Ordinary Life in Philosophy and Anthropology
Theories, Practices, Methods
Dates: 16th and 17th of June 2022
Venue: Paris, Collège de France - FR
Funding: Équipe “Anthropologie de la vie” - Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, Collège de France, Université PSL
Institut des sciences juridique et philosophique de la Sorbonne - CNRS Paris 1)
In this workshop we will examine the methodological and conceptual implications of thinking with notions of ordinary life across philosophy, anthropology and kinned disciplines.
Donwload : Workshop programme
- Lauren Kamili - EHESS
- Sandra Laugier - Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne
- Perig Pitrou - CNRS-Collège de France Université PSL
- Lotte Segal - Edinburgh University
In this workshop we will examine the methodological and conceptual implications of thinking with notions of ordinary life across philosophy, anthropology and kinned disciplines. We would like to detail what it means to attend to ordinary life, in theory and practice, and discuss how we as researchers might know what falls within the so-called ordinary for the people we do research with. What methodological approaches can be used to provide descriptions that are both subjective and objective? How can we articulate the ethnographic and philosophical exploration of individual and collective existence, in its most everyday, “infra-ordinary” (Perec) aspects, with the recognition of the lived experience of those who face extraordinary situations that endanger human life?
In addition to the methodological issues, these questions raise epistemological problems. While it would be tempting to consider in a metaphorical sense expressions such as “ordinary life”, “every day” or “form of life” – as if the word “life” were only a synonym for “existence”–, we wish to examine also the relevance of considering life, literally, as a biological process which is entangled with words, rules and meanings. Whether it is a question of identifying phenomena of routine and habit or of acknowledging the experience of trauma and violence that endangers physical and psychological integrity, this workshop invites ways anchored in ordinary life as a way in which to study the bodily, psychological and sociological dynamics that shape human lives, at the intersection between the biographical and the biological, the individual and the collective, the describable and the unspeakable.