Instance directions are given in terms of the

This preview shows page 148 - 149 out of 171 pages.

instance, directions are given in terms of the alternative between moving towards the sacred mountain at the center of the island or towards the sea. You cannot convey the way the Balinese conceptualize geography, therefore, without evoking not only the physical form of their word, but also its metaphysics and these same spatial relationships structure relations between persons. The investigator who would move between mountain and shore in harmony with the Balinese must enter the world of their thought. Most anthropologists find it necessary to practice more than one mode of thought and observation. On the one hand, they carry the instruments of ostensibly objective recording and measurement. On the other hand, they find themselves listening with total seriousness to tales of sorceries [[p_185]] and gods … and between these two extremes attending to explanations of ordinary life in which other kinds of symbolic elements are given as causes: money, for instance, or honor, the communist menace, or hospitality, or sex appeal. It is not possible to segregate fully these different kinds of discourse, for however clear the ethnographer may be that tuberculosis is ―real‖ and sorcery is ―not real,‖ the are both involved in the causations o f observable patterns of behaviour. Without attending to both, you cannot interact effectively or account for what you see. In the same way, a physician cannot effectively heal if he deals with a patient only in terms of those variables that can be isolated in the laboratory. Indeed, in human events and interactions, it may be sorcery that is ―real‖ and not tuberculosis. The idea of medication represented by the placebo may be effective against the idea of the symptom and pain as we experience it is itself an idea, a kind of mental image. This is the kind of diversity of reference necessarily present in anthropology, and it recurs throughout this book and throughout Gregory‘s work. Clearly, there is in the movement back and forth between humanly constructed meaning and physical reality a profound necessity for any anthropologist to thin in terms of what Gregory came to call the interface between Creatura and Pleroma. 33 Where, in the clink of silver or the pangs of illness, do the mental and the material meet? And how does one construct a science able to speak, in a single, disciplined frame, of both reincarnation and protein deficiency? But the issue is more fundamental than that. For Gregory is asserting that the same problem exists in the entire biological world. The ethnographer studies a community that lives by communication: without the transmission of learned patterns of adaptation, human beings are not viable. We as ethnographers study the messages and codes and organizational form that bind a community together and regulate its daily affairs, and to do so we must move from one local epistemology to another, both human, both part of Creatura. If we study 33 There may be a temptation for anthropologists to associate the Creatura-Pleroma distinction with
Image of page 148
Image of page 149

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 171 pages?

  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors