Magic? Levitation Harrison Ford and a Lemons Katy Perry and a Rabbit? Beach trick Ripping Bodies apart Tricking Police Compare: African Shaman (from Ch. 6)
Illusion vs. Magic vs. Sorcery • Illusion: • Acts that rely on some sort of trickery and deception • Ex: Chris Angel, David Blaine, Gob • May also be used by Religious Specialists to add to the ambience of ritual, to bring the audience in on the experience of the specialist.
Illusion vs. Magic vs. Sorcery • Magic: • Methods that somehow interface with the supernatural and by which people bring about particular outcomes • Early Anthropologists (Edward Tylor, James Frazer, Èmile Durkheim) saw magic as separate from religion because it did not involve spirits, only manipulation of supernatural forces. • Evolutionary school: magicreligionscience • Arguments still remain as to whether Magic should continue to be defined within the realm of religion.
Illusion vs. Magic vs. Sorcery • Sorcery: • Compelling the supernatural to behave in certain ways, usually with evil intent. Done in secret and can be severely anti-social. • Ex: Kuru and Sorcery among the Fore
Ways of understanding the worldScience vs. Magic • Science • A methodology for coming to an understanding of reality through • Objective observations • Experimentation • Hypotheses • Tentative statements based upon experimental and observational data that is subject to further study. • Theories • A framework for understanding that is supported by a large amount of consistent scientific data. • Deals only with empiricalobservations (observations made through the senses) • Scientific conclusions must be testable • And have the capacity to be proven false • Methods similar to the above are practiced the world-over for those trying to gain control over their surroundings (ex: planning for a good harvest, building the right boat to sail on a long journey), but what about the intangibles, the swerves thrown by nature?
Ways of understanding the worldScience vs. Magic • Magic • What if an infestation of an unknown pest eats the planter’s crops? Rain does not come? Fire burns down materials needed to make a boat? • Magic as an attempt to control unpredictability through the manipulation of supernatural forces. • Ex: Magic in sports