cry from the reflections of the anthropologist in the field, but is this fieldwork different in kind or does it merely take another sort of 'way of life' as its focus? The division between anthropology and philosophy as it traditionally stands may rely upon questionable understandings of objectivity and specialist expertise. This panel will seek to address the question as to whether anthropology can or should consider itself a principle branch of philosophy and whether these kinds of distinctions even matter at all.