Institut d'ethnologie
Université de Strasbourg
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Workshop "Sciences and Beliefs" - Strasbourg/Taipei

Du 23 novembre 2017 au 24 novembre 2017
De 09h30 à 17h00
Amphithéâtre Alain Beretz, Nouveau Patio, Strasbourg

Conference Programme

Anthropologists must always deal with the tension between a science-oriented perspective and other kinds of beliefs in the field and beyond. When faced with a statement such as “We believe in fate,” the tension between gaining an in-depth understanding of our informants’ perceptions and presenting a relatively objective (at least to the outsiders) interpretation of how they believe in what they say they believe becomes immediately evident. To outsiders, some of these beliefs appear exotic and incomprehensible, while others are more familiar and acceptable. As anthropologists attempt to translate others’ beliefs into something more broadly comprehensible, we need to be conscious of these key contrasting perspectives. Various opposing and complementary standpoints have been proposed, for example emic/etic, native/researcher, cultural/scientific, experience-near/experience-far, to approach these beliefs, especially if they appear illogical or irrational outside their cultural context.

We also adopt the postmodern concept of “construction” to point out that both “their” and “our” perceptions of how the world works may fall outside so-called scientific validity or truth because both are socio-cultural and historical constructions that result from our divergent perspectives and practices. But in this sense, “science” itself is also a belief set and should be subject to deconstruction. Hence we can also talk about different versions of science. The issue of sciences and beliefs, i.e., how different societies derive their objective views in understanding the worlds they live in and in evaluating and judging divergent beliefs
co-existing and interacting with these scientific views, thus involves great complexities deserving our scrutiny




Info publiée le : 7 septembre 2017
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