The conditions of possibility of the ethnographic gesture: A reply to Philip Swift

João Pina-Cabral


This piece is a response to Philip Swift’s article in this issue, where he critiques issues concerning ethnographic theory raised in my book World: An anthropological examination. Inspired by the work of Donald Davidson, I argue that indeterminacy and underdetermination are conditions for all communication and that, in light of that, a position of metaphysical pluralism provides us with a better account of the conditions of possibility of the ethnographic gesture than the kind of ontological pluralism that Swift espouses.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/719534