PDF | Tradução de Bruno Ribeiro. Original: DESCOLA, Philippe. ‘Beyond Nature and Culture’, Proceedings of the British Academy, volume , pp. Philippe Descola’s Beyond Nature & Culture is not a modest book. Having first appeared French in , it systematizes some of the ideas. In this first part, I will present Philippe Descola and the big lines of the his In Beyond nature and culture, Descola shows that the opposition.
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The objective of this seminar is to study the relations between natures and societies in Southeast Asia in the light of the work of the French anthropologist Philippe Descola.
Journal of Ethnographic Theory
The expressions Beyond nature and culture 1 refers to the title of his master piece which is a deconstruction of the jature of a universal nature. In this first part, I will present Philippe Descola and the big lines of the his thought. In the second part, I will develop through examples how his theoretical propositions could be adapted to Southeast Asian ethnographic deescola. He has conducted an ethnographic study from to with the Achuar indigenous people living in the Amazonian forest between Peru and Ecuador.
The Achuar are part of Jivaros group formerly known as warriors and head hunters. It is with the Achuar that P. Descola began to question the notion of nature. Descola was previously trained in philosophy and has always paid a lot of attention to epistemology applied to anthropology methods and theories. He was especially influence by the phenomenological beyod Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
In ntaure society of nature published inhe describes cuture ecology of the Achuar forest dwellers practicing swidden farming, hunting and gathering products of the forest. The spears of twilightis a desclla a personal account of his experiences living with the Achuar accessible to a large public. The idea of a nature, unique and universal, is a Western cosmological conception. It results from a specific historical development of mixed influences:. It is on this great division between humanity and the world of nature that relay the academic division between natural sciences and humanities with:.
This dualistic view has produced two dominant perspectives on human-nature relations in the history of the anthropological discipline:. Whereas we study the facts and we explain the culture by nature.
Which is also called determinism. Either we study the thought and explain the nature by the culture. Culture is what gives meaning, sense, organization, order to the chaotic nature. It is represented by the symbolic anthropology school of thought.
For example, ethnosciences interpret the environment in the light of classification vocabulary that organizes the world and orders plants, animals, etc.
Descola clearly defines his intention to overcome the determinism of ecological anthropology and structuralism, still dependent on the universal opposition between nature and culture.
The Achuar are animist. They think that wild animals and plants have a soul, act like persons and share social values. In the Amazonian thought, it is impossible to see the world from a unique human perspective.
Animals and plants see themselves as humans. Frontiers between human and non-humans are not clear in many societies in the world not even in the so-called modern society. What about treating dolls like persons?
The recent Luk thep child angel phenomenon in Thailand — in which dolls are animated, through specific rituals, with the souls of young children who have passed away — illustrate this indistinct frontiers between human and artifacts. To overcome the western opposition between nature and culture, he considers the opposition between mind and body as more universal.
All his argument relay on the contrast between interiority and physicality. The interiority refers to proprieties commonly associated with the spirit, soul or consciousness: The physicality in contrast is material, it is the organic dimension of human and non human: Descola conceived a conceptual scheme that distinguish 4 possible combinations of distributing spiritual and material proprieties to beings He calls these combinaisons ontologies or modes of identification.
Beyond Nature and Culture, Descola, Lloyd, Sahlins
Naturalismsame physicality, but different interiority. It postulates the uniqueness of nature on which unfolds the diversity of cultures. Only humans have subjectivity. A mode best exemplified by modern western science. Animism same interiority, different physicality. In contrast, animism give to non-human an interiority similar to human.
American Indians, Vietnamese tribes or Pygmies are also animists. Analogism different interiority, different physicality. Descila analogism, humans and non-humans are made up of fragmented essences. Analogism poses an annd set of singularities interrelated by analogies. Astrology for instance links the movements and positions of distant planets to an individual destiny.
This thought is found in many esoteric systems like divination, geomancy, Chinese medicine. This system governs hierarchical societies, huge ensembles such as China or India, and pre-modern states of Aztecs, the Dogon of West Africa, or Europe until Renaissance. Totemism same interiority, same physicality. Where groups of humans and non-humans share interior as well as physical attributes. A ontology found within the Aboriginals of Australia. Here the identification of the group to his animal ancestor, the totem, is both spiritual moral and physical.
Descola specifies that none of this ontological model is pure and that they can overlap. I definitely wanted to develop a small message to express gratitude to you for the superb hints you beylnd giving out at this site. My rather long internet research has now been rewarded with sensible content to share with my two friends.
Beyond Nature and Culture
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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content The objective of this seminar is to descolw the relations between natures and societies in Southeast Asia in the light of the work of the French anthropologist Philippe Descola.
To transcend the Western dualism that opposes nature and society as two different and separate realms of beings. To include in our study the relation between human and non-humans — gods, spirits, plants, animals, objects. To explore the diversity of natures in Southeast Asia. Who is Philippe Descola? Main books translated into english: The deconstruction of the idea of nature Naturalism: It results from a specific historical development of mixed influences: He introduced the idea of nature as a sum of beings that constitutes an order and are subjects to laws according to their structure.
Christianity which defines the transcendence of man in relation to the physical world. Humans have a supernatural divine origin. They are singular beings higher than plants and animals.
God gave to humans the mission to culturs and govern Earth. The scientific revolution at the 17th century: This mechanic act as a total system in which the behavior of each element is explicable by laws. It is on this great division between humanity and the world of nature that relay the academic division between natural sciences and humanities with: This dualistic view has produced two dominant perspectives on human-nature relations in the history of the anthropological discipline: Cite this article as: Overlapping cosmologies and systems of knowledge”, in nature.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Introduction session part 2: Overlapping cosmologies and systems of knowledge.