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Accepted Paper:

Other worlds close to home: ethological methodology as a holding in abeyance  
Matei Candea (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

What if a robust multiplicity of worlds lay in the very heartland of Euro-American (mono)naturalism: amongst scientists studying animal behaviour? A strange suggestion given that behavioural biologists are more likely to feature in anthropological arguments as objectivist, mononaturalist straw men. At most, anthropologists might seek allies at the empathetic end of the spectrum of ethology, amongst field primatologists and others who explicitly compare themselves to ethnographers, entering into the social worlds of non-human animals. But this comparison rests on an outdated account of anthropology as cultural immersion. Instead, this paper provocatively argues that the true counterparts of contemporary anthropologists are to be found near the other end of the ethological spectrum. Field biologists who are explicitly skeptical of anthropomorphism and who carefully set up procedures for detached interspecies relations share with recent anthropology a self-imposed suspension of the desire to fully explicate the other, to verify the other's possible world.

Panel W003
Crises, crossings and other worlds: exploring the invisible, the liminal and the virtual
  Session 1