Multiple levels of meaning and the tension of consciousness. How to interpret iron technology in Bantu Africa

TitelMultiple levels of meaning and the tension of consciousness. How to interpret iron technology in Bantu Africa
PublicatietypeTijdschriftartikel
Publicatiejaar1998
AuteursBekaert, S
Titel van het tijdschriftArchaeological Dialogues
Volume of jaargang5
Nummer binnen de jaargang1
Begin en eindpagina's30-53
Trefwoordenmateriële cultuur, theorie
Samenvatting

When can we say that a Bantu smith knows the meaning of iron smelting - only when he explicitly recognizes the underlying sexual structure of it or simply when he knows how to go on smithing? Is structuralist theory, wich considers meaning as codic and diacritical, really incommensurable with a phenomenological view of meaning as something primarily experiental? In this posthumous paper, Stephan Bekaert argues that the differences between both perspectives are gradual rather than fundamental. Drawing on the sexual mataphors in Sakata iron technology, he presents a tentative scale of meanings levels: the level of typified experience, the level of pragmatic motive, the level of (meta)physical intervention, the level of experiential gestalt, the level of explicit metaphor, and the level of codic oppositions. Rejecting the one-world-ism predominant in many social sciences, he argues that humans inhabit and draw on many worlds at once.

Citation KeyBekaert:1998ab
VerantwoordelijkeBVANMONTFORT, MDEBIE, SVANDEVOORDE