As Wide as the World Is Wise


As Wide as the World Is Wise is a book that gives any soul tortured by questions arising from the way the world is today a feeling that one has found an author who has heard the torment of such a soul and has offered instructions on how to live with these questions, not because they have been solved but because these questions have been heard without recourse to sentimentalism or quick-fix solutions. - Veena Das, coeditor of The Ground Between: Anthropologists Engage Philosophy

Jackson's marvelous book delivers ethnographic evidence for philosophical issues originating from the necessities of ordinary life, reminding us that philosophy actually never was (just) a matter of academic discourse and abstract thinking but has always been rooted in various media—myths, tales, rites, sayings—that express the diversities of life-forms, their norms and values, and their existential truths and wisdom. - Thomas Schwarz Wentzer, Aarhus University

At a time when anthropologists are increasingly drawing on and engaging with philosophy and philosophers, Jackson has given us the best account thus far of how this might be possible. Eschewing the common anthropological criticism that philosophy is too universalizing and abstract, Jackson shows us how in our time much philosophical practice is an attempt to think through the immediate and pressing issues of everyday existence. Anthropology, Jackson argues, is perfectly positioned to contribute significantly to such thinking. The result is an important and innovative articulation of a potential philosophical anthropology. - Jarrett Zigon, author of Morality: An Anthropological Perspective