The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill

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In this work Tim Ingold provides a persuasive new approach to the theory behind our perception of the world around us. The core of the argument is that where we refer to cultural variation we should be instead be talking about variation in skill. Neither genetically innate or culturally acquired, skills are incorporated into the human organism through practice and training in an environment.They are as much biological as cultural.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

‘Tim Ingold's rigorous and imaginative approach to modes of perception as practices involving entire organisms in relations with others is unmatched in contemporary anthropology.  This work, drawing on scholarship from across the arts and sciences, addresses foundational questions within and well beyond anthropology’s four fields.  His new preface outlining some of the ways he has since developed these ideas is inspirational.’
- Gillian Feeley-Harnik, University of Michigan, USA

'The Perception of the Environment is a formidable work in terms of its intellectual breadth ... its sheer volume ... and methodical consistency and clarity.' - The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

' ... this is an extremely significant book and quite possibly lives up to its promise "to revolutionize the way we think". The book's power lies in its ability to push readers to places previously unimagined ... it is imperative that this book be read by as many people from as broad an audience as possible.' - Anthropological Forum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415228312
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK.
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Table of Contents

List of figures
General introduction 1
Ch. 1 Culture, nature, environment: steps to an ecology of life 13
Ch. 2 The optimal forager and economic man 27
Ch. 3 Hunting and gathering as ways of perceiving the environment 40
Ch. 4 From trust to domination: an alternative history of human-animal relations 61
Ch. 5 Making things, growing plants, raising animals and bringing up children 77
Ch. 6 A circumpolar night's dream 89
Ch. 7 Totemism, animism and the depiction of animals 111
Ch. 8 Ancestry, generation, substance, memory, land 132
Ch. 9 Culture, perception and cognition 157
Ch. 10 Building, dwelling, living: how animals and people make themselves at home in the world 172
Ch. 11 The temporality of the landscape 189
Ch. 12 Globes and spheres: the topology of environmentalism 209
Ch. 13 To journey along a way of life: maps, wayfinding and navigation 219
Ch. 14 Stop, look and listen! Vision, hearing and human movement 243
Ch. 15 Tools, minds and machines: an excursion in the philosophy of technology 294
Ch. 16 Society, nature and the concept of technology 312
Ch. 17 Work, time and industry 323
Ch. 18 On weaving a basket 339
Ch. 19 Of string bags and birds' nests: skill and the construction of artefacts 349
Ch. 20 The dynamics of technical change 362
Ch. 21 'People like us': the concept of the anatomically modern human 373
Ch. 22 Speech, writing and the modern origins of 'language origins' 392
Ch. 23 The poetics of tool-use: from technology, language and intelligence to craft, song and imagination 406
Notes 420
References 436
Index 454
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