Re: 'deconstruction' of C. Geertz

Robert Johnson (johnsorl@COLORADO.EDU)
Fri, 4 Aug 1995 05:43:01 -0600

On Fri, 4 Aug 1995, Maddog wrote:

> True enough, but note the difference in the way the critique is framed. You
> see, Robert, that you miss the whole point of anthro as a discipline. The
> corpus of anthro literature and theory can be regarded as an ongoing debate
> - one which naturally reflects the paradigm shifts which occur in the
> worlds in which it exists.

Anthropology is a science and culminant discipline.
Anthropology is not a fashion statement.

> While I'm on the topic, why single out anthro as
> the object of your rather puerile invective? Hell, why not stick it into
> philosophy, economics, history, theology and sociology as well? What about
> physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology etc.?

First lesson. Anthropology is not restricted tunnel vision enforced
by its placement among departments of "Arts and Sciences." It is
not a front for political-correctness or its dumping ground.
Those who have considered anthropology without context of "philosophy,
economics, history, theology, and sociology...physics, mathematics...
[et al], do not exist. Except of course those racists who considered
anthropology as science of the "colored" folks-sociology the science
of "the dominant social order."
Your statement is example of the sloppy thinking which infects
debates and ultimately the effectiveness of anthropology.

> I could easily implicate the entire
> academic enterprise

The entire academic enterprise should be implicated and, through
dialogue, indicted.

> a dastardly plot to enslave whatever minorities I get off on championing..

Example of a not to "subtle racism" and implication that "whites"
who speak for social justice and against racism are "getting off."
Another tactic which infects dialogue.

> ...but, then again, I couldn't be bothered - I
> have better things to do.

A concise statement of "anthropology's" problem.

Robert Johnson