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To be Makiran is to see like Mr Parrot: the anthropology of wonder in Solomon Islands

Scott, Michael W. ORCID: 0000-0002-2301-6924 (2016) To be Makiran is to see like Mr Parrot: the anthropology of wonder in Solomon Islands. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 22 (3). 474 - 495. ISSN 1359-0987

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-9655.12442


This article lays out a general thesis for the development of a comparative ethnographic approach to the anthropology of wonder. It suggests that wonder is both an index and a mode of challenge to existing ontological premises. Through analytical engagement with the theme of wonder in Western philosophy and the anthropology of ontology, it extends this thesis to include the corollary that different ontological premises give rise to different wonders. Ethnographically, the article supports these claims via analysis of wonder discourses among the Arosi of Solomon Islands. These discourses, it is argued, both respond to and promote ontological transformations in a context where the premises at stake are neither those of the Cartesian dualism commonly ascribed to modernity nor of the relational non-dualism commonly ascribe to anthropology’s ethnographic ‘others’, but of a non-Cartesian pluralism termed poly-ontology.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Anthropological Institute. © 2016 CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 12:23
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:15
Projects: RES-000-23-1170
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, London School of Economics and Political Science

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