Download Living Beings: Perspectives on Interspecies Engagements by Penny Dransart, James Staples PDF

By Penny Dransart, James Staples

Living Beings examines the important features of social interactions among residing beings, together with people, different animals and trees.

Many discussions of such relationships spotlight the outstanding characteristics of the human participants of the class, insisting for example on their spiritual ideals or creativity. by contrast, the overseas case reports during this quantity dissect perspectives in response to hierarchical oppositions among human and different residing beings. even if human practices may possibly occasionally seem to exist in a realm past nature, they're however topic to the pull of normal forces. those forces can be introduced into prominence via a attention of the interactions among humans and different population of the typical world.

The interaction during this booklet among social anthropologists, philosophers and artists cuts throughout species divisions to envision the experiential dimensions of interspecies engagements. In ethnographically and/or traditionally contextualized chapters, individuals study the juxtaposition of human and different dwelling beings within the gentle of issues corresponding to natural world safaris, violence, distinction, mimicry, simulation, religious renewal, gown and language.

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The latter term is derived from the verb ‘to hunt’. Doniger states that the ancient Indians thus defined animals according to the manner in which they killed them, either in a hunt (mrigas) or in a sacrifice (pashus). Doniger’s explanation of what it means to think of humans as sacrificial animals is interesting but falls somewhat short of confronting what might be at stake here. She says that the evidence of actual human sacrifice is sparse and thus, ‘It may well be that the human sacrifice (purusha-medha) [“sacrifice of a man”] was simply a part of the Brahmin imagery, a fantasy of “the sacrifice to end all sacrifices”’ (Doniger 2009: 152).

My comments here should not be understood to imply that my fellow contributors share them. ) animal pun in Comaroff and Comaroff’s (1992: 10) comment that anthropocentrism ‘dogs our desire to know’ other species. Notes 1. See Chapter 10 by David Cockburn in this volume. I am also grateful to Lynne Sharpe for discussing this point with me. 2. Both humans and animals featured in Karl Marx’s analysis of the alienation or estrangement of production in capitalist society. Thomas E. Wartenberg (1982: 83) explained that his critique hinged on a concept of species-being, adapted from Feuerbach, but, unlike that author, he did not the restrict the concept to an ahistorical and asocial sphere of human essence.

The most famous story is that of King Pandu of the Mahabharata who mistook Rishi Kinidma and his wife, who were joined in copulation, to be two deer and shot them with his arrow. He was cursed by the ascetic that he would similarly die if he ever engaged in copulation with either of his two wives. Pandu then gave up his kingdom in favour of his younger brother and retired to the forest with his wives. It seems clear that the two modes of dying—one as a sacrificial oblation and the other as the hunted prey, the first reserved for domesticated beings and the second for those who inhabit wilderness—also indicate how death itself is seen as either voluntarily embraced or accidentally encountered.

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