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Must, Should, and Ought from Is
Hume argued that is does not entail ought; that we cannot infer necessity or obligation from any description of actual states of affairs. His philosophical heirs continue to argue that nothing outside ourselves constrains us. The Cage maintains, contrary to Humean tradition, that reality is a set of nested contexts, each distinguished by intrinsic norms. Author David Weissman offers an innovative exploration of these norms intrinsic to human life, including practical affairs, morals, aesthetics, and culture. In this critical examination of character formation and the conditions for freedom, Weissman suggests that eliminating context (because of regarding it as an impediment to freedom) impoverishes character and reduces freedom. He concludes that positive freedom—the freedom to choose and to act—has no leverage apart from the contexts where character forms and circumstances provide opportunities to express one’s thoughts, tastes, or talents.
Moral Subjectivity, Selfhood, and Islam in Minangkabau, Indonesia
Caged in on the Outside is an intimate ethnographic exploration of the ways in which Minangkabau people understand human value. Minangkabau, an Islamic society in Indonesia that is also the largest matrilineal society in the world, has long fascinated anthropologists. Gregory Simon’s book, based on extended ethnographic research in the small city of Bukittinggi, shines new light on Minangkabau social life by delving into people’s interior lives, calling into question many assumptions about Southeast Asian values and the nature of Islamic practice. It offers a deeply human portrait that will engage readers interested in Indonesia, Islam, and psychological anthropology and those concerned with how human beings fashion and reflect on the moral meanings of their lives.
Simon focuses on the tension between the values of social integration and individual autonomy—both of which are celebrated in this Islamic trading society. The book explores a series of ethnographic themes, each one illustrating a facet of this tension and its management in contemporary Minangkabau society: the moral structure of the city and its economic life, the nature of Minangkabau ethnic identity, the etiquette of everyday interactions, conceptions of self and its boundaries, hidden spaces of personal identity, and engagements with Islamic traditions. Simon draws on interviews with Minangkabau men and women, demonstrating how individuals engage with cultural forms and refashion them in the process: forms of etiquette are transformed into a series of symbols tattooed on and then erased from a man’s skin; a woman shares a poem expressing an identity rooted in what cannot be directly revealed; a man puzzles over his neglect of Islamic prayers that have the power to bring him happiness.
Applying the lessons of the Minangkabau case more broadly to debates on moral life and subjectivity, Simon makes the case that a deep understanding of moral conceptions and practices, including those of Islam, can never be reached simply by delineating their abstract logics or the public messages they send. Instead, we must examine the subtle meanings these conceptions and practices have for the people who live them and how they interact with the enduring tensions of multidimensional human selves. Borrowing a Minangkabau saying, he maintains that whether emerging in moments of suffering or flourishing, moral subjectivity is always complex, organized by ambitions as elusive as being “caged in on the outside.”
Places Politics, and Aborigines in a North Australian Town
Caging the Rainbow explores the lives of Aborigines in the small regional town of Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia. Francesca Merlan combines ethnography and theory to grapple with issues surrounding the debate about the authenticity of contemporary cultural activity. Throughout, the vulnerability of Fourth World peoples to others' representations of them and the ethical problems this poses are kept in view.
Ce dixième volume des Cahiers Charlevoix regroupe cinq études sur l’Ontario français, qui traitent du diocèse de Sault-Sainte-Marie dans le conflit franco-irlandais entre 1904 et 1934; des perspectives amoureuses et conjugales des jeunes du nord-est de l’Ontario; des aspects de l’histoire des Franco-Ontariens du Centre et du Sud-Ouest de 1970 à 2000; de l’art perdu de « faire des chansons » de la région du Détroit ainsi que des propos et confidences du jésuite ethnologue Germain Lemieux.
Ce huitième volume des Cahiers Charlevoix – la publication bisannuelle de la Société Charlevoix – regroupe quatre études sur l’Ontario français : Jean-Pierre Pichette (Université Sainte-Anne), examine la sanction de l’aîné célibataire, une pratique qui a profondément marqué le rituel du mariage franco-ontarien; Simon Laflamme (Université Laurentienne) présente le nouveau visage de l’ambition de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne; Michel Bock (Université d’Ottawa) regarde des mouvements de jeunesse franco-ontariens du milieu du XXe siècle et la contribution de France Martineau (Université d’Ottawa) porte sur le français de la région du Détroit.
