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The Limits of Complexity with Talia Dan-Cohen

November 10, 2021
6:00 pm

Complexity, today, is everywhere. Various experts marvel at the complexity of the phenomena they study and seek to understand.

In this talk, the ubiquity of “complexity” as an anthropological problem is posed. Rather than take the pervasiveness of complexity at face value, questioning: how did different experts come to see different phenomena of interest as complex? And what are the pitfalls of ascribing complexity too quickly to a world “out there”? These questions are situated in relation to the observation that complexity has come to play the role of an “epistemic virtue” in several fields—anthropology among them—over the last few decades.

Talia Dan-Cohen, Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, will be visiting the department to have a discussion on her work.