© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. Twentieth-century anthropology has been operating with the assumption of one nature and many cultures, one reality experienced and lived in many different ways. Its primary job, therefore, has been to render the otherness of the other understandable, to demonstrate that although different it is also the same; in short, to show that although other, others are people like us. The latest theoretical paradigm, known as the ‘ontological turn’, appears to reverse this assumption and to posit many natures and one culture. Whether it does in fact reverse it and constitutes a meta-ontology, as critics have pointed out, or it is only a heuristic, methodological device, as some of the proponents of the ‘turn’ have recently argued, the contention of my article is the same: first, this move – the ontological – is made in the hope of doing a better job in redeeming otherness than earlier anthropological paradigms; second, it fails as they did – in the same way and for the same reasons.