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Orientalism and anthropology : from Max Müller to Louis Dumont

By Denis Vidal, Jackie Assayag and R. Lardinois

Abstract

International audienceThe purpose of the three texts included in this volume is to cast light on the extent to which Orientalism is founded on anthropology, and conversely-each author doing so in his own manner. Max Müller and Louis Dumont were, of course, only the standard-bearers of a disciplinary tendency to capture an essential, not to say, fundamental, India. The relevance of the studies in this volume is fourfold. First, it is shown that the works of French-speaking researchers in India have not been devoted exclusively to research done "in the field". Second, it enables one to recall that there is indeed a critical tradition of the dominating Dumontian model in France. Third, it calls to mind a few unnoticed, forgotten or overshadowed intellectual references which, nevertheless, were determinant in the French construction of India. Finally, these texts affirm how heuristic it is to cross the boundaries between disciplines or faculties, literary genres or inspired tropisms, rather than preserve them on the basis of a single paradigm. It is hoped that the perspective offered by these three texts will help to elucidate the limits between Indology and the social sciences, and will serve to illustrate the strength of what the French philosopher, Cornélius Castoriadis, has called "the imaginary institution of society". This volume is reprinted as it has been edited in 1997

Topics: INDE, FRANCE, [ SHS.ANTHRO-SE ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Social Anthropology and ethnology
Publisher: IFP
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01482655v1
Provided by: Hal-Diderot
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