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anthropology ‘has abandoned its claim to truth and is given over to an insidious relativism’ (see Shils 1992: 183), the anthropologist would ask: Where does the liberal certainty in its universal truth reside? And to the accusation that such relativism ‘undermines democratic values and gives the young little reason to believe that [anthropology] can contribute anything to the betterment of society’ (Shils 1992: 183), an anthropologist might respond that it is precisely through self-reflection based on the contemplation of alternative versions of ‘betterment’ that society can

in Democratization through the looking-glass
The case of Maghrebi Muslims in France

not be suspicious and should refrain from inquiring about the composition of the food served. In these more-or-less subtle debates, there seems to be but a single certainty: pork is haram. The plurality of such social definitions of halal products explains why there are several halal certifications and why all attempts to reduce them to one have thus far failed. Currently, in France, fresh meat is sold mainly according to ‘domestic convention’, while processed foods and poultry are sold according ‘industrial convention’, though this situation may well change in the

in Qualities of food
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Rethinking anarchist strategies

, what did they want? It is still too early to answer these questions with any degree of academic certainty, but, in simple terms, the antiwar movement sought a number of things. Firstly, it sought freedom from: warmongering and dehumanisation; US economic and political arrogance and imperialism; fear of broadening conflict; Islamaphobia and racism; the cheapening of human life, especially when it’s impersonalised and a long way away from here; the fear of terrorist repercussions (real or imagined). Secondly, although somewhat less coherently, it also sought the

in Changing anarchism
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Religion and spirituality in environmental direct action

see the rise of environmental critique as a manifestation of what he terms a second Reformation, as individuals are increasingly ‘set free from the certainties and modes of living of the industrial epoch – just as they were “freed” from the arms of the Church into society in the age of the Reformation’ (Beck, 1992: 14). According to this interpretation, unthinking trust of and deference towards authority is increasingly undermined by individualisation and secularisation, so that scientific claims and political decisions are not simply accepted due to their

in Changing anarchism
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objects 233 ‘­tension between continued growth and becoming in the open neoliberal field of the capitalist system, and the sovereign closure of the foregone event’ (Massumi, 2005: 7). Most importantly with regard to time, the decision becomes based not on the ‘indefinite future of the what-may-come’, but instead on the certainty of the ‘“will have” of the always-will-have-been-already’ (Massumi, 2005: 6). Here a picture emerges not of possible futures emergent in the present – an open future, life as contingency – but rather of a predetermined course of action

in Time for mapping

conversation between memoirist Florence Farmborough and interviewer Margaret Brooks. In the first reel, Farmborough, in the high, cultured voice of a gentlewoman, tells of her childhood. Her narration is slow and deliberate, filled with certainty and self-belief, never faltering, offering what sounds almost like a recitation. She is conscious of the importance of her story, and therefore of her life. Her interview is not just a record; it is a piece of self-composure.17 Florence Farmborough retold the story of her life and nursing work several times, through memoirs and

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
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Robert Hamer after Ealing

Catholicism. Though not religious, Hamer felt a grudging envy for the certainties of faith – as does his surrogate in the film, played by Peter Finch with saturnine charm. A renegade aristocrat (like Ledocq in The Spider and the Fly ), Flambeau steals not out of greed or viciousness, but to requite a world that has no place for him. ‘I was trained as a good swordsman,’ he tells Brown, ‘but in a

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Germany, the use of force and the power of strategic culture

culture has fundamentally changed or collapsed. A second hypothesis was that the influence of strategic culture on behaviour will depend on contextual factors. In settled times of certainty strategic culture will influence behaviour indirectly, at a distance, while in unsettled periods of greater ambivalence strategic culture will directly govern behaviour almost as an ideology. With the ending of the Cold War the impacts of strategic culture on German security policy behaviour were far more direct, with the nexus between policy and strategic culture being close. From the

in Germany and the use of force

Medical Revolution of the Seventeenth Century, edited by Roger K. French and Andrew Wear (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 87–113 (pp. 108–09). A more general account of his thought can be found in Arikha, Passions and Tempers, pp. 223–27. 9 Barbara J. Shapiro, Probability and Certainty in Seventeenth Century England (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 215. 10 Clark, pp. 611–12. 11 Bostridge, p. 63. Witchcraft in the Restoration 247 linked to it had been attacked as the devil’s work.’12 For sceptics as well as critics, witches

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
The idioms and risks of defiance in the trial of Margaretha Horn, 1652

part of Margaretha Horn was a new development in the witch-trials that occurred in Rothenburg: it also happened, although to a less detailed degree, in the case of Catharina Leimbach, the blacksmith’s wife from Wettringen, whose trial for the alleged bewitchment of eight-year-old Barbara Schürz began on 30 August and ended with her release from custody on 5 October 1652.54 It is, of course, impossible to claim with certainty that Margaretha and Catharina were qualitatively more ‘defiant’ than any of the women who had been tried for witchcraft in Rothenburg in the

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany