Magic's Reason: An Anthropology Of Analogy by Graham M. JonesMagic's Reason: An Anthropology Of Analogy by Graham M. Jones

Magic's Reason: An Anthropology Of Analogy

byGraham M. Jones

Paperback | December 6, 2017

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In Magic’s Reason, Graham M. Jones tells the entwined stories of anthropology and entertainment magic. The two pursuits are not as separate as they may seem at first. As Jones shows, they not only matured around the same time, but they also shared mutually reinforcing stances toward modernity and rationality. It is no historical accident, for example, that colonial ethnographers drew analogies between Western magicians and native ritual performers, who, in their view, hoodwinked gullible people into believing their sleight of hand was divine.

Using French magicians’ engagements with North African ritual performers as a case study, Jones shows how magic became enshrined in anthropological reasoning. Acknowledging the residue of magic’s colonial origins doesn’t require us to dispense with it. Rather, through this radical reassessment of classic anthropological ideas, Magic’s Reason develops a new perspective on the promise and peril of cross-cultural comparison. 
Graham M. Jones is associate professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician’s Craft.   
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Title:Magic's Reason: An Anthropology Of AnalogyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:December 6, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022651868X

ISBN - 13:9780226518688

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction: Dangerous Doubles
Chapter 1: The War on Miracles
Chapter 2: Disanalogy
Chapter 3: Conjuring Equivalences
Chapter 4: Counteranalogy
Chapter 5: An Anthropologist among the Spirits
Chapter 6: The Magic of Analogy
Chapter 7: Meta-Analogy, or, Once More with Meaning
Conclusion: Regimes of Enchantment

Acknowledgments
Notes
References
Index
 

Editorial Reviews

“Acute in his wide and deep reading of earlier as well as contemporary anthropological theories of magic, Jones moves from showman to shaman and back again. We get to see the Algerian Isawi hadra, trance-induced shamanic feats of superhuman powers, through the eyes of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, the mid-nineteenth century father of French magic. This sets the ethnographic tableau against which Magic’s Reason relates the emergence of anthropology to such colonial knowledge and to anxieties of the would-be disenchanted West about whether and how to distinguish by degrees ‘primitive’ versus ‘modern’ mentalities in the face of the persisting sociocultural ubiquity of occult beliefs and practices and of illusionist entertainment as well as ritual performativity.”