DOI link for Locating
Locating is the mode of elucidation that investigates the situated use of terms in different ages and languages. The practice of locating requires adapting the tools of ethnographic grammatical investigation to accommodate the added difficulties of working across languages or back in time. The anthropologist needs to conduct grammatical investigation, an arduous enough task even in one language, while moving back and forth between two or more languages. This chapter examines critically what the author takes to be missteps in meeting that challenge by two interpretivist virtuosos: the real-life anthropologist Clifford Geertz and the real-life historian Quentin Skinner. Geertz, in writing about person across languages, and Skinner, in writing about the originality of seventeenth-century poet John Milton, make easy-to-overlook but consequential moves that inadvertently impose their own categories of thought. Identifying how these moves go wrong offers lessons on how one might more effectively avoid ethnocentrism and anachronism when locating.