Christopher Kavanagh

Researcher, University of Oxford/University of Hokkaido

Christopher Kavanagh is a post-doctoral researcher in cognitive anthropology at the University of Oxford, currently based in Japan. His research interests include East Asian religions, ritual behaviour, and the bonding effects of shared dysphoria.

Written by Christopher Kavanagh

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Chomsky, Wolfe and me

Christopher Kavanagh

Generally I’m not a fan of Chomsky, nor am in thrall of his politics but this piece I think provides a rather one sided overview of the Piraha ‘controversy’. That’s to be expected given the author but still some of the summaries come across as a bit disingenuous because they adopt a quasi-objective tone to present a highly subjective opinion. For example, when Everett mentions that the reaction to his work is reminiscent to the claim about ‘truth’ passing through three stages before being accepted but immediately adds in brackets that “(I am not claiming that my work is in any way ‘truth’.)”. That seems like simultaneously making a claim and then immediately distancing from the claim to a...

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