HomeInternational Journal of Education Research for Higher Learningvol. 24 no. 2 (2018)

Exploring the Productive Overlap between Philosophy and Anthropology

Raymundo R. Pavo



A productive overlap pertains to a relation of two disciplines/ideas/traditions/ practices influencing and helping shape and build on each other’s stance. Between philosophy and anthropology, such relation is paraphrased in two queries; what can philosophy offer to the social science of anthropology and what can anthropology offer to philosophical inquiries and ruminations? In this paper, these estimations on the meaning of such questions were expressed in these propositions: first, philosophy’s reflection on the role of assumptions/ presuppositions may help enrich anthropology’s quest for cultural meanings; second, anthropology’s concept of ground-truthing through ethnographic narratives may enhance and broaden philosophy’s disposition towards rooted forms of knowledge making. With these possible gains, the respective lots of anthropology and philosophy may be enriched from a position that values both speculative and grounded queries and reflections on what it means to know and describe the world.