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Being Alive : Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description - Tim Ingold

Being Alive

Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description

Paperback

Published: 24th May 2011
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Anthropology is a disciplined inquiry into the conditions and potentials of human life. Generations of theorists, however, have expunged life from their accounts, treating it as the mere output of patterns, codes, structures or systems variously defined as genetic or cultural, natural or social. Building on his classic work The Perception of the Environment, Tim Ingold sets out to restore life to where it should belong, at the heart of anthropological concern.

Being Alive ranges over such themes as the vitality of materials, what it means to make things, the perception and formation of the ground, the mingling of earth and sky in the weather-world, the experiences of light, sound and feeling, the role of storytelling in the integration of knowledge, and the potential of drawing to unite observation and description.

Our humanity, Ingold argues, does not come ready-made but is continually fashioned in our movements along ways of life. Starting from the idea of life as a process of wayfaring, Ingold presents a radically new understanding of movement, knowledge and description as dimensions not just of being in the world, but of being alive to what is going on there.

"For three decades, Tim Ingold's has been one of the most consistently exploratory and provocative voices in contemporary scholarship. This book leads us, in prose that is exactingly lucid and charged with poetic eloquence, on a journey through, amongst other things, Chinese calligraphy, line drawing, carpentry, kite flying, Australian Aboriginal painting, native Alaskan storytelling, web-spinning arachnids, the art of walking and, not least, the history of anthropology, none of which will ever look quite the same again!a The work is at once a meditation on questions central to anthropology, art practice, human ecology and philosophy, a passionate rebuttal of reductionisms of all kinds, a celebration of creativity understood in the broadest possible sense and a humane and generous manual for living in a world of becoming." - Stuart McLean, University of Minnesota, USA "Simultaneously intimate and all-encompassing, Tim Ingold's second landmark collection of essays explains how it feels to craft an existence between earth and sky, among plants and animals, across childhood and old age. A master of the form, Ingold shows how aliveness is the essential resource for an affirmative philosophy of life." - Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow, UK "In these iconoclastic essays, Ingold breaks the dichotomies of likeness and difference to show that anthropology's subject, and with it that of the human sciences more generally, is not constituted by polarities like that of space contra place, but by a movement along paths that compose a being that is as alive to the sentient world as this world is to its human inhabitants." - Kenneth Olwig, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

List of figuresp. ix
Preface and acknowledgementsp. xi
Prologue
Anthropology comes to lifep. 3
Clearing the groundp. 15
Materials against materialityp. 19
Culture on the ground: the world perceived through the feetp. 33
Walking the plank: meditations on a process of skillp. 51
The meshworkp. 63
Rethinking the animate, reanimating thoughtp. 67
Point, line, counterpoint: from environment to fluid spacep. 76
When ANT meets SPIDER: social theory for arthropodsp. 89
Earth and skyp. 95
The shape of the earthp. 99
Earth, sky, wind and weatherp. 115
Landscape or weather-world?p. 126
Four objections to the concept of soundscapep. 136
A storied worldp. 141
Against space: place, movement, knowledgep. 145
Stories against classification: transport, wayfaring and the integration of knowledgep. 156
Naming as storytelling: speaking of animals among the Koyukon of Alaskap. 165
Drawing making writingp. 177
Seven variations on the letter Ap. 181
Ways of mind-walking: reading, writing, paintingp. 196
The textility of makingp. 210
Drawing together: doing, observing, describingp. 220
Epilogue
Anthropology is not ethnographyp. 229
Notesp. 244
Referencesp. 254
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415576840
ISBN-10: 0415576849
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 24th May 2011
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 17.4  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 1