Nature Knowledge: Ethnoscience, Cognition, and Utility

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Numerous scholars, in particular anthropologists, historians, economists, linguists, and biologists, have, over the last few years, studied forms of knowledge and use of nature, and of the ways nature can be protected and conserved. Some of the most prominent scholars have come together in this volume to reflect on what has been achieved so far, to compare the work carried out in the past, to discuss the problems that have emerged from different research projects, and to map out the way forward.

Glauco Sanga teaches at the Ca'Foscari University, Venice; Gherardo Ortalli is the Academic Director of the Istituto Veneto.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571818225
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 484
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Classification
Recognition and classification of natural kinds 23
1 How a folk botanical system can be both natural and comprehensive : one Maya Indian's view of the plant world 38
2 Arbitrariness and necessity in ethnobiological classification : notes on some persisting issues 47
3 Tackling Aristotelian ethnozoology 57
4 Current and historical problems in classification : levels and associated themes, from the linguistic point of view 68
Discussion 95
Pt. II Naming
The ways of naming nature and through nature 105
5 The role of motivation ("iconymy)" in naming : six responses to a list of questions 108
6 Tapir and squirrel : further nomenclatural meanderings toward a universal sound-symbolic bestiary 119
7 Jivaro streams : from named places to placed names 128
8 What is lost when names are forgotten? 161
9 Examples of metaphors from fauna and flora 185
10 Lexicalization of natural objects in Palawan 191
11 Levels and mechanisms of naming 201
Discussion 221
Pt. III Thought
The symbolic uses of nature 229
12 Thought of nature and cosmology 231
13 Symbolic anthropology and ethnoscience : two paradigms 239
14 Doing, thinking, saying 243
15 Thought, knowledge, and universals 249
16 Bodily humors in the scholarly tradition of Hindu and Galenic medicine as an example of naive theory and implicate universals 262
Discussion 272
Pt. IV Use
How have we come to use nature, from a practical point-of-view? 283
17 Indigenous knowledge : subordination and localism 287
18 Indigenous environmental knowledge, the history of science, and the discourse of development 297
19 Two reflections on ecological knowledge 301
20 Indigenous knowledge and cognitive power 312
21 The role of indigenous knowledge systems in facilitating sustainable approaches to development 317
Discussion 331
Pt. V Conservation
What does it mean to conserve nature? 339
22 Random conservation and deliberate diffusion of botanical species : some evidence out of the modern European agricultural past 354
23 Diversity, protection, and conservation : local agricultural products and foodstuffs 366
24 Cultural research on the origin and maintenance of agricultural diversity 379
25 Activation practices, history of environmental resources, and conservation 386
26 Forms of knowledge in the conservation of natural resources : from the Middle Ages to the Venetian "tribe" 391
Discussion 399
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