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The Architect and the Bee: Reflections on the Work of Animals and Men Author(s): Tim Ingold Reviewed

work(s): Source: Man, New Series, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Mar., 1983), pp. 1-20 Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2801762 . Accessed: 16/07/2012 15:40
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TIM INGOLD University of Manchester


This lecture to attempts answerthequestion'do animalswork?'Itis suggested that consciously directed purposiveactionis not necessarily or thatwhichis guided by a symbolicblueprint. A view of animalexistence rejected: man is both an objectivepartof thephysical is if mechanistic world and a subjectiveagentactingintentionally upon it, the same mustbe said at least of all of higher animals.Intentionality actionis locatedin thesocial domain. Two views of the'social' are contrasted: an aspect of the instrumental behaviourby which a naturalpurpose is imas instrumentsplemented; thesourceof consciouspurpose,executedthrough set of natural as a in the amplified manby culture. separating purposeofactionfrom manner itsconduct, By the of human naturecan be relatedto morality.Likewise I distinguish social fromthe cultural. the Culturedivorcedfrom socialpurposeis practically inert: an instrumental as in apparatus, working intimate conjunction withtheexecutive equipment thebody,culture neither initiator of is the nor theconsequenceofproduction thevehicle whichitis carried This argument but on. by overcomes the oppositionbetweennaturaland cultural determination, enablesus to comprehend and the of of continuity theevolutionary processas theresult a dynamic interplay betweendistinct social domainsof bothhumanand animalexistence. and physical

question.He said: humanbeingswork,animals just behave.And so we areled of to directly an examination the criteria whichman may be distinguished by from otheranimals,notforgetting, course,that of man is an animal.We haveto be from the consider, too, how theconceptofworkor labour'might separated the notionof behaviour,and whether former entailssome, all or none of the marksofhumanity. how my distinguishing PerhapsI havemadeitclearalready of littlequestion throwsinto reliefthe very foundations the studyof man. Conceived in thisbroadestsense, anthropology concernsitself withjust one a of of segment theworldoflivingthings, particular speciesproduct evolution. And yetthesocial or cultural claimsas theobjectofhisinquiry a anthropologist distinctive domainoflife, conceived suchcuriously terms as variously by hybrid all superorganic, psycho-social, extra-somatic sociocultural2, intendedto and to of conveyits irreducibility the physicalor biological conditions existence. of The identification thestudyof thisdomainas a branchof thestudyof man rests upon an assumption thecoreof our discipline: at thatthesocial or cultural an dimension existence come intobeingthrough eventor seriesofevents of has in the phylogenetic historyof the human species. This could be called 'the doctrineof emergence'.My purpose in presenting you with an admittedly
*MalinowskiMemorialLectureforI982, givenat theLondon School of Economics& Political Scienceon 3 March.
Man (N S.) i8,

is anything simple, is evident from response a psychologist my of but as the to

I shouldliketo putto you a simplequestion.Itis: do animalswork?The answer


rhetorical questionis to open up thisdoctrine some critical for inspection, and to the eventually qualify visionofevolutionthat evokes. it Let me begin withthe celebrated storyabout thearchitect thebee. The and is narrator Marx, and his concern to establish form labourwhich,he says, is a of is 'peculiarto thehumanspecies':
A spider carries operations on resembling ofthe those isput weaver, many human and a architect to shameby theskillwithwhicha bee constructs cell. But whatfrom veryfirst her the the distinguishes most incompetent architect the ofbees, that architect built from best is the has a cellinhisheadbefore constructs wax(Marx1930: I69-70). he itin

Here thepeculiarity humanlabourrests thecapacity construct, the of on to in imagination,a model or blueprint the task to be performed, of priorto its performance. How, then,arewe to comprehend activity animals,which the of are supposed to lack thiscapacity? Marx dismissestheissue withan aside that goes to theheartof our problem.'We arenothereconcerned', writes, he 'with those primitiveand instinctive formsof labour which we share with other animals'. But is the opposite of 'instinctive' behaviour,whateverthatmay thatis guided by a consciousblueprint? would appearnot. mean, activity It in it Rather, Marx's terms, is activity directed purposive or intent, by will which is manifested theattention in devotedto thetaskinhand.In whatfollows,I wish to suggestthatthe exerciseof will and thepursuitof purposedo not depend construction theprocedures whichthat of upon thesymbolic by purposeis to be in realised practice. Whether notactivity purposive, whether follows or is and it a genetically a culturally or coded template, separate are questions.The recogniI tionof thisseparation, contend, majorimplications theway we think has for aboutbothsocial and biologicalevolution.

In its most general,physicalsense,work refers any expenditure energy. to of And as the biologistwill point out, forany organism-plant or animal-'it requires work [in this sense] just to keep alive' (Harrison I979:37). This is statement almosta tautology, when is a piece of matter for said to be alive? Only, answeredSchrodinger (I945: 70), 'when it goes on "doing something", and moving, exchangingmaterialwith its environment, so forth'.Perhaps, ask: do plantswork? To thiswe would be inclinedto then,we should first answer thatthey'just grow'. Do animals,then,'just grow'? Speakingas an animal myself,I would reply categorically the negative. From personal in I and experience, know thatbodilygrowth,maintenance reproduction depend of whichhave to do, directly or upon theperformance a greatmanyactivities withtheprocurement subsistence. of Unable to synthesise their indirectly, own food, animalsmustusuallymove about in orderto obtainit, and in all but the animalsthismovement not randombut directed is most rudimentary (Thorpe Yet we have stillnotprogressed view ofanimalexistence. beyonda Cartesian ForDescartes,animals(excluding which'did notactfrom man)wereautomata, knowledge, but only fromthe dispositionof theirorgans' (Descartes I9II,
I974: 39-40).


i:ii6; see Midgley I978:2I0-II). Now it might said ofhumanbeings,too, be thatwork is conductedby the organsof our bodies. But confronted withthe biologist's observationthat my body is 'working' (expendingenergy)even after meal,myresponse a whenI am asleep or reclining would be thatI am not at thesameas mybody. And itis precisely thisjuncture ourproblems that begin. At what point do I, as the wilful subject in command of certainphysical in faculties, enterthework process?Implicit thisquestionis some notionof a division within the body itself,between what could crudely be called a 'maintenance part' and an 'executivepart'. The former containssuch essential life-supporting organsas theheart, lungsanddigestive system, whose functioningis moreor less automatic, required thefact and by thatthebody-unlike an inanimate machine-is involved in a perpetual process of internalselfreconstruction (Monod I972: 2I). The latter contains instruments detecthe of sense organsand limbs (Popper I972: 273), which tion and implementation, together provide us with the bodily means to relateto our external environment.My existence a subjectobviouslydependsupon thefunctioning the as of maintenance part. The executivepart,however,dependsforits operationon direction.thesubject, standbetween two parts:sustained one, I the purposive I, by wield theother. But this is to speak only for myselfand my conspecifics. What of other species?Are we, like Descartes,to regardall animalsapartfromourselvesas mindless automata, beingswithout as will?This, curiously enough,was Marx's view (I964: I02), and it was on thisbasis thathe was able to class domestic animalsalongsidethemostprimitive toolsas instruments ofhumanlabour(I930: I7 I-2; see Ingold I980: 88). For a livingbeingto be treated instrument as rather than agent of production,all intentionality must be suppressedor denied (Cohen I978: 43-4). It becomesno morethana physicalobject,a thing.Some today would extend this view of animal existenceeven to human beings, conceivedas instrumental devicesforthereplication theirgenesunderthat of grandmaster, natural selection (Dawkins I976: 2I). Accordingly, is supposed it thatthe hiatusbetween mind and brain can in principlebe closed, thatour experience volitionis merelya cover forour ignoranceof the immensely of that complexphysico-chemical interactions actually governbehaviour. Wilson concludeshis Sociobiology withthebleak premonition thata millennium of 'total knowledge' will arrivein a hundredyears, afterwhich our subjective selves will be condemnedto eternal exile (I980: 301). By thattime, the mind will have been 'torn down' and reconstructed the circuitry of as neurons(I980: 6; 300). Consideringthatthe centralnervoussystemin man 'containsfromone to tenbillionneuronsinterconnected meansof about a by hundred timesas manysynapses'(Monod I972: I38), Wilson'sprophecy may Yet seemsomewhatpremature. howeverlong thecode might taketo crack,and of mechanistic eveniftheattainment totalknowledgewereto recedeto infinity, that Cartesian monismobligesus to recognise the dichotomy betweenmindand an body is ultimately illusion,albeitone we cannotlive without(I972: I48). is The fallacy thisview liesin itssupposition thatreality coterminous with of the arbitrarily restricted domain of phenomenathat can be handled by the methodsof naturalscience. These methodshinge on the postulatethat an


