Anthropocentrism vs. Ethnology in the Discourse of Anthropology



One of the central concerns that is common to a broad spectrum of post-Nietzschean philosophies is the critical deconstruction of the metaphysical foundations of the discourse in the West. The opus of Michel Foucault, more specifically his critique of the epistemological centrality of the modern concept of Man and the discourse/culture of anthropocentrism which is predicated on it, represents a continuation of that tradition. This text explores the implications of Foucault's critique for the science of anthropology, addressing specifically the latter's relation to the anthropocentric episteme. In the concluding section it brings on an interesting opposition between anthropology as the project of human self-knowledge and ethnology as cultural transcendence and encounter with the culturally other.