The Objects of Evidence: Anthropological Approaches to the Production of Knowledge
March 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
- Demonstrates that evidence is something that all anthropologists must possess
- Shows how the collection of evidence in the field is still, without doubt, one of the main ingredients of what Bronislaw Malinowski once referred to as 'the ethnographer’s magic'
- Reveals how the concept of evidence has received little sustained attention in print – especially when compared to related concepts, such as 'fieldwork', 'truth', 'facts', and 'knowledge'
- Argued from a variety of theoretical perspectives and a rarity in its ability to orchestrate some many different – and vibrant – paradigms and points of view
1. The objects of evidence: Matthew Engelke.
2. Truth and sight: generalizing without universalizing: Maurice Bloch.
3. The prosthetic eye: photography as cure and poison: Christopher Pinney.
4. Cultural evidence in courts of law: Anthony Good.
5. The antinomies of political evidence in post-Apartheid Durban, South Africa: Sharad Chari.
6. Three propositions for an evidence-based medical anthropology: Stefan Ecks.
7. Definitive evidence, from Cuban gods: Martin Holbraad.
8. The evidence of the senses and the materiality of religion: Webb Keane.
9. Linguistic and cultural variables in the psychology of numeracy: Charles Stafford.
10. Some problems with property ascription: Nicola Knight and Rita Astuti.
- An important volume for all anthropologists conducting their
own primary research, demonstrating that evidence is something they
must all possess
- Reveals how the concept of evidence has received little
sustained attention in print - especially when compared to related
concepts, such as 'fieldwork,' 'truth,' 'facts,' and
- All contributors share the conviction that anthropology can no
longer afford to ignore the importance of the concept of evidence,
either for the ways in which anthropologists carry out their work
(methodology) or present and justify their findings
- Argues from a variety of theoretical perspectives, and is rare in its ability to orchestrate many different - and vibrant - paradigms and points of view
‘A satisfyingly complex and lucid collection, these essays are ordered to create a ripple effect of themes and arguments that emerge as related, overlapping and contingent to one another - a nice reflection on the substance of the authors' concerns with evidence. Compulsive, not just imperative, reading for anyone engaged with the analysis of field materials.'
Marilyn Strathern, Girton College, University of Cambridge
'Objects of Evidence provides signal advances to thinking
about two topics of fundamental importance, namely the anthropology
of epistemology - how people make claims to knowledge - and the
epistemology of anthropology - the claims on which anthropological
Michael Lambek, University of Toronto