Tim Ingold has over the past decades emerged as the most influential theoreticians of man–environment relations. This chapter discusses the relevance of Ingold’s work to the ontological turn in social anthropology and argues that Ingold’s “ontology of dwelling” can be considered a theoretical middle ground: it supports the ontology turn’s dismissal of cultured worldviews, but rejects the claim to singular and incommensurable worldviews. Through a critical review of this position, the chapter analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of Ingold’s theoretical program, his break with a language-centered epistemology, and links to Heidegger’s phenomenology. In order to contextualize Ingolds’ work, the chapter juxtaposes recent inquiries into perceiving and imagining landscapes with his attempt to overcome the realist versus relativist positions. To this end, Ingold’s notion, the temporality of the landscape, is used to examine engagement with the landscape in a remote North Pakistan valley.
Beyond cultural relativism? Tim Ingold's "ontology of dwelling"
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