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Names are Thicker than BloodKinship and Ownership amongst the Iatmul$
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Andrew Moutu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264454

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264454.001.0001

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Towards an Ontological Understanding of Relationships

Towards an Ontological Understanding of Relationships

(p.192) Conclusion Towards an Ontological Understanding of Relationships
Names are Thicker than Blood

Andrew Moutu

British Academy

This chapter summarises the analysis provided in the book and suggests how an anthropologist might conceptualise relationships in ontological terms. It argues that what distinguishes ‘relationships’ ontologically from the epistemological forms of relational practices — such as connection, association, resemblance, comparison — are necessity and transcendence, which give ‘relationships’ the character of an infinite being. This has been shown in Iatmul ethnography, outlined in this book through the ontology of brotherhood.

Keywords:   anthropologist, ontological terms, Iatmul, brotherhood

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