Human Nature as Capacity: Transcending Discourse and Classification (Methodolgy & History in Anthropology 20)
By: Nigel Rapport (author)Paperback
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What is it to be human? What are our specifically human attributes, our capacities and liabilities? Such questions gave birth to anthropology as an Enlightenment science. This book argues that it is again appropriate to bring "the human" to the fore, to reclaim the singularity of the word as central to the anthropological endeavor, not on the basis of the substance of a human nature - "To be human is to act like this and react like this, to feel this and want this" - but in terms of species-wide capacities: capabilities for action and imagination, liabilities for suffering and cruelty. The contributors approach "the human" with an awareness of these complexities and particularities, rendering this volume unique in its ability to build on anthropology's ethnographic expertise.
Nigel Rapport is Professor of Anthropological and Philosophical Studies at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and directs the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies. He also held the Canada Research Chair in Globalization, Citizenship and Justice at Concordia University, Montreal, and he has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Recent publications include 'I am Dynamite': An Alternative Anthropology of Power (Routledge, 2003) and Of Orderlies and Men: Hospital Porters Achieving Wellness at Work (Carolina Academic Press, 2008).
List of Illustrations INTRODUCTORY Statements of Intent and Acknowledgement A Cosmopolitan Project Cosmopolitan Sentiments Singularities of Experience Category-Thinking and Politeness Dead Rhetoric? Cosmopolitanism and Cosmopolis: Definitions and Issues Founding moments Contemporary Voices and Issues Cosmopolitanism as a specific kind of morality Cosmopolitanism as a specific kind of normative programme Cosmopolitanism as a specific kind of social condition Cosmopolitanism as a specific kind of attitude or orientation The cosmopolitan as a specific kind of actor Anthropological Critiques Epistemological critique of cosmopolitanism Real-political critique of cosmopolitanism Cosmopolitanisms A Cosmopolitan Project for Anthropology What cosmopolitanism is and what it is not Human universalism and cultural diversity Voluntarism and community belonging The hybridity of experience Cosmopolitan hope Global governance Cosmopolitan Politesse Envoi COSMOPOLITAN ISSUES Chapter 1. My name is Rickey Hirsch: A Life in Six Acts, with Marginalia and a Coda Act I Notes in the Margin I Act II Notes in the Margin II Act III Notes in the Margin III Act IV Notes in the Margin IV Act V Act VI Coda Chapter 2. Passing as Human Introduction: 'Everyman' and 'Anyone' Anyone and culture Critique of Anyone i) The critique from realpolitik ii) The critique from institutionalism iii) The critique from phenomenology In support of Anyone i) Anyone as existent: An ontological riposte ii) Anyone as necessary: A moral riposte Discussion: '[Do not] freeze people in their social categories. In the end we are all human' Chapter 3. The Genius of Anyone Introduction: An Image of Genius The Individual Nature of Human Being i) Self Consciousness ii) Body-plus-environment iii) World-View iv) Self-Motivation v) Narrative vi) Self-Ownership vii) Life-Projects viii) Experimentation ix) Interaction Summary Chapter 4. Evidencing the Human Introduction A Kierkegaardian excursus Personal truth as political and physiological Personal truth as physical environment Nietzsche's night-time (Umnachtung) Conclusion: The pragmatism of personal truth Chapter 5. Generalizing the Individual Introduction Simmel's distortions Beyond Simmel Generality and the route to human science i) Modelling the one and the whole ii) Bodily characteristics as individual and general Generality and the route to liberal society Conclusion: Distortion revisited Chapter 6. Cosmopolitan Politesse Introduction: 'Politesse' Politesse as naturally occurring Anthropology and interactional routine Anthropology and Communication Politesse as political policy Anthropology and Globalism Politesse in Global Society Politesse as lived practice Case-Studies of Complex Society Injunctions of Politesse Conclusion AFTERWORD Cosmopolitanism as Liberal Anthropology Bibliography Index
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