Anthropological Epoches: Phenomenology and the Ontological Turn

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This article has two objectives. In the first part, I present a critical overview of the extensive anthropological literature that may be deemed "phenomenological." Following this critique, which is built up around a classification into four different varieties of phenomenological anthropology, I discuss the relationship between phenomenological anthropology and the ontological turn (OT). Contrary to received wisdom within the anthropological discipline, I suggest that OT has several things in common with the phenomenological project. For the same reason, I argue, it is not accurate to posit OT and phenomenology as opposing or antagonistic projects, as they are often depicted among critics and advocates of OT alike. On the contrary, I go as far as suggesting, OT may be understood as one of the most concerted attempts anthropology has produced to realize a distinctly anthropological version of Husserl's method of phenomenological bracketing, namely what could be called the ontological epoche.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophy of the Social Sciences
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)610-646
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • phenomenological anthropology, ontological turn, epoche, REFLECTIONS, OUTLINE, REALITY, WORD

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