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Cannibal Metaphysics

2014
Author:

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

Edited and translated by Peter Skafish

Distributed for Univocal Publishing

Cannibal Metaphysics

A groundbreaking vision of anthropology as the practice of the permanent decolonization of thought

The iconoclastic Brazilian anthropologist and theoretician Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, well known in his discipline for helping initiate its “ontological turn,” offers a vision of anthropology as “the practice of the permanent decolonization of thought.” Bold, unexpected, and profound, Cannibal Metaphysics is one of the chief works marking anthropology’s current return to the theoretical center stage.

Of all of the various recent returns to anthropology there is none more sustained and engaged than the work of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.

Radical Philosophy

The iconoclastic Brazilian anthropologist and theoretician Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, well known in his discipline for helping initiate its “ontological turn,” offers a vision of anthropology as “the practice of the permanent decolonization of thought.” After showing that Amazonian and other Amerindian groups inhabit a radically different conceptual universe than ours—in which nature and culture, human and nonhuman, subject and object are conceived in terms that reverse our own—he presents the case for anthropology as the study of such “other” metaphysical schemes and as the corresponding critique of the concepts imposed on them by the human sciences. Along the way, he spells out the consequences of this anthropology for thinking in general via a major reassessment of the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, arguments for the continued relevance of Deleuze and Guattari, dialogues with the work of Philippe Descola, Bruno Latour, and Marilyn Strathern, and inventive treatments of problems of ontology, translation, and transformation. Bold, unexpected, and profound, Cannibal Metaphysics is one of the chief works marking anthropology’s current return to the theoretical center stage.

Cannibal Metaphysics

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro is a Brazilian anthropologist and professor at the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Peter Skafish is Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the anthropology department at McGill University.

Cannibal Metaphysics

Of all of the various recent returns to anthropology there is none more sustained and engaged than the work of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.

Radical Philosophy