Accepted Paper:

My skin and I: mereology and the question of the unit of analysis  


Geoffrey Bowker (University of California, Irvine)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the analytic implications of a redistribution of the nature/culture divide by regarding the ways in which we are riven through with 'nature' and we live distributed existences outside of the body.

Paper long abstract:

Pragmatist philosopher Arthur Bentley wrote a wonderful piece entitled: The Skin: the Philosopher's Last Line of Defense. He argued that we it is a category error to assume that the 'self' is contained within this body sac. In this paper, I draw on recent work in science studies to explore the implications of this stance for a new understanding of nature/culture. I draw particularly on the emerging field of mereology (the study of parts and wholes) in order to characterize different potential new units of analysis.

Panel P008
Multiple nature-cultures and diverse anthropologies (CLOSED)