HOW FORESTS THINK TOWARD AN ANTHROPOLOGY BEYOND THE HUMAN

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How Forests Think

Author : Eduardo Kohn
ISBN : 9780520956865
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 78.63 MB
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Can forests think? Do dogs dream? In this astonishing book, Eduardo Kohn challenges the very foundations of anthropology, calling into question our central assumptions about what it means to be human—and thus distinct from all other life forms. Based on four years of fieldwork among the Runa of Ecuador’s Upper Amazon, Eduardo Kohn draws on his rich ethnography to explore how Amazonians interact with the many creatures that inhabit one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. Whether or not we recognize it, our anthropological tools hinge on those capacities that make us distinctly human. However, when we turn our ethnographic attention to how we relate to other kinds of beings, these tools (which have the effect of divorcing us from the rest of the world) break down. How Forests Think seizes on this breakdown as an opportunity. Avoiding reductionistic solutions, and without losing sight of how our lives and those of others are caught up in the moral webs we humans spin, this book skillfully fashions new kinds of conceptual tools from the strange and unexpected properties of the living world itself. In this groundbreaking work, Kohn takes anthropology in a new and exciting direction–one that offers a more capacious way to think about the world we share with other kinds of beings.
Category: Social Science

How Forests Think

Author : Eduardo Kohn
ISBN : 9780520276109
Genre : Science
File Size : 50.35 MB
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Can forests think? Do dogs dream? In this astonishing book, Eduardo Kohn challenges the very foundations of anthropology, calling into question our central assumptions about what it means to be human—and thus distinct from all other life forms. Based on four years of fieldwork among the Runa of Ecuador’s Upper Amazon, Eduardo Kohn draws on his rich ethnography to explore how Amazonians interact with the many creatures that inhabit one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. Whether or not we recognize it, our anthropological tools hinge on those capacities that make us distinctly human. However, when we turn our ethnographic attention to how we relate to other kinds of beings, these tools (which have the effect of divorcing us from the rest of the world) break down. How Forests Think seizes on this breakdown as an opportunity. Avoiding reductionistic solutions, and without losing sight of how our lives and those of others are caught up in the moral webs we humans spin, this book skillfully fashions new kinds of conceptual tools from the strange and unexpected properties of the living world itself. In this groundbreaking work, Kohn takes anthropology in a new and exciting direction–one that offers a more capacious way to think about the world we share with other kinds of beings.
Category: Science

How Forests Think

Author : Eduardo Kohn
ISBN : 9780520276116
Genre : History
File Size : 48.2 MB
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Can forests think? Do dogs dream? In this astonishing book, Eduardo Kohn challenges the very foundations of anthropology, calling into question our central assumptions about what it means to be human—and thus distinct from all other life forms. Based on four years of fieldwork among the Runa of Ecuador’s Upper Amazon, Eduardo Kohn draws on his rich ethnography to explore how Amazonians interact with the many creatures that inhabit one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. Whether or not we recognize it, our anthropological tools hinge on those capacities that make us distinctly human. However, when we turn our ethnographic attention to how we relate to other kinds of beings, these tools (which have the effect of divorcing us from the rest of the world) break down. How Forests Think seizes on this breakdown as an opportunity. Avoiding reductionistic solutions, and without losing sight of how our lives and those of others are caught up in the moral webs we humans spin, this book skillfully fashions new kinds of conceptual tools from the strange and unexpected properties of the living world itself. In this groundbreaking work, Kohn takes anthropology in a new and exciting direction–one that offers a more capacious way to think about the world we share with other kinds of beings.
Category: History

Beyond Nature And Culture

Author : Philippe Descola
ISBN : 9780226145006
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65.23 MB
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Philippe Descola has become one of the most important anthropologists working today, and Beyond Nature and Culture has been a major influence in European intellectual life since its French publication in 2005. Here, finally, it is brought to English-language readers. At its heart is a question central to both anthropology and philosophy: what is the relationship between nature and culture? Culture—as a collective human making, of art, language, and so forth—is often seen as essentially different from nature, which is portrayed as a collective of the nonhuman world, of plants, animals, geology, and natural forces. Descola shows this essential difference to be, however, not only a specifically Western notion, but also a very recent one. Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world and theoretical understandings from cognitive science, structural analysis, and phenomenology, he formulates a sophisticated new framework, the “four ontologies”— animism, totemism, naturalism, and analogism—to account for all the ways we relate ourselves to nature. By thinking beyond nature and culture as a simple dichotomy, Descola offers nothing short of a fundamental reformulation by which anthropologists and philosophers can see the world afresh.
Category: Social Science

The Mushroom At The End Of The World

Author : Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
ISBN : 9781400873548
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75.13 MB
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Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world—and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.
Category: Social Science

