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Other Intentions

Cultural Contexts and the Attribution of Inner States

Edited by Lawrence Rosen

The authors argue that although intentionality might appear to be a wholly abstract phenomenon, it is deeply entwined with the nature and distribution of power, the portrayal of events, the assessment of personhood, the interplay of trust and deception, and the assessment of moral and legal responsibility.

1995. 264 pp., notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Leonard V. Kaplan, Catherine Lutz, Robert A. Paul, Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, Lawrence Rosen, Marilyn Strathern, Eugene Vance, Roy Wagner, Kay B. Warren

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“An impressive collection of original and stimulating articles.”
—Alessandro Duranti, UCLA

“[This book] is perhaps the first anthropological study to take intention as its central concern… The virtue of the book … lies in seeing what highly skilled anthropologists and others find when they look naively for acts that involved the attribution of intention in societies they know well… [T]he volume contains the beginnings of a mapping out of cultural representations, and that task … is challenging and important.”
—T. M. Luhrmann, American Anthropologist Vol. 98, no. 3 (September 1996)


  1. Introduction: The Cultural Analysis of Others’ Inner States
    Lawrence Rosen
  2. Act and Intention in Sherpa Culture and Society
    Robert A. Paul
  3. Each Mind Is a World: Dilemmas of Feeling and Intentions in a Kaqchikel Maya Community
    Kay B. Warren
  4. Disembodied Choice
    Marilyn Strathern
  5. “And the Flag Was Still There”: Image, Intentionality, and the Semiotics of Flag Burning
    Eugene Vance
  6. Intention and Responsibility: The Attenuation of Evil, the Unfairness of Justice
    Leonard V. Kaplan
  7. Intentionality, Race, and Evolutionism in Photographs of “Non-Westerners”
    Catherine Lutz
  8. Hazarding Intent: Why Sogo Left Hweabi
    Roy Wagner
  9. Have the Arabs Changed Their Minds?: Intentionality and the Discernment of Cultural Change
    Lawrence Rosen
  10. Understand Others
    Amelie Oksenberg Rorty
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.