Consequences of the Ontological Turn

Consequences of the Ontological Turn – Methodological and Theoretical Perspectives

University of Pécs, Hungary

Date: 9–10th March 2018

Organizers: Department of Sociology, University of Pécs, and MTA BTK Lendület Morals and Science Research Group

The ’ontological turn’ in anthropological methodology has been the topic of much discussion in anthropological theory and the philosophy of the social sciences. The ’turn’ generates new problems for both disciplines regarding the role of anthropological fieldwork (or experimentation), the methods of interpreting cultures alien to our own, and the ways in which conceptual frameworks are formed and reconfigured.

While much attention has been paid to the philosophical underpinnings of this methodology and to its consequences regarding anthropological practice, this workshop attempts to integrate the philosophical and the anthropological side of the ontological coin.

We look forward to contributions from the disciplines of philosophy, anthropology and other social sciences that might benefit from the insights of the turn’s methodological program, such as e.g. the turn towards the things themselves that figure in the social life of various communities, the application of the extended mind thesis in fieldwork, or bridging the gap between Western and non-Western concepts of sociality.

The topics to be discussed include but are not limited to the following:

  • What role does the ontological turn play in actual fieldwork?
  • Should and/or could one overcome the relativistic implications of such a methodology?
  • What are the philosophical consequences of the turn towards ’the things themselves’?
  • What can the disciplines learn from each other: how can philosophy illuminate anthropological practice, and how can this practice influence philosophical reasoning?

Abstracts of about 500 words should be sent to Dr. Akos Sivado,

Confirmed speakers:

  • Matei Candea (University of Cambridge)
  • Paolo Heywood (University of Cambridge)
  • Martin Holbraad (University College London)
  • Morten Axel Pedersen (University of Copenhagen)
  • Martin Paleček (University of Hradec Kralové)
  • Andrew Pickering (University of Exeter)
  • Mark Risjord (Emory University)

The deadline for submissions is 1st December 2017.