Human No More

Author : Neil L. Whitehead
ISBN : 9781607321705
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.88 MB
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Turning an anthropological eye toward cyberspace, Human No More explores how conditions of the online world shape identity, place, culture, and death within virtual communities. Online worlds have recently thrown into question the traditional anthropological conception of place-based ethnography. They break definitions, blur distinctions, and force us to rethink the notion of the "subject." Human No More asks how digital cultures can be integrated and how the ethnography of both the "unhuman" and the "digital" could lead to possible reconfiguring the notion of the "human." This provocative and groundbreaking work challenges fundamental assumptions about the entire field of anthropology. Cross-disciplinary research from well-respected contributors makes this volume vital to the understanding of contemporary human interaction. It will be of interest not only to anthropologists but also to students and scholars of media, communication, popular culture, identity, and technology.
Category: Social Science

The Ecology Of Others

Author : Philippe Descola
ISBN : 0984201025
Genre : Nature
File Size : 59.44 MB
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Since the end of the nineteenth century, the division between nature and culture has been fundamental to Western thought. In this groundbreaking work, renowned anthropologist Philippe Descola seeks to break down this divide, arguing for a departure from the anthropocentric model and its rigid dualistic conception of nature and culture as distinct phenomena. In its stead, Descola proposes a radical new worldview, in which beings and objects, human and nonhuman, are understood through the complex relationships that they possess with one another. The Ecology of Others presents a compelling challenge to anthropologists, ecologists, and environmental studies scholars to rethink the way we conceive of humans, objects, and the environment. Thought-provoking and engagingly written, it will be required reading for all those interested in moving beyond the moving beyond the confines of this fascinating debate.
Category: Nature

Islands Of History

Author : Marshall Sahlins
ISBN : 9780226162157
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 59.21 MB
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Marshall Sahlins centers these essays on islands—Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand—whose histories have intersected with European history. But he is also concerned with the insular thinking in Western scholarship that creates false dichotomies between past and present, between structure and event, between the individual and society. Sahlins's provocative reflections form a powerful critique of Western history and anthropology.
Category: Social Science

A Future For Amazonia

Author : Michael Cepek
ISBN : 9780292745728
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 81.9 MB
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Blending ethnography with a fascinating personal story, A Future for Amazonia is an account of a political movement that arose in the early 1990s in response to decades of attacks on the lands and peoples of eastern Ecuador, one of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse places. After generations of ruin at the hands of colonizing farmers, transnational oil companies, and Colombian armed factions, the indigenous Cofán people and their rain forest territory faced imminent jeopardy. In a surprising turn of events, the Cofán chose Randy Borman, a man of Euro-American descent, to lead their efforts to overcome the crisis that confronted them. Drawing on three years of ethnographic research, A Future for Amazonia begins by tracing the contours of Cofán society and Borman's place within it. Borman, a blue-eyed, white-skinned child of North American missionary-linguists, was raised in a Cofán community and gradually came to share the identity of his adoptive nation. He became a global media phenomenon and forged creative partnerships between Cofán communities, conservationist organizations, Western scientists, and the Ecuadorian state. The result was a collective mobilization that transformed the Cofán nation in unprecedented ways, providing them with political power, scientific expertise, and a new role as ambitious caretakers of more than one million acres of forest. Challenging simplistic notions of identity, indigeneity, and inevitable ecological destruction, A Future for Amazonia charts an inspiring course for environmental politics in the twenty-first century.
Category: Social Science

The City Is More Than Human

Author : Frederick L. Brown
ISBN : 9780295999357
Genre : History
File Size : 38.26 MB
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Winner, 2017 Virginia Marie Folkins Award, Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) Seattle would not exist without animals. Animals have played a vital role in shaping the city from its founding amid existing indigenous towns in the mid-nineteenth century to the livestock-friendly town of the late nineteenth century to the pet-friendly, livestock-averse modern city. When newcomers first arrived in the 1850s, they hastened to assemble the familiar cohort of cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, and other animals that defined European agriculture. This, in turn, contributed to the dispossession of the Native residents of the area. However, just as these animals were used to create a Euro-American city, the elimination of these same animals from Seattle was key to the creation of the new middle-class neighborhoods of the twentieth century. As dogs and cats came to symbolize home and family, Seattleites� relationship with livestock became distant and exploitative, demonstrating the deep social contradictions that characterize the modern American metropolis. Throughout Seattle�s history, people have sorted animals into categories and into places as a way of asserting power over animals, other people, and property. In The City Is More Than Human, Frederick Brown explores the dynamic, troubled relationship humans have with animals. In so doing he challenges us to acknowledge the role of animals of all sorts in the making and remaking of cities.
Category: History