Epistemological foundations of Anthropology: a critical review of the critical turns based on Georges Devereux

Principal researcher: Ana Araújo

Research group: Practices and Politics of Culture


Crisis in anthropology | Anxiety | Epistemology | Georges Devereux

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)



Start date





This project aims to critically explore the epistemological foundations of anthropology in the framework of an analysis of the successive critical turns that have marked the history of the discipline to the present day, especially in the last 50 years. In this period, this dynamic of successions saw an acceleration, in response to the crisis that, in the 1970s, swept the field of anthropology and challenged its foundations. To what extent these successive turns are productive, what do they fundamentally say about the discipline, what are its epistemological implications, are key questions to which this project seeks to answer and thus contribute to the elucidation of its foundations. Georges Devereux’s reflections in From Anxiety to Method in the Behavioral Sciences (1967) are the starting point for this analysis, since it consists of one of the most radical critical reconsiderations of anthropology’s epistemological foundations.


Full members

Pedro Prista

Practices and Politics of Culture