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ANT363 (Jan 16, 2013).docx

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Todd Sanders

ANT363 Lecture 2 (Seeing) - Seeing o “Seeing is believing?” o Naive empiricism o For many, sight means knowledge, where seeing something means knowing something o What is the relationship between seeing and knowledge? o Can seeing ever be simple? o If this is always mediated, how can we know what are these factors? o How do biologists see through cultural lenses? o Creating the entities of what they claim to be seeing? o Female things are routinely passed as negative while male things are routinely passed as positive  Menstruation: losing, excessing, or usually negative terms  Sperm: astonishingly productive, remarkable,  Even biological organs are viewed differently for the genders  Ovaries are scarred and battered organs after producing eggs  After, biologists says that sperm are quite bad such as penetrating and seeking the egg, and the egg is actually quite strong  Even though they know this, they still use the same connotations and did not eliminate the gender stereotypes o No such thing as naive seeing, we can’t just see, describe and know o No mutual signs of language o Language and culture provide a model to what we’re looking at o We have to see the world in particular lenses o Doom to impose our ideas onto the world, and then we also claim that we’re not doing this but just seeing and knowing o We can’t come up with new language and we can’t eliminate these problems o We must know the world before we can see the world and not the reverse o Representations matter o Gender stereotypes and then these are imposed onto cultural things and then it is reflected back onto ourselves which hence makes us believe that these things are natural - Pictures (Ju’hoansi) o Rain making rituals o Cow folks who are slaughtering for sacrifices o Spiritual hierarchy o Visible world (where humans live) and the invisible world (where spirits, gods and supernatural forces exist) o Divination; diviners who can see into both worlds or “seers”  What the spirits are up to and what the witches are up to o Traditional goods (consumed and produced locally)  Livestock, grain crops, children  They can keep an eye on these things and where it goes  Witches can steal these traditional things  Suck sorghums from your neighbour  Kill someone and revive them from the grave; zombie slaves who works at night  Stealing someone’s labour  You can see these things and then you assume there’s witchcraft at play  Diviners can see these things and intervene  Anybody can see how these o Modern goods (coming from outside)  Radio, chairs,  Witches can also steal this  Some people are wealthy, and therefore some people think they use witchcraft to gain wealth  Not visible, don’t know where it’s coming from since most people are poor and therefore wouldn’t have these things in the first place, so people can’t steal from people who don’t have  They don’t know the mechanisms of how these things are circulated; maybe the witches are stealing these and perhaps there’s infinite amount of these radios o Technology of divination, include theories of the person, include theories of sight to true knowledge o Particular idea to seeing and knowing (1) o Language and culture provide a mode for seeing; cultural lens (2) o We must know before we can see and not the other way around (3) o Seeing is social; witnessing is a collective act (4) o Diviners shown spots of liver and stomach or intestines or other organs of the sacrifices to see what the spirits are saying - Against Method o Consider the method of seeing and knowing in Galileo o Galileo during 1564-1652  Suggested heliocentric universe (the sun is the centre of the universe and where the earth revolves around the sun)  This idea was controversial to the views of the time  People believed the earth was stationary and does no
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