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What Is Genealogy? An Anthropological/Philosophical Reconsideration

Department of Anthropology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Academic Editor: Philip Kretsedemas
Genealogy 2017, 1(1), 5;
Received: 8 October 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 December 2016 / Published: 17 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Genealogy?)
Genealogical analysis in the present begs reconsideration of Nietzschean and Foucauldian precursors in relation to the ethical subject position of the subject, on the one hand, and application to concrete contexts of lineal connection asserted diversely across cultural time and space, on the other. This paper considers how the relation between genealogy and history has emerged in anthropologically relevant ways since Foucault, including comparisons and contrasts with selected recent philosophical treatments, with implications for contemporary understandings of subversion, resistance, and the critical assessment of truth claims, including concerning veridiction itself. Developments in anthropology resonate with many features associated with genealogical analysis in Foucault’s latter works. In selected respects, the subversive process of problematizing received accounts of historical and cultural development articulates with the subversive process of ethnographic investigation, whereby received Western or other assumptions are defamiliarized by being thrown into contrastive cultural relief. The more general relation between genealogical analysis and the critical understanding of modernity is discussed, including in relation to contemporary political genealogy and ‘inter-genealogical’ analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: genealogy; ethnography; subversion; modernity; Foucault; Nietzsche genealogy; ethnography; subversion; modernity; Foucault; Nietzsche
MDPI and ACS Style

Knauft, B.M. What Is Genealogy? An Anthropological/Philosophical Reconsideration. Genealogy 2017, 1, 5.

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