'nature'constitutes final the of objectified arbiter trueknowledge.Clearly,this postulateexcludesany consideration theworldof subjective of experience, yet we have no reason to conclude that such experienceis hence illusory. can Neurophysiology explaina greatdeal aboutthemechanisms thought of and of action,but nothingat all about our experience thinking doing (Thorpe and I974: 330). There would be no need to dwell on themechanistic for fallacy an of anthropological audience,well aware of the limitations thenaturalscience in of paradigm thestudy man(Barnes it an I979: 25), were notfor oddattitude thatcontinuesto prevailamongstanthropologists withregardto animals.As of observers manwe areespecially for privileged, beinghumanbeingsourselves we areable to enter intotheexperience thepeoplewe arestudying an extent of to impossiblefortheethologist wishingto studythebehaviourof-say-geese, Callan I970: 46). But itwould be quitewrongto concludefrom inability our to the penetrate experienceof otherspecies thatwe are uniquelyendowed with will.3 subjective I take as axiomatic the dualisticpremissunderlying entirecorpus of the Marx's writings thehumancondition, on thatman's corporealexistence an as integral partof thenatural world constitutes boththeprecondition and the for, instrument hisconsciouspurposeor intentionality acting of, in upon it. WhereI is differ in extendingthis axiom to the animal kingdom in general. The of Cartesian absurdity theextreme view that animalssave manarebutnatural all has machines been succinctly by Midgley:'ifit weretrue,there would have put beena quiteadvancedpointin animalevolution whenparents who weremerely unconsciousobjects suddenlyhad a child who was a fullyconscioussubject' (I978: 2I7). The only positioncompatible withthetheory evolutionis that of of thedevelopment consciousness proceededalongsidethatof theorganic has structures withwhichit corresponds (Thorpe I974: 3I9-2I), and consequently it that is present withvarying of and at degrees elaboration complexity leastinall higheranimals.Thus I have arguedelsewhere, contra Marx, thatthedomestic animalin theserviceof man constitutes labouritself rather thanitsinstrument, and hence thatthe relationship betweenman and animalis in thiscase not a technical a social one (Ingold i980: 88).4 but

rats evenchimpanzees or seeHuxleyI962, cited (Weber in I947: I04, though

of to or Our nextstepis to relatetheintentionality purposiveness activity the dimension of existencewe call social. This termhas been used in such an thatI believeit now constitutes majorimpediment the ambiguousfashion a in to attempt connectup theperspectives biologyand anthropology. clarify of To theissues,let me first explainwhatI do notmeanby 'social'. Here is RadcliffeBrown, in a raremomentof charm:
Fora preliminary definitionsocial of phenomenaseems it sufficiently that clear what haveto we dealwith relations association are of between individual organisms. a hiveofbeesthere In are relations association thequeen,theworkers thedrones. of of and There theassociation is of animals a herd, a mother-cat her in of and kittens. These social are phenomena (1952: i89).


