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How Forests ThinkToward an Anthropology Beyond the Human$
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Eduardo Kohn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276109

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276109.001.0001

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The Open Whole

The Open Whole

Chapter:
(p.27) One The Open Whole
Source:
How Forests Think
Author(s):

Eduardo Kohn

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520276109.003.0002

This chapter shows that the recognition of representational processes as something unique to, and in a sense even synonymous with, life allows us to situate distinctively human ways of being in the world as both emergent from and in continuity with a broader living semiotic realm. Opening the symbolic, through this exploration of signs beyond the symbolic, forces us to ponder what we might mean by the “real,” given that the hitherto secure foundations for the real in anthropology—the “objective” and the contextually constructed—are destabilized by the strange and hidden logics of those signs that emerge, grow, and circulate in a world beyond the human.

Keywords:   representational processes, life, being, symbolic, anthropology, human

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