Tim Ingold's research while affiliated with University of Aberdeen and other places

Publications (104)

Article
Résumé Contexte La mort est inévitable et elle est la seule certitude à laquelle nous sommes tous confrontés. Cependant, l’avenir est incertain pour nous tous. Cependant, si nous sommes certains de notre avenir, nous pouvons au moins planifier à l’avance, nous préparer et peut-être même éliminer ses aspects que nous n’aimons pas et choisir ceux qu...
Article
Context The only certain thing about life is that we will eventually die, yet future uncertainty still troubles us. If only we could be more certain about our future, we could at least plan, prepare ourselves, and perhaps even change things to weed out aspects of the future we do not like and select those we do. Objective This debate aims to raise...
Article
Knowledge and wisdom often operate at cross-purposes. In particular, wisdom means turning towards the world, paying attention to the things we find there, while with knowledge we turn our backs on them. Knowledge thrives on certainty and predictability. But in a certain world, where everything is joined up, nothing could live or grow. If a world of...
Article
Full-text available
This issue opens an inquiry into the tension between solidity and fluidity. This tension is ingrained in the Western intellectual tradition and informs theoretical debates across the sciences and humanities. In physics, solid is one phase of matter, alongside liquid, gas and plasma. This, however, assumes all matter to be particulate. Reversing the...
Article
Full-text available
In our discussions around the theme of solid fluids, we often resort to everyday words, many of them of ancient derivation and rich in association. We have decided to make a list of some of the words that come up most often – barring those that already figure as the principal characters of individual contributions – and to distribute among ourselve...
Article
This article asks what part prehistory could play in establishing a posthumanist settlement, alternative to the humanism of the Enlightenment. We begin by showing how Enlightenment thinking split the concept of the human in two, into species and condition, establishing a point of origin where the history of civilization rises from its baseline in e...
Chapter
This brief essay reflects on what it means to go slow and fast. Drawing an analogy with a river, the waters of which run sluggishly near the banks but pick up speed in midstream, it contrasts both speed and slowness with the measure of velocity, calculated as the ratio of metric distance to chronological time, premised on the assumption that moveme...
Article
Full-text available
Taking up Rietveld’s challenge for philosophers to join with artists in investigating the questions of how to live better, this comment argues (a) that this conjunction of philosophy and art is already underway in the discipline of anthropology, (b) that it need not be limited to non-verbal investigations and (c) that a focus on the performative po...
Article
The amateur studies a subject for the love of it, as a way of life. This article tracks the changing relationship between amateur scholarship and professionalism, in light of the author’s experience over five decades. It shows how the capture of professionalism by corporate and managerial interests has brought it into tension with the principles of...
Article
Full-text available
To conclude the discussion of breath and breathing in the foregoing contributions, this comment sets out from a critical perspective on embodiment. For a being that breathes out and in, should we not add to embodiment its complement of vaporisation? Breath, after all, is fluid, animate and fundamental to human conviviality. While it can temporarily...
Article
Both art and anthropology, this article proposes, are future‐oriented disciplines, united in the common task of fashioning a world fit for coming generations to inhabit. The first step in establishing this proposition is to show how the objectives of anthropology differ from those of ethnography. Anthropology, it is argued, establishes a relation w...
Article
Full-text available
O animismo se projeta na literatura como uma religião simples e uma epistemologia falha, em grande medida porque até hoje foi visto a partir perspectivas modernistas. Neste artigo, teorias da antropologia, das clássicas às mais contemporâneas, são criticadas. A partir do caso etnográfico de um povo caçador coletor, explora-se como funcionam as idei...
Article
In this article, I look back over four decades of my career as a professional anthropologist, starting with an orientation that was heavily weighted towards the natural sciences, and ending in a project that seeks to integrate anthropology with the practices of art, architecture and design. This was also a period during which science increasingly l...
Article
Recent environmental changes have sparked off unprecedented dialogues between practitioners of the earth sciences and the humanities - dialogues which defy some of the basic assumptions underpinning western science. However, a gap still persists between natural scientists and scholars in the humanities in their tendency to concentrate respectively...
Article
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 adde...
Article
Many disciplines in the arts and social sciences are currently redirecting their attention to surfaces, and ways of treating them, as primary conditions for the generation of meaning. With regard to visual perception, this has entailed a switch from its optical to its haptic modality. How does this switch affect the way surfaces are understood? It...
Article
Etnografía se ha convertido en un término tan sobreutilizado en antropología y en disciplinas contingentes, que ha perdido mucho de su significado. Arguyo que atribuir la “etnograficidad” a los encuentros con aquellos con quienes llevamos a cabo nuestra investigación, o en general al trabajo de campo, socava tanto el compromiso ontológico como el p...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnography has become a term so overused, both in anthropology and in contingent disciplines, that it has lost much of its meaning. I argue that to attribute “ethnographicness” to encounters with those among whom we carry on our research, or more generally to fieldwork, is to undermine both the ontological commitment and the educational purpose of...
Article
Ethnography aims to describe life as it is lived and experienced, by a people, somewhere, sometime. Anthropology, by contrast, is an inquiry into the conditions and possibilities of human life in the world. Anthropology and ethnography may have much to contribute to one another, but their aims and objectives are different. Ethnography is an end in...
Article
Full-text available
Na antropologia e em outras disciplinas, “etnografia” tornou-se um termo tão sobreutilizado a ponto de ter perdido boa parte do seu sentido. Argumenta-se que atribuir “etnograficidade” aos encontros com aqueles entre os quais se realiza a pesquisa – e ao trabalho de campo de modo geral – é colocar em risco o compromisso ontológico e o propósito edu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In what follows, we present the outcome of an imagined dialogue with Tim Ingold on possible future directions for an anthropologically-sensitive approach to studying Information Systems (IS) and Organization Studies (OS). The aim is to try to convey some of the strangeness and freshness that we have found in his thought, with a view to stimulating...
Article
In this article I offer an overture to social life, starting from the premise that every living being should be envisaged not as a blob but as a bundle of lines. I show that in joining with one another, these lines comprise a meshwork, in which every node is a knot. And in answering to one another, lifelines co-respond. I propose the term 'correspo...
Article
Full-text available
Creativity is often portrayed as an X-factor that accounts for the spontaneous generation of the absolutely new. Yet the obsession with novelty implies a focus on final products and a retrospective attribution of their forms to unprecedented ideas in the minds of individuals, at the expense of any recognition of the form-generating potentials of th...
Article
This comment offers a brief rejoinder to Phillipe Descola’s ‘Biolatry: A Surrender of Understanding’, and concludes an exchange that began with my article ‘A Naturalist Abroad in the Museum of Ontology: Philippe Descola’s Beyond Nature and Culture’. I review the definitions of such key terms as naturalism, interiority and production, and the issues...
Article
Philippe Descola is a self-confessed naturalist. Yet in his book Beyond Nature and Culture, he presents naturalism as just one of four possible ontologies that – for different peoples in different periods – have underwritten human thought and practice. The others are animism, totemism and analogism. In this article I explore some of the paradoxical...
Article
Full-text available
L’articolo guarda indietro quattro decenni di carriera da antropologo, iniziati con un orientamento fortemente sbilanciato verso le scienze naturali, per concludersi con un progetto che cerca di integrare l’antropologia con le pratiche artistiche, l’architettura e il design. È stato anche un periodo in cui la scienza è venuta perdendo sempre più il...
Article
Tim Ingold, author of Lines: A Brief History, works at the intersection of anthropology and phenomenology. The piece he has written in response to the textiles issue of Perspective could almost have been entitled “With Deleuze, against Gell” for its emphasis on things as opposed to objects, the forces that pass through them rather than their defini...
Article
Ingold transmite a través de un repertorio teórico innovador la gran diversidad temporal y cultural que define al ser humano en toda su historia y en relación a los animales, paisajes, actividades corporales, y actividades textuales; para Ingold son el movimiento y las capacidades del cuerpo las que crean textualidades vivas y que definen al ser hu...
Article
Bradley Richard . The idea of order: the circular archetype in prehistoric Europe. 242 pages, 74 illustrations. 2012. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 978-0-19-960809-6 hardback £ 60. - Volume 87 Issue 338 - Tim Ingold
Article
Full-text available
If you are educated to know too much about things, then there is a danger that you see your own knowledge and not the things themselves. Here I argue that walking offers an alternative model of education that, rather than instilling knowledge in to the minds of novices, leads them out into the world. I compare these alternatives to the difference b...
Article
No abstract is available for this article.
Article
Ethnography has become a term so overused, both in anthropology and in contingent disciplines, that it has lost much of its meaning. I argue that to attribute "ethnographicness"to encounters with those among whom we carry on our research, or more generally to fieldwork, is to undermine both the ontological commitment and the educational purpose of...
Article
A note from the Reviews Editor. How are intellectual and personal lives shaped through encounters with books? In this first instalment of our new occasional special feature, Tim Ingold responds to our invitation to select the five key books that most influenced his thinking. His selections illustrate the diversity of ways in which books can become...
Article
All human life unfolds within a matrix of relations, which are at once social and biological. Yet the study of humanity has long been divided between often incompatible 'social' and 'biological' approaches. Reaching beyond the dualisms of nature and society and of biology and culture, this volume proposes a unique and integrated view of anthropolog...
Article
O animismo é frequentemente descrito como a atribuição de vida a objetos inertes. Essa atribuição é mais facilmente encontrada entre pessoas oriundas das sociedades ocidentais que sonham em encontrar vida em outros planetas do que entre povos indígenas a quem o rótulo de animistas foi tradicionalmente aplicado. Esses povos não estão unidos por suas...
Article
This article draws on studies of medieval monasticism and northern indigenous ontologies to show how we might heal the rupture between the real world and our imagination of it, which underpins the official procedures of modern science. Though science is not averse to dreams of the imagination as potential sources of novel insight, they are banished...
Article
Both material culture studies and ecological anthropology are concerned with the material conditions of social and cultural life. Yet despite advances in each of these fields that have eroded traditional divisions between humanistic and science-based approaches, their respective practitioners continue to talk past one another in largely incommensur...
Article
Full-text available
The article broadens the concepts of Ecological Anthropology by criticizing the notions of object and network, and - by its extension - the Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Challenging the established notion of 'object', it proposes the return of the notion of 'thing', porous and fluid, permeated by vital flows, integrated into the dynamics of life and...
Book
Full-text available
The landscapes of human habitation are not just perceived; they are also imagined. What part, then, does imagining landscapes play in their perception? The contributors to this volume, drawn from a range of disciplines, argue that landscapes are 'imagined' in a sense more fundamental than their symbolic representation in words, images and other med...
Article
In a recent debate with Sarah Pink in the pages of Social Anthropology, concerning the prospects for an anthropology that would highlight the work of the senses in human experience, David Howes objects to what I have myself written on this topic, specifically in my book The Perception of the Environment (Ingold 2000). In doing so, he distorts my ar...
Book
Anthropology is a disciplined inquiry into the conditions and potentials of human life. Generations of theorists, however, have expunged life from their accounts, treating it as the mere output of patterns, codes, structures or systems variously defined as genetic or cultural, natural or social. Building on his classic work The Perception of the En...
Article
This contribution is part of a special issue on History and Human Nature, comprising an essay by G.E.R. Lloyd and fifteen invited responses.
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT  A major contribution of anthropological work has been to challenge a unitary theory of the human. In this American Anthropologist vital topics forum, a range of prominent anthropologists contribute to this challenge and provide musings on the human. The essays in this forum reflect diversity and unity of anthropological thought on human n...
Article
Addressing the question of whether machines make history, this paper links the distinction between tools and machines to that between technique and technology, showing how the transition from skilled to mechanically determining systems splits the act of making into separate stages of design and execution, and draws human agency from the centre to t...
Article
This essay investigates the relation between becoming knowledgeable, walking along, and the experience of weather. It begins by exploring the meaning of ground. Far from being uniform, homogeneous, and pre-prepared, the ground is variegated, composite, and undergoes continuous generation. Moreover, it is apprehended in movement rather than from fix...
Article
What is the difference between walking on the ground, in the landscapes of 'real life', and walking in the imagination, as in reading, writing, painting or listening to music? What does it mean to describe these various practices of walking as either visual or non-visual? In this article, the author approaches these questions through a comparison o...
Article
This article forms part of a wider comparative exploration of the history and anthropology of the line. I show that in any such exploration, at stake are not only the lines themselves and their production, but also the nature of the relation between lines and surfaces. Distinguishing between threads and traces and drawing on a wide range of ethnogr...
Article
Contemporary discussions of art and technology continue to work on the assumption that making entails the imposition of form upon the material world, by an agent with a design in mind. Against this hylomorphic model of creation, I argue that the forms of things arise within fields of force and flows of material. It is by intervening in these force-...
Article
In this paper I argue that to inhabit the world is to live life in the open. Yet philosophical attempts to characterise the open lead to paradox. Do we follow Heidegger in treating the open as an enclosed space cleared from within, or Kant (and, following his lead, mainstream science) in placing the open all around on the outside? One possible solu...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the changing meanings of the concept of 'biology', and of its opposition to 'culture', through an analysis of the ways in which anthropologists have sought to refute the idea that humanity is divided into distinct races. Efforts to redefine all extant humans as belonging to a single sub-species, or to replace 'race' with 'cultur...
Article
I would like to thank all four of my interlocutors for taking the trouble to comment on my text, and for the clarity and cogency of their contributions. They have forced me to think long and hard, and indeed to question my own conclusions. For me at least, and I hope also for readers of Archaeological dialogues, this has been a debate worth having,...
Article
This paper seeks to understand what it means to live ‘in the open’. It begins with an account of experiments that test whether children have acquired a scientifically correct understanding of the shape of the earth, according to which people live all around on the outside of a solid sphere. This understanding cannot accommodate the phenomenon of th...
Article
Darwinian accounts of human evolution are riven by a fundamental paradox. While asserting a principle of continuity between human populations and their evolutionary antecedents, they also posit a point of origin from which separate processes of culture and history rise up from a universal baseline of evolved human nature. But the belief in this nat...
Article
Full-text available
Using interdisciplinary field research in the Usa Basin, northeast European Russia, we compared local inhabitants' perception of environmental problems with chemical and remote-sensing signatures of environmental pollution and their local impacts. Extensive coal mining since the 1930s around Inta and Vorkuta has left a legacy of pollution, detected...
Article
Full-text available
Animism is often described as the imputation of life to inert objects. Such imputation is more typical of people in western societies who dream of finding life on other planets than of indigenous peoples to whom the label of animism has classically been applied. These peoples are united not in their beliefs but in a way of being that is alive and o...
Chapter
I am making a bookcase from wooden planks. Each shelf has to be cut to the right length. Marking the distance along the plank with a tape measure, I use a pencil and set-square to draw a straight line across it. After these preliminaries, I set the plank on a trestle, lift my left leg, and kneel with as much of my weight as I can upon it, while kee...
Chapter
Are cultural differences superimposed upon a universal human nature? The appeal to an essentialist concept of human nature is a defensive reaction to the legacy of racist science left by Darwin’s argument in The Descent of Man. Humans are made to appear different in degree from their evolutionary antecedents by attributing the movement of history t...
Article
Much has been written on how we see landscape; virtually nothing on the relation between visual perception and the weather. This essay is an attempt to take the study of vision out of doors. I argue that weather enters visual awareness not as a scenic panorama but as an experience of light. Rather than placing sight and light on opposite sides of a...
Article
Classical accounts of human evolution posit a progressive differentiation between the hands as instruments of rational intelligence and feet as integral to the mechanics of bipedal locomotion. Yet evolutionists were modelling pedestrian performance on the striding gait of boot-clad Europeans. The bias of head over heels in their accounts follows a...
Article
Shanker & King's (S&K's) dynamic systems approach converges with developments in social anthropological studies of communication which were long ago anticipated in the writings of Volosinov and Schutz. Following a review of these writings, this commentary suggests that a dynamic systems approach should distinguish communion from communication. It c...
Article
We contrast two understandings of traditional knowledge: as enframed in the discourse of modernity (MTK), and as generated in the practices of locality (LTK). Where `indigenous knowledge' is opposed to science, it always appears in the guise of MTK. This modernist understanding rests on a genealogical model of transmission that separates the acquis...
Article
L'A. porte une charge critique severe contre les plus fervents defenseurs du neodarwinisme dans les sciences humaines (sociobiologie, psychologie evolutionniste, co-evolutionnisme genetico-culturel, memeticisme). D'une part, il conteste les fondements memes de leur demarche theorique qui consiste a transferer au domaine de la culture les hypotheses...
Article
Few studies have investigated current climate changes for high latitude regions, and the impact of such changes on reindeer and indigenous people. Previous work by other authors has identified snow and ice conditions in winter as being critical in determining the availability of forage for reindeer. Deep snow makes it difficult to access food. Lack...
Article
Orthodox theory in palaeoanthropology distinguishes between the process of evolution, leading from ancestral pongid and hominid forms to 'anatomically modern humans', and the process of history, leading from the Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer past to modern science and civilization. The paper argues that this distinction is untenable. Comparing walki...

Citations

... The former is vertical, the latter longitudinal, and why this directional contrast is important, is that it signals a shift in which participant observation goes beyond objectivity, truth beyond facts. For in allowing the phenomena into our being, we allow it to guide our attention, 3 and it is in this moment of correspondence where 'we' become the very instrument for knowing 4 [8,9,33]. ...
... Elles soulignent l'importance des relations sociales, ainsi que le rôle joué par les ancêtres, les lieux et les non-humains dans la construction, la transmission et la reproduction des connaissances. La plupart des chercheurs travaillant en Océanie, mais aussi ailleurs dans le monde, mettent en avant la nécessité de situer ces savoirs dans le cadre d'un engagement mutuel entre les individus et l'environnement (Ingold, 1996 ;Friedberg, 1997 ;Brunois-Pasina, 2005a ;Tamisari, 1998). Depuis une vingtaine d'années, il est également largement admis qu'il nous faut définitivement abandonner le recours aux concepts de « nature » et de « culture » et au paradigme dualiste qu'ils incarnent dans la manière d'appréhender les savoirs (Ellen et Fukui, 1996 ;Descola et Pálsson, 1996 ;Ingold, 2000) ; cette distinction n'étant d'ailleurs pas opérée pour les Océaniens (Brunois-Pasina, 2005a ;Leblic, 2005 ;Strathern, 1980). ...
... On a theoretical level assemblage theory and sensory studies are also in correspondence with each other. Drawing on the Ingold (2018Ingold ( , 2020, Stewart (2010), as well as Donna Haraway (2016), I will show how these correspondences of earthly events enrich the making of meaning and production of knowledge through the worlding of Ardnamurchan. ...
... 38 Although his proposal hinges toward the figure of the scholar-which Pieper also discussed-, the qualities invoked are not 37 The Greek notion is reformulated in both Pieper (1963) and Arendt (1998), among other authors. 38 Ingold (2020). unlike those integrated by the artisan (a point emphasizing their similarities and hopefully, their coming together). ...
... Breathing is a biologically involuntary response to the need for air. Air is an essential component to preserve life, but more than that, air is life (Ingold, 2020;Apata, 2020). You don't need to actively think about breathing until your very existence depends on it. ...
... The practice of design, at best, begins from the acknowledgement that the world is never finished, complete or stable, but lies instead in the perpetual unfinishing of things, where endings become beginnings and the old becomes the new (Ingold 2015, 120-3). Sustainability ought not to be about the preservation of form but of life itself (Ingold 2019). This is where impermanence can play a key role because it points to both the impossibility of preserving forms (because of inevitable ends) and also the creative potential unleashed as endings become beginnings. ...
... Relatedly, it would be wrong to conclude that it is impossible to gain any animal perspective on companionate developments. While non-human species cannot engage in abstract symbolic representation and communication to the extent humans do (Ingold, 1993), the transactional body pedagogic approach recognises inter-corporeal responses and accommodations from humans and animals as creative forms of practical intelligence that can facilitate communication. Irvine's (2004) distinction between sentimental and critical forms of anthropomorphism is also relevant here. ...
... São condições imanentes aos seres que já estavam dispostos no ambiente mitológico, inclusive quando compartilhavam a mesma fisiologia. Por isso, além dos animais, outros entes compartilham a humanidade que atravessa os seres anímicos, como as plantas, os astros celestes (como a lua, o sol e algumas constelações), os ventos, os trovões e uma variedade de seres que, em suma, deixam seu rastro no céu ou na terra (Ingold, 2006(Ingold, [2013, p. 21) 13 . ...
... In the digital era, our interactions with technology are mediated by the varying properties of hardware, software, data types, user interface design (UI), user experience design (UX), and workflows that shape our practices, which in turn impacts not only our interpretations, but more importantly the potentiality of our interpretations (Ingold 2018:41). Since Gibson (1977) and Norman (1988), diverse disciplines ranging from narrative studies to design studies to archaeology have employed the affordance concept (albeit in varying ways and not without debate, for example, Webster 1999) as a theoretical framework for research and practice (Backe 2012, Copplestone and Dunne 2017, Forte 2016, Gillings 2012, Ingold 2018, Llobera 1996. ...
... At a theoretical baseline I would point to the materiality theories of Miller (2005), Ingold's (2018) affordances and Latour's (1987) black boxes of science and technology, to which I would add Marx's red box of economics, Darwin's green box of botany and biology, and Mendeleev's transparent bell jar of chemistry. Not sure about Schrödinger's cat box-it might or it might not be helpful. ...