Re: [xmca] Clifford Geertz

From: Ed Wall (
Date: Sun Nov 19 2006 - 17:47:55 PST


Those metaphors may have been, in a sense, the high point. After
that, both the host and the guest embarked on a journey to suggest
that Geertz was not enough aware of the iron cage and, in fact, his
approach would, in a sense, fail to detect iron cages and naively be
sidetracked (the guest created a story where he placed Geertz in
North Vietnam taking propaganda as a given), that any hope lay in a
return to Descartes who, by definition, was immune to such thinking.


>I did not get all the way through, Ed. But I found it quite interesting as
>far as I got, where the speaker is contrasting the metaphors of "humans
>suspended in webs of meaning they have themselves helped to contruct
>(paraphhrase) and of the life world (in this case, bureaucratically
>organized life worlds, but the metaphor is fungible I believe) as an iron
>cage both from Weber. Enablement and constraint, enabling who to do what,
>constraining who from doing what? Classic example of where one needs to rise
>to the concrete, but a very interesting
>juxtaposition for me at the moment.
>On 11/19/06, Ed Wall <> wrote:
>>I just listened. Fascinating. As far as the respectful goes, I tend
>>to think that something like that first involves reading carefully
>>the scholar taken up. I was not particularly convinced that this was
>>the case.
>>However, what made it fascinating were such statements as "science is
>>cognitively impartial" and Descartes with his impartial and
>>evaluative view from the outside was, in contradistinction to Geertz,
>>"on the right track."
>>Ed Wall
>>>I haven't yet listened to this, but thought others might be interested.
>>>Interpreting culture
>>>The distinguished American anthropologist Clifford Geertz died last
>>>month. This week, we take a respectful but sceptical look at his
>>>work, its origins in philosophy and its consequences for
>>>xmca mailing list
>>xmca mailing list
>xmca mailing list

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