What are some exemplary / important quotes from this work?

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James Adams's picture
June 6, 2018

“Anthropology is a science and has the tools to understand science as a form of culture. The culture concept has been reshaped by the necessity for anthropology to interrogate its own knowledge practices. This same move enables anthropologists to operationalize analytical models that are understood as both cultural and scientific. Anthropology is, in other words, the preeminent discipline from which to argue that the "science wars" are not a zero-sum game.” (165)

“There is a direct relation between the emergence of science studies within anthropology, the reexamination of anthropology as a science resulting from the gender-based critique of the discipline in the 1970s, and the expansion in self-consciousness about the thoroughly enculturated generic conventions of the discipline in the 1980s. Postcolonial critiques of anthropology as a Eurocentric panopticon have extended the possibilities for the discipline to include its own knowledge-production practices within its scope of explanatory techniques.” (169)

“This tradition, combining anthropological relativism with ethnographic empiricism, has begun to establish a trajectory that interrogates the history and foundations of ideas of the natural within anthropology, which in turn work at a deeper level to provide, by implication if not directly, a bridge between the two cultures in anthropology. It is through this work that a less knowledge-dependent, or mentalist, view of science has emerged, along with a greater appreciation of its thorough enculturation at every layer of the onion, and likewise a thicker account of the scientization of both local and global cultures.” (170)

“At issue in debates about multiculturalism and science is the possibility of better science, not just fewer supercolliders. Anthropology is arguably a better, more inclusive, less naively Eurocentric and even a more objective form of scholarly inquiry because of the sustained critique of its own practices that has kept it "in crisis" since at least mid-century. Were Western science to be reassessed as a cultural practice, in the narrowest and widest senses, it arguably stands to gain, in both resources and on its own terms, as an effective,  predictive, useful and interested account of its objects. And were such changes to be undertaken, anthropologists are well positioned to draw on a recent history of great transformation in their own discipline and to attest to its advantages.” (179-180)

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