Hypocognition, a “Sense of the Uncanny,” and the Anthropology of Ambiguity: Reflections on Robert I. Levy's Contribution to Theories of Experience in Anthropology



    1. C. JASON THROOP is a post-doctoral research associate in the department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the Initiative for Health, Humanity, and Culture at the University of Southern California.
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This article examines how Levy's pioneering work in Tahitians on hypocognition, feeling, and sensation can contribute to recent attempts in anthropological theorizing to address the problematic relationship between “culture” and “experience.” Informed by the phenomenologically oriented works of the likes of Dilthey, Husserl, Schutz, and Merleau-Ponty, this growing body of literature in anthropology has become increasingly concerned with clarifying the relationships between culture and “objective” and “pre-objective” modes of “lived experience.” This article suggests that in many ways Levy can be understood as one of the first anthropologists to systematically investigate this relationship ethnographically with his focused attention on the role that culture plays in differentially articulating patterns of conceptualization and sensation in the structuring of experience cross-culturally.