This essay seeks to provide an overview of the anthropology of radical alterity and social commensuration. I begin with critical theoretical discussions of incommensurability and undecidability in the context of radical interpretation. I then resituate these theoretical debates in liberal ideologies of language-use and public reason in order to suggest the delicate and dramatic ways in which institutionalized conventions of risk and pleasure commensurate social worlds. How do incommensurate worlds emerge and how are they sustained? In other words, how is the inconceivable conceived? How are these new ethical and epistemological horizons aligned or not in the complicated space and time of global capital and liberal democratic regionalisms and nationalisms? How do publics interpret and decide between competing social visions and practices in the shadow of the seemingly incompatible frameworks of post-foundationalist and fundamentalist enlightenments?


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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