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This chapter asks what might happen if Serres’s writing is considered not as “theory” but rather as an instance of the genre of “wisdom literature.” From that angle, Serres’s writing offers up a sometimes uncomfortable mirror to anthropologists. Conversely, a foray into some recent attempts to map out a comparative anthropology of wisdom help us characterize and tease out some key aspects of Serres’s method. At the intersection between Serres and anthropology, this chapter explores the fraught relation between wisdom and knowledge, the interplay of exemplarity and exception in characterizations of wisdom, and the paradoxical tension between wisdom, difference, and “culture.”

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