utilitarianism. This, of course,is pure Spencerian Societyis constituted a by of betweena plurality discrete of myriad interactions individuals, co-operating socialrelations have in diverse ways to their mutualadvantage.Thus conceived, content:society is the means, the life of each an exclusivelyinstrumental that individualthe end (Dumont I970: 44). It is significant Radcliffe-Brown the for this drawshisexamplesfrom animalkingdom, itis precisely view ofthe social thatunderliescurrent ethologicalusage. Justas the orderof natureis is to conceivedin theimage of civilsociety,so thelatter construed restupon a the naturalfoundation (Sahlins I976b: IOI-7). Lorenz, forexample,considers absolutebaselineof social evolutionto be whathe callsthe'anonymousflock', such as a shoal of fish,insidewhich'thereis no structure anykind. . . . but of of just a huge collection likeelements'(I966: I23). More usually,some form of is internaldifferentiation posited, but the emphasisremainson patternsof associationwithinan aggregateof organisms:'socialitymeans group-living' (Alexander I974: 326). Wilson definessociety as 'a group of individuals in manner'(I980: 7, belongingto thesame speciesand organised a co-operative is 322). The attraction suchdefinitions thattheyseem to be applicable of just as to and well-say-to insectcoloniesas to humancommunities, therefore offer of of theprospect a unified theory social evolution. This unification achievedby treating socialas an aspectofwhatis called is the 'behaviour'. Though I have so faravoided thisterm,we mustnow pause to consider its significance.Originally extended from the domain of human conductto thatof physico-chemical reactions, presentusage represents its a reverseextensionfromtheinanimate theanimateworld of beastsand men to (Ardener I973). The implications this of extension twofold.First, are behaviour suggests activity is either that essentially randomor naturally determined, albeit as by mechanisms yet unknown. Secondly,as a corollary, behaviourimplies activitydevoid of controlby a knowing subject. If thereis freedomin the behaviourofindividuals, is an illusory it akinto thatof moleculesin a freedom thanmechanical rather laws (BidneyI963: 3I-2). Thus gas, subjectto statistical is to studysocial actionas a system behaviour to treat of thatactionas ifit were undirected consciouspurpose:actionsare carried by out, behaviouris merely emitted(Weber I947: 88-go; Levine I975: i65-6; ReynoldsI976: XV, 242-3). of We areleftwitha description theactivities animalsand menwhichmakes of themappearconstantly be 'goingthrough motions'without to the actually doing The reality lifethereby of dissolvesin an endlessseriesof performanything. the ances. Whether scriptis thoughtto be coded in culture in genes, or in or some combinationof the two, the director'sseat is occupied by-well, by whom? The answer can only be Nature, omnipresent and personified, using her in monadic creationsas instruments the implementation a cosmic design. of Visualisedin herlatest to pseudo-Darwinian guise,sheis construed achieveher the of of purposesthrough ruthless application theprinciple natural selection.I do not want at thisstageto be deflected intoan extendedcritique sociobiolof of as natural selection ogy, but I shouldat leastpointout theabsurdity treating to naturaldirection. Wilson refers 'the pervasiverole of naturalselectionin in all whichforhimis the'central shaping classesof traits organisms', dogma of


evolutionary biology' (I980: I5, myemphasis).Dogma itmaybe, butDarwinian it is not. Selection,as we well know, does not shape anything; picksout it from rangeofforms a in already existence. Moreover,thepressures selection of on impinging an organismor a populationof organisms a function what are of thoseorganisms seekingto doin their are environment. Taken on itsown, the environment neither manner the nor theintensity its exploitation, specifies of and henceexerts selective no at pressure all (Monod I972: I2I; see SahlinsI976a: 208-9). Wilson'snotionthatcertain environmental factors 'tendto inducesocial evolution' (I980: 23) is thus not only sociological nonsense,it is biological nonsensetoo. The view ofsocietythatI wishto present hereis precisely opposed to theone just outlined.Far fromthesocial beingan aspectof theinstrumental behaviour I by which a naturalpurpose is implemented, assertthatthe naturalworld furnishes set of instruments the executionof a social purpose. Let me a for indicatea fewof theimplications thiscontrast. of Firstof all it entailsa different notion of objectivity (LienhardtI964: 4), not signifying a denial of the subjectiveworld but an entryinto it; not an exclusiveconcernwiththeconcrete, manifestations purposebut a of empirical concernto understand purposesof othersby makingthemone's own; not the observation participation but (seeHabermasI979: I36-7; MidgleyI978: 225-6). in The essenceof sociality, thislatter sense,lies in theawarenessof selfas the predicateof one's relationto othersor to the collectivity, what Dumont or (I970: 39-42) calls sociological apperception.In other words, being social impliesnotco-operation consciousness but (Crook I980: 30-I), theestablishment ofa dimension inter-subjectivity of whichis notreducible theassociation to and interaction betweenindividuals defined objective(organic physical) in or terms. at We mightreturn thispointto Radcliffe-Brown, insisted thedistincwho on tionbetweentheindividual organism and theperson,defined 'a complex as qua of social relationships'with others. Magnificently his contradicting initial conceptionof the social, which I citeda momentago, he goes on to assertin Durkheimian veinthat are persons,and notindividuals, theunitsout ofwhicha societyis composed (Radcliffe-Brown The entire I952: I93-4). edifice social of is on anthropology constructed thiscontradiction, a buildingraisedupon like thelineofa geologicalfault. A secondimplication thecontrast have drawnin themeaning thesocial of I of is thatthereis no evolutionary continuity betweenwhat biologistsgenerally regardas social behaviourin animals, and those systemsof social relations identified anthropologists, withinwhich subjectsare located as conscious by have theirexistence an entirely agents(Bock I980: I49). The latter on distinct plane of reality. Consider,forexample,theextraordinarily elaborate organisation of a hive of bees (von Frisch I950). A singlehive containssome sixty thousandindividuals, on co-operating thebasis of a complexdifferentiation of functions. Moreover,honey-bees possess one of themostremarkable systems of communication discoveredin the animalkingdom,a dance movement yet of whereby'workers'can signaltheprecisedirection flight from hiveto any the of particular feeding place. By the criteria association,co-operation and coman would have no hesitation regarding organisain the munication, ethologist


would-in histerms-not tionofbees as social. But equally,an anthropologist hesitateto deny theirsociality.This denial can only properlyrest on the supposition,which everyoneseems to accept, thatthe behaviourof bees is and and by entirely pre-programmed reflexive, is notdirected consciousintent. Most anthropologists, course,differ of fromthosestudents insectsocieties of for who aspireto pronounceon thehumanpredicament, as a ruletheydo not of expect theirtheoriesto apply to bees, but only to the architects human culture. is therefore It the fairly easyforthemto disregard semantic ambiguities humanbeingsaresocial, the thatattend conceptofsociety.We can all agreethat withouthaving to worry too much about whetherthis implies associative or or interaction intersubjectivity, co-operation consciousness, instrument or purpose. The problemsbegin when we come to ask whatis notsocial. For example, the term eachoftheabove pairsofoppositions, could conclude of we taking first thatour timeis divided up into social and non-socialepisodes, accordingto we whether actalone or in consort.Adoptingthesameidea, some observers of to behaviour have attempted measure sociality variousspeciesby the primate of of timedevotedto 'socialinteraction', opposedto solitary as thepercentage their pursuits(Davis et al. I968; Teleki I98I: 3io-ii). But if we regardthe social thenanyactiondirected thatintent domainas thelocus of consciousintent, by of must be social in character, irrespective whetherit is conductedon an basis. This latter consideration to do withthe has individualor on a collective which particular tasksare implemented, with how practicalarrangements by on constitute personswhoare the theyare done. Social relations, thecontrary, them out, and directtheirpurposes. The formsof associationand carrying of co-operation comprised theorganisation work, whichone view equates by withthesocial, are in theotherview systematically opposed to it: as material The upshotof thissecondview, theone I adopt,is relations social relations. to men between aresocial'(Cohen I978: 93).5 that'notall relations We arenow in a positionto resolvewhatWilsonseesas the'paradox'ofsocial evolution.Comparingthecolonialinvertebrates, socialinsects, nonhuthe the thattheprogression man mammalsand man, he asserts from'more primitive and olderformsof lifeto moreadvancedand recent ones' is accompaniedby a in of retrogression 'thekeyproperties socialexistence', whichhe meansthe by and of Yet scale,cohesiveness complexity organisation. manis uniquein having reversed this'downward trend'in social evolution,a factwhich-for Wilson of -represents 'theculminating mystery all biology' (I980: I79