Re: On "Thick Description"

Michael John Evans (g8726246@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Mon, 10 Jan 1994 19:37:44 -0500

Hear, Hear Dougie. While we are on meaning and pins; why Bob, should we
privilege what you are calling science in a discipline which studies
semiotics. In order to be circumscribed, you have to know it; once you
know it you have to know what to do about it; and once you know what to
do about it, you have to decide how to go about doing it (er, if you know
what I mean). The point is that the leap between human behavior and
environmental constraints and thingies (I love that word) *is meaning*,
and how that meaning is constructed is not evident in, or at least may not
be read directly off, the environment. So then what is it read off of? Maybe
the cultural constructions people and peoples use to make their way in the
world. Which need only be non-fatal, not adaptive.
And what is revelation (by which I mean lateral thinking) but making a
semiotic leap from one system to another, and arriving at a new
semiotic construction - ie a new set of questions. A revelation may
appear to come from nowhere, because it comes from an unorganised
somewhere. Is Wagner pomo? And how can anyone emerge from an
anthroplogy dept in the late 20th C and still be a vulgar

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Mike Evans, Anthropology &/ Heather Young-Leslie, Anthropology
McMaster University, Hamilton /or: York University, North York,
Ontario. (905) 525 9140 x23907 Ontario Canada (416) 736 5261
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