Beyond Nature and Culture

Written by Philippe Descola | Translated by Janet Lloyd | June 1, 2013
Beyond Nature and Culture, The University of Chicago Press, June 2013
Successor to Claude Lévi-Strauss at the Collège de France, 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 than 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.
 

More info: University of Chicago Press

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

An Arab Melancholia

Irresistibly charming, angry, and wry, this autobiographical novel traces the emergence of Abdellah Taïa’s identity as an openly gay Arab man living between cultures. The book spans twenty years, moving from Salé, to Paris, to Cairo. Part incantation, part polemic, and part love letter, this extraordinary novel creates a new world where the self is effaced by desire and love, and writing is always an act of discovery.
new titles

Dictionary of Non-Philosophy

In Dictionary of Non-Philosophy, the French thinker François Laruelle does something that is unprecedented for philosophers: he provides an enormous dictionary with a theoretical introduction, carefully crafting his thoughts to explain the numerous terms and neologisms that he deems necessary for the project of non-philosophy.
new titles

Decadence of Industrial Democracies

Bernard Stiegler is one of the most original philosophers writing today about new technologies and their implications for social, political and personal life. Drawing on sources ranging from Plato and Marx to Freud, Heidegger and Derrida, he develops a highly original account of technology as grammatology, as a technics of writing that constitutes our experience of time, memory and desire, even of life itself. Society and our place within it are shaped by technical reproduction which can both expand and restrict the horizons and possibilities of human agency and experience.
1/3
MORE IN books
event

French Literature in the Making: Guy Goffette

December 1st, 2014 | 7 PM
Maison Française of NYU
16 Washington Mews (at University Place)
New York, NY 10003
event

Marcel Proust and the Decorative Arts

December 3rd, 2014 | 6 PM
Maison Française - Columbia University
Broadway Boulevard
515 West 116th Street
New York, NY
1/3
recomended for you
event

Marcel Proust and the Decorative Arts

December 3rd, 2014 | 6 PM
Maison Française - Columbia University
Broadway Boulevard
515 West 116th Street
New York, NY
event

French Literature in the Making: Guy Goffette

December 1st, 2014 | 7 PM
Maison Française of NYU
16 Washington Mews (at University Place)
New York, NY 10003
event

Literature and Ontology: a Lecture by Alain Badiou

December 16th, 2014 | 6 PM
Maison Française of NYU
16 Washington Mews (at University Place)
New York, NY 10003