“Nondualism is philosophy, not ethnography”: A review of the 2011 GDAT debate

Theodoros Kyriakides, Foreword by Soumhya Venkatesan, The Group for Debates in Anthropological Theory (GDAT): A brief introduction


The motion for the 2011 Group Debate in Anthropological Theory (GDAT), which took place at the University of Manchester (on November 12, 2011) was “Nondualism is philosophy, not ethnography”. Nondualism as a philosophical term entails continuity between body and mind, rather than a separation thereof. Such an ontological claim is increasingly gaining momentum in ethnographic thought and practice. This blooming relation between ethnography and nondualist philosophical paradigms was problematized by the two sides of the debate. Although largely contextualizing their arguments in contiguous planes of reference, the four debaters proved illuminating and often complementary of each other.  I present a summary of the main arguments made in the debate, and add a few points of my own.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau2.1.017