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A Companion to Moral Anthropology

Didier Fassin (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-29058-3
664 pages
August 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
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A Companion to Moral Anthropology is the first collective consideration of the anthropological dimensions of morals, morality, and ethics. Original essays by international experts explore the various currents, approaches, and issues in this important new discipline, examining topics such as the ethnography of moralities, the study of moral subjectivities, and the exploration of moral economies.
  • Represents the first collection to provide a broad picture of a new field of research, moral anthropology, that includes the ethnography of moralities, the study of moral subjectivities and the exploration of moral economies
  • Investigates the central legacies of moral anthropology, the formation of moral facts and values, the context of local moralities, and the frontiers between moralities, politics, humanitarianism
  • Features contributions from pioneers in the field of moral anthropology, as well as international experts in related fields such as moral philosophy, moral psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroethics
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Notes on Contributors viii

Introduction: Toward a Critical Moral Anthropology 1
Didier Fassin

Part I Legacies 19

1 Durkheim and the Moral Fact 21
Bruno Karsenti

2 Weber and Practical Ethics 37
Isabelle Kalinowski

3 E. P. Thompson and Moral Economies 49
Marc Edelman

4 Foucault and the Genealogy of Ethics 67
James D . Faubion

5 Relativism and Universalism 85
Richard A. Shweder

6 Anthropology and Ethics 103
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban

Part II Approaches 115

7 Cultural Values 117
Joel Robbins

8 Ordinary Ethics 133
Veena Das

9 Moral Sentiments 150
C . Jason Throop

10 Moral Reasoning 169
Karen M . Sykes

11 Virtue 186
Thomas Widlok

12 Narratives 204
Jarrett Zigon

Part III Localities 221

13 Ethics and Piety 223
Saba Mahmood

14 Care and Disregard 242
João Biehl

15 Mourning 264
Everett Yuehong Zhang

16 Poverty 283
Harri Englund

17 Inequality 302
Caroline Humphrey

18 Sexuality 320
Stacy Leigh Pigg

Part IV Worlds 339

19 Religion and Morality 341
Michael Lambek

20 Charity 359
Jonathan Benthall

21 Medicine 376
Adriana Petryna

22 Science 395
Michael M . J . Fischer

23 Finance 413
Karen Ho

24 Law 432
Carol J. Greenhouse

Part V Politics 449

25 Humanitarianism 451
Peter Redfield

26 Human Rights 468
Mark Goodale

27 War 482
Catherine Lutz and Kathleen Millar

28 Violence 500
Alexander Hinton

29 Punishment 519
Roger Lancaster

30 Borders 540
Josiah M. Heyman and John Symons

Part VI Dialogues 559

31 Moral Philosophy 561
Kwame Anthony Appiah

32 Moral Psychology 578
James Dungan and Liane Young

33 Neuroethics 595
Massimo Reichlin

34 Evolutionary and Cognitive Anthropology 611
Nicolas Baumard and Dan Sperber

Index of Names 628

Subject Index 641

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Didier Fassin is the James D. Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Trained as a physician in internal medicine and public health, Fassin dedicated his early research to medical anthropology, before developing a domain he terms political and moral anthropology. He is the Director-founder of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Social Issues (IRIS, Paris), former  Chair of the Social Science and Humanities Committee of the French National Research Agency, and former Vice-President of Médecins sans Frontières.
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“This thrilling survey at once points to a rich future for anthropology, without diminishing the ethical and moral debts contemporary anthropologists owe to their predecessors.”
- Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh

“Morality--for long the preserve of philosophers, preachers and educators--increasingly attracts psychologists, cognitive scientists and even economists. This richly rewarding book displays the distinctive insights and lively debates anthropologists are bringing to an exciting new field.”
- Steven Lukes, New York University

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