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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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Soul Blindness

Soul Blindness

Chapter:
(p.103) Three Soul Blindness
Source:
How Forests Think
Author(s):

Eduardo Kohn

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520276109.003.0004

This chapter considers the general problem of how death is intrinsic to life. Hunting, fishing, and trapping place the Runa in a particular relationship with the many beings that make up the ecology of selves in which they live. These activities force the Runa to assume their points of view, and indeed to recognize that all these creatures that they hunt, as well as the many other creatures with which those hunted animals relate, have points of view. It forces them to recognize that these creatures inhabit a network of relations that is predicated in part on the fact that its constitutive members are living, thinking selves. The Runa enter this ecology of selves as selves. They hold that their ability to enter this web of relations—to be aware of and to relate to other selves—depends on the fact that they share this quality with the other beings that make up this ecology.

Keywords:   death, life, Runa, ecology

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