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Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description Paperback – 19 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (19 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415576849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415576840
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 1.7 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"For three decades, Tim Ingold’s has been one of the most consistently exploratory and provocative voices in contemporary scholarship. This book leads us, in prose that is exactingly lucid and charged with poetic eloquence, on a journey through, amongst other things, Chinese calligraphy, line drawing, carpentry, kite flying, Australian Aboriginal painting, native Alaskan storytelling, web-spinning arachnids, the art of walking and, not least, the history of anthropology, none of which will ever look quite the same again! The work is at once a meditation on questions central to anthropology, art practice, human ecology and philosophy, a passionate rebuttal of reductionisms of all kinds, a celebration of creativity understood in the broadest possible sense and a humane and generous manual for living in a world of becoming."

- Stuart McLean, University of Minnesota, USA

"Simultaneously intimate and all-encompassing, Tim Ingold’s second landmark collection of essays explains how it feels to craft an existence between earth and sky, among plants and animals, across childhood and old age. A master of the form, Ingold shows how aliveness is the essential resource for an affirmative philosophy of life."

- Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow, UK

"In these iconoclastic essays, Ingold breaks the dichotomies of likeness and difference to show that anthropology’s subject, and with it that of the human sciences more generally, is not constituted by polarities like that of space contra place, but by a movement along paths that compose a being that is as alive to the sentient world as this world is to its human inhabitants."

- Kenneth Olwig, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

About the Author

Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK. He is the author of The Perception of the Environment and Lines.


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lionel R. Playford on 25 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Changes your view of what it is to inhabit the earth. Ingold argues his case thoroughly and mostly in a very readable way (not too much academic jargon in other words). He does not pull his punches against the views of land and landscape held by some academic researchers past and present and is clear in his support of a more wholistic and interactive way of experiencing and representing the land as a land-sky interface referring to cultures that view land and the Earth in a very different way from ours. This book will be of great interest to artists, writers, geographers, climatologists, outdoor activity sports people (rock climbers etc) and anyone with an interest in questioning conventional Western ways of engaging with, using and representing the landscape which we inhabit. A book for our times.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ms. E. A. Roe on 20 Feb. 2013
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I keep diving into this extraordinary book as though I have an addiction, because it invites deep re-thinking about many commonly held perceptions of our world. You can read each essay as a separate exploration or weave a path backward and forwards, as the author suggests. It might transform your mind...if you feel so inclined!
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huber (PhD Archaeology) on 22 July 2011
Format: Paperback
The direction in which Tim Ingold has chosen to take his latest publication is daring to say the least, challenging many dominant areas of study which, until now, seemed rather convincing in their arguments. Turning the tide in many respects, this book is a must read for all those who have an interest in anthropology, archaeology or indeed any of the humanities. Yet it would be inaccurate to say that the book is only designed for people already immersed in those subjects, it is a fresh and invigorating read for any person, asking us to rethink the most basic of concepts in a variety of exciting and engaging ways.

Drawing upon many widely used theories relating to perception and being, Ingold uncovers aspects which many authors have long taken for granted, exposing problems and suggesting dynamic answers which seem to extend the range of possibilities for human thought. The use of language and metaphor distinguishes this book apart from many associated with the academic realm, generating, as it does, a poetic feel in its reorientation of the subjects at hand. One is left yearning for more as we are encouraged to imagine the fictional meetings of great historical theorists such as James Gibson and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. These encounters produce a clarity of argument that beckons for a new approach to writing in the academic world. Such a fresh undertaking is also extended through performance, as Ingold convinces the reader through more than text alone, asking that we engage with the world of materials whilst we read. This allows one to put the debated theory to the test, something to which other scholars in their responses have find difficult to apprehend!

I will be wholly surprised if this text is not revered as a classic in years if not centuries to come.

Buy it now, you will not be sorry!!!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ides Dehaene on 17 Oct. 2012
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I read this books as a neurologist. It was introduced to me by my son who is an architect. Imgold's main theme is movement as the basic conditions for knowledge. Classical science needs objectivation, a position out of the world that it describes, and so doing loses the link with body and movement. In Ingold's anthropology knowledge is wayfaring along a path; life is a meshwork of paths not a network; life is made of stories not of classifications, beings live in their environment not in space.
Similar approaches are used in cognitive neurosciences, often inspired by phenomenology Mind in Life: the concept of affordances, introduced by Gibson, and discussed by Imgold is used in the functional analysis of the motor system The Physiology and Phenomenology of Action and the motor cortex Mirrors in the Brain: How our minds share actions and emotions: How Our Minds Share Actions, Emotions, and Experience. The primacy of gesture is also an important topic in language research.
The common interest underlines the necessity of a common interdisciplinary language,or at least an introduction in different disciplines. Ingold's essayistic approach and vivid style is very inviting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Galileo of Anthropology... of Modernity 9 Mar. 2012
By Nathan Daley, MD, MPH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
More brilliant Ingold. There should be an international holiday for reading this man's work!

Tim Ingold is a true transdisciplinarian. While the specialization of scientific discourse has allowed many to simply ignore the complexities of whole systems, and the human experience of being within and of these systems, Ingold brilliantly departs from these fragmented "views" and charges directly toward that experience of being.

"Being Alive" is the next step for those trying to understand what it means to be human.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 8 July 2014
By Janet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
terrific
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