A dispositional account of causality: From herbal insecticides to anthropological theories on emergence and becoming

This article written by Jon Henrik Ziegler Remme, argues further that contemporary anthropological theories inspired by ANT, material semiotics and the philosophy of Deleuze operate with an implicit notion of causality and that a notion of dispositional causality can be used to explicate the causal assumptions of these theories.

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The article employs ethnography on the use of an herbal insecticide in Ifugao, the Philippines, to discuss what notions of causality are at work in vernacular understandings of causes and effects and in current anthropological theories on the processes of emergence and becoming. It is argued that Ifugao herbal insecticide use rests upon a notion of causality which is polygenic and dispositional. This means that causation is understood as located in an assemblage of elements that together enable the manifestation of a disposition to eradicate a certain type of worm from irrigated rice fields.

Tags: Philippines, Anthropological Theory, Causality, Material semiotics
Published Nov. 19, 2014 3:59 PM