Beyond Nature And Culture

Paperback | October 22, 2014

byPhilippe DescolaTranslated byJanet LloydForeword byMarshall Sahlins

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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.

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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 philosoph...

Philippe Descola holds the chair of anthropology and heads the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale at the Collège de France. He also teaches at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. Among his previous books to appear in English are In the Society of Nature and The Spears of Twilight. Janet Lloyd has translated more than sev...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:488 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:October 22, 2014Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022621236X

ISBN - 13:9780226212364

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“Thanks to its richness and its broad scope, this book gives to anthropological reflection a new starting point and will become the compulsory reference for all our debates in the years to come.”