Seminar: One World Anthropology
Anthropology is a philosophical inquiry into the conditions and possibilities of life in the one world we all inhabit. That this world is indeed one is a core principle of the discipline. By exploring the relation between the particular life and life-as-a-whole, I show how the latter can be understood as a correspondence in which lives are not added together but carry on alongside one another. Life itself, then, is not the summation but the correspondence of its particulars, not and … and … and but with … with … with. Comparing ideas of the self and the soul, founded respectively in regimes of naturalism and animism, I show how correspondence proceeds through a process of interstitial differentiation, in which agency is inside action rather than in front of it. This calls for a ‘turn’ that is not ontological but ontogenetic, and it leads us to conceive of the one world as neither a universe nor a fractiverse but as a pluriverse.
Tim Ingold has published a number of influential books on how a relational approach has prompted him to reconsider conventional ways of understanding a wide range of phenomena such as evolution, perception, movement, skill, art, and life itself. Some of his major books are The Perception of the Environment (2000), Lines (2007), Being Alive (2011), Making (2013) and The Life of Lines (2015). His 1986 monograph, Evolution and Social Life, has just been reissued as Routledge Classic in Anthropology.