Shweder on Geertz on Tiger

When Geertz passed away a while back, we linked to numerous obituaries and remembrances and (as I said in a previous entry), including “Lionel Tiger’s harsh assessment of Geertz in The Wall Street Journal”: Richard Shweder has recently prepared a rebuttal to Tiger’s piece to be published in Common Knowledge and has made a “preprint available on his website”: It’s an interesting piece that attempts to locate Geertz intellectually (a difficult if not impossible task, as Shweder admits) and to rebut Tiger’s piece about him (quite easy). Along the way we get some thoughts on tendencies in anthropological thought in recent decades and the Geertz almost (but of course not quite) fits into them. It’s a nice read.


Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His book Leviathans at The Gold Mine has been published by Duke University Press. You can contact him at