Essay on Analysis Of Eduardo Kohn 's ' How Forests Think '

1461 Words Nov 9th, 2014 6 Pages
To understand the notions put forward by Eduardo Kohn in ‘How Forests Think’, our anthropologic views must first be deconstructed. It is only after this that we begin to see ‘beyond the human’; as Kohn describes, it is a “kind of thinking that grows” (2013:27). Set out in six coherent chapters, Kohn begins by introducing familiar anthropological concepts. His exploration of semiotic dynamic, and how symbols and language are unique to humans, remind us of the well-known concept of homosapien dominance over other species. It is however, as we are introduced to various semiotic concepts within the sub-sections of each chapter, that these familiar notions slowly start to morph into more complex ideas. It is these ideas that force us to question the subject of anthropology as a whole, extending our anthropological view ‘beyond the human’. Through his exploration of social dynamic of the Avila and their neighbouring villages in the Napo Province in Ecuador, Kohn sets up a ‘conceptual framework’ that allows us to explore anthropologic dynamic beyond the human, through the Napo villagers and into the forest. Similar anthropological concepts addressed by Vivieros de Castro, Latour and Descola, act as the foundation to Kohn’s argument and are thus extended through his exploration of semiotics. The anthropological notion of ‘self’ is expanded from human to object, creating a forest of ‘selves’ via the semiotic significance of man, animal and plant. It is this anthropological expansion…

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