Beyond the words: the power of resonance

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Abstract

The article juxtaposes a Balinese theory of translation endorsing resonance with Davidson's maxim of “passing theories,” as rendered by Rorty, to explore how convergence is achieved in actual, everyday life. But the article is not an exercise in the anthropology of language. It addresses the issue of how we as persons can live together in the world and understand one another—with our cultural differences. Thus the concern is with morality and pragmatics, and implications for fieldwork method and anthropological representation. I advocate a focus on persons in lived situations, rather than discourse, and suggest that resonance is the crucial—and charitable—orientation that allows us to go beyond the words to engage people's compelling concerns. [resonance, culture, discourse, translation, fieldwork method, Bali]

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