Ce neuvième volume des Cahiers Charlevoix regroupe trois études sur l’Ontario français : Simon Laflamme (Université Laurentienne) examine le passage de l’élémentaire au secondaire et le décrochage culturel en Ontario français ; Michel Bock (Université d’Ottawa) analyse le travail du Comité franco-ontarien d’enquête culturelle à l’heure des grandes ruptures (1967-1970) ; et Jean-Pierre Pichette (Université Sainte-Anne) présente la première tranche des propos et confidences du jésuite ethnologue Germain Lemieux (1914-1958).
A World Renewal Cult Heterarchy
Cahokia is located in the northern expanse of American Bottom, the largest of the Mississippian flood plains, and opposite St. Louis, Missouri. Byers overturns the current political characterization of this largest known North American prehistoric site north of Mexico. Rather than treating Cahokia as the seat of a dominant Native American polity, a "paramount chiefdom," Byers argues that it must be given a religious characterization as a world renewal cult center. Furthermore, the social and economic powers that it manifests must not be seen to reside in Cahokia itself but in multiple world renewal cults distributed across the American Bottom and in the nearby upland regions.
Byers argues that Cahokia can be thought of as an affiliation of mutually autonomous cults that pooled their labor and other resources and established their collective mission as the performance of world renewal rituals by which to maintain and enhance the sacred powers of the cosmos. The cults, he argues, adopted two forms of sacrifice: one was the incrementally staged manipulation of the deceased (burial, disinterment, bone cleaning, and reburial), with each unfolding step constituting a mortuary act having different and greater world renewal sacrificial force. The other was lethal human sacrifice--probably correlated with long distance warfare by which to procure victims.
This dramatic and controversial new interpretation of Cahokian leadership strategies examines the authority a ruling elite exercised over the surrounding countryside through a complex of social, political, and religious symbolism.
This study uses the theoretical concepts of agency, power, and ideology to explore the development of cultural complexity within the hierarchically organized Cahokia Middle Mississippian society of the American Bottom from the 11th to the 13th centuries. By scrutinizing the available archaeological settlement and symbolic evidence, Emerson demonstrates that many sites previously identified as farmsteads were actually nodal centers with specialized political, religious, and economic functions integrated into a centralized administrative organization. These centers consolidated the symbolism of such 'artifacts of power' as figurines, ritual vessels, and sacred plants into a rural cult that marked the expropriation of the cosmos as part of the increasing power of the Cahokian rulers.
During the height of Cahokian centralized power, it is argued, the elites had convinced their subjects that they ruled both the physical and the
spiritual worlds. Emerson concludes that Cahokian complexity differs significantly in degree and form from previously studied Eastern Woodlands chiefdoms and opens new discussion about the role of rural support for the Cahokian ceremonial center.
A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication
This edition of Moorehead's excavations at Cahokia provides a comprehensive collection of Moorehead's investigations of the nation's largest prehistoric mound center.
Covering almost fourteen square kilometers in Illinois, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the largest prehistoric mound center in North America and has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Built between A.D. 1050 and 1350, Cahokia originally contained the remains of over 100 earthen mounds that were used as places for Native American rituals, homes of chiefs, or elite tombs. Earlier scientists debated whether the mounds were part of the natural landscape, and many were destroyed by urban and industrial development
This book is a report of archaeological investigations conducted at Cahokia from 1921 to 1927 by Warren K. Moorehead, who confirmed that the mounds were built by indigenous peoples and who worked to assure preservation of the site. The volume includes Moorehead's final 1929 report along with portions of two preliminary reports, covering both Cahokia and several surrounding mound groups.
John Kelly's introduction to the book sets Moorehead's investigations in the context of other work conducted at Cahokia prior to the 1920s and afterwards. Kelly reviews Moorehead's work, which employed 19th-century excavation techniques combined with contemporary analytical methods, and explains how Moorehead contended with local social and political pressures.
Moorehead's work represented important excavations at a time when little other similar work was being done in the Midwest. The reissue of his findings gives us a glimpse into an important archaeological effort and helps us better appreciate the prehistoric legacy that he helped preserve.