The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others (Hardback)
  • The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others (Hardback)
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The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others (Hardback)

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£59.99
Hardback 308 Pages / Published: 08/01/2015
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How and to what extent do people take into account the intentions of others? Alessandro Duranti sets out to answer this question, showing that the role of intentions in human interaction is variable across cultures and contexts. Through careful analysis of data collected over three decades in US and Pacific societies, Duranti demonstrates that, in some communities, social actors avoid intentional discourse, focusing on the consequences of actions rather than on their alleged original goals. In other cases, he argues, people do speculate about their own intentions or guess the intentions of others, including in some societies where it was previously assumed they avoid doing so. To account for such variation, Duranti proposes an 'intentional continuum', a concept that draws from phenomenology and the detailed analysis of face-to-face interaction. A combination of new essays and classic re-evaluations, the book draws together findings from anthropology, linguistics and philosophy to offer a penetrating account of the role of intentions in defining human action.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107026391
Number of pages: 308
Weight: 570 g
Dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'This work defines a beautiful adagio of a research career in anthropology, elegiac in [its] contemporary rarity, where a problem addressed through observing Samoan fonos more than three decades ago finds a resolution not in proof or logic, but aesthetics.' George E. Marcus, University of California, Irvine
'Duranti is one of the pioneers of the now booming cross-cultural study of intentionality and its role in local understandings of language and mind. Combining key insights of linguistic anthropology with original arguments drawn from phenomenological philosophy, his book takes the debate on these topics to a new level. It is destined to provide the foundation of work in this field from now on.' Joel Robbins, Sigrid Rausing Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
'... this book offers valid critique and excellent points, picks up on a number of interesting ideas, and opens up important questions from cognition to the ways speakers and hearers co-create meaning to the signs available in different situations. It offers a wellrounded discussion of intentions from many perspectives and the focus on language allows for some very specific and detailed considerations.' Marianna Keisalo, Suomen Antropologi

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