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ArchaeologyThe Discipline of Things$
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Bjørnar Olsen, Michael Shanks, Timothy Webmoor, and Christopher Witmore

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274167

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274167.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The Ambiguity of Things

The Ambiguity of Things

Contempt and Desire

(p.17) Chapter 2 The Ambiguity of Things

Bjørnar Olsen

Michael Shanks

Timothy Webmoor

Christopher Witmore

University of California Press

Chapter two delves into the background to that amnesia regarding things in twentieth-century research by retracing how the estrangement from things (and various disciplinary practices) came about. It specifies how the modern attitude toward things was characterized by ambiguity, entailing both contempt and desire. Ambiguity also names things’ position in the modern ontological landscape, where a rifted and polarized topography has proven inhospitable to their needs for far too long.

Keywords:   things, technology, idealism, ambiguity, desire, fetishism

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