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Habilitation à diriger des recherches

Épistémè du partage

Abstract : The positions of research exposed here are a response to an epistemological doubt and a methodological embarrassment. The epistemological doubt was born from the conceptual blur which surrounds the term "anthropology"; the methodological embarrassment was caused by the character slightly operational - in my work on the memory – of certain concepts inherited by the discipline, in particular those which concern the molar tropism of the social sciences. The argumentation is developed in three parts.
First is devoted, essentially, with the presentation of my epistemic posture. To assert such a posture supposes, at least, a theory of the discipline. After a critical inventory of the concurrent theories, I develop mine, by defending the idea that the general anthropology has its own object: forms of sharing. At the same time, I dissipate my epistemological doubt. After this theoretical standpoint, it is with the ontology and the epistemology of the object of the general anthropology, so that it is and so that one can know some, that the two other parts of the report are devoted. In the second part, entitled Fictions of the sharing?, I raise (partially) my methodological embarrassment. Indeed, in four chapters, I specify there the way in which us, anthropologists, work on our object (forms of sharing). I describe there at the same time the "manufacture" of the concepts which are supposed to give an account of it (e.g., "collective memory", "cultural identity", "community", etc.) and their use within the framework of a rhetoric of the sharing. From these two points of view (manufacture, use), the relevance of these concepts is far from being obvious, which justifies the interrogative title given to this second part. I approach in fact the following thesis, which will be explored more systematically in the third part, but from another point of view which is that of the common speech: if rhetoric specific to anthropological science maintains the fictions of sharing, it happens sometimes that it authorizes and ontologyzes the sharing of the fictions, although this tendency is currently opposed by the vast movement of rehabilitation of the singular which concerns today our disciplines. In the third and last part, entitled Sharing of the fictions, I try to locate some of the objective and subjective conditions of the sharing, by assessing hypothesis relating to the degree of relevance of holistic rhetorics. Some only, because I deliberately excluded from my matter a phenomena as important as language or a common history shared by the members of a group. I preferred a more hazardous route, that which consists in exploring the methods of the cognition shared under the effect of the following variables: size of the groups, the role of the “protomemory”, density of the public representations, intensity of the interactions and the permeability to doubt. My principal thesis is that representations of sharing are increasingly more generous than real sharing. However, in a nominal group, this belief in sharing can become an objective clue of sharing, precisely when it is a shared belief. This belief supposes the use of a criterion of resemblance, essential cognitive resource at the time of any perception of sharing and not-sharing, whether this one is real or not. For this reason, it is important to imagine research programs which will make it possible to better understand the nature of this resource. This type of exercise poses many problems, whose majority remain irresolute. They open nevertheless many prospects for research in cognitive anthropology that I evoke at the end of this third part.
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Habilitation à diriger des recherches
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Contributor : Joël Candau <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 12, 2007 - 4:26:02 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00130544, version 1


Joël Candau. Épistémè du partage. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 1999. ⟨tel-00130544⟩



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