World Visions can conceive of everything except alternative world visions. If this prouncement by Umberto Eco is right, how can any ethnic group conceive of living with ather group on the same territory - in Canada or elsewhere - if their world visions are incompatible? Can we sidestep incompatible world visions or should we try to understand them? Figured Worlds explores the possibilities of equilibrium between commitments to mutual understanding and the framing of strategies of negotiation. This collection begins its rich analytical investigation by describing how people - Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori, Japanese, and Africans - first learn the figured worlds of their own culture, made up of sensations, affirmations and will, prophecy, revelation, myth, dream, and metamorphoses. It then sets out how diverse figured worlds within a given social system are related, and concludes by offering insightful mappings of the dynamics of these relations, perceived in both their existential-ontological aspects, as well as their material-practical means. Comprising scholarship that is half Canadian and half British, this work offers important foundational perspectives into the thought worlds of cultures found within other cultures.
John Clammer is a professor in the Department of Comparative Culture at Sophia University. Sylvie Poirier is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Universite Laval. Eric Schwimmer is a professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at Universite Laval and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto.