How Things Count as the Same: Memory, Mimesis, and Metaphor (Paperback)
  • How Things Count as the Same: Memory, Mimesis, and Metaphor (Paperback)
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How Things Count as the Same: Memory, Mimesis, and Metaphor (Paperback)

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£25.49
Paperback 242 Pages
Published: 16/10/2020
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In their third book together, Adam B. Seligman and Robert P. Weller address a seemingly simple question: What counts as the same? Given the myriad differences that divide one individual from another, why do we recognize anyone as somehow sharing a common fate with us? For that matter, how do we live in harmony with groups who may not share the sense of a common fate? Such relationships lie at the heart of the problems of pluralism that increasingly face so much of the world today. Note that "counting as" the same differs from "being" the same. Counting as the same is not an empirical question about how much or how little one person shares with another or one event shares with a previous event. Nothing is actually the same. That is why, as humans, we construct sameness all the time. In the process, of course, we also construct difference. Creating sameness and difference leaves us with the perennial problem of how to live with difference instead of seeing it as a threat. How Things Count as the Same suggests that there are multiple ways in which we can count things as the same, and that each of them fosters different kinds of group dynamics and different sets of benefits and risks for the creation of plural societies. While there might be many ways to understand how people construct sameness, three stand out as especially important and form the focus of the book's analysis: Memory, Mimesis, and Metaphor.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780197546253
Number of pages: 242
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 233 x 155 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
...absorbing book... * Janet M. Powers, Religion *
How Things Count as the Same is a profound and wide-ranging meditation on sameness and difference, and on the hugely consequential variations in the ways in which sameness is recognised, asserted, or established: sameness turns out to be a remarkably complex and varied social phenomenon. The latest fruit of a long-standing collaboration between an anthropologist and a religious studies scholar, this book combines imaginative and original theoretical reflection with discussion of wide-ranging historical and ethnographic cases, and throws new light on perennial questions of social existence as well as the most pressing political issues of our time. * James Laidlaw, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge *
Seligman and Weller use the seemingly simple question 'What counts as the same?' to take us into a deep examination of the interrelationship between culture and the human mind. Their analysis of memory, mimesis, and metaphor as distinctly different and essential processes is most convincing. The breadth of examples points to the remarkable erudition of these two authors. A tour de force that is an important read for scholars across the humanities, social and cognitive sciences. * Christopher Winship, Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology, Harvard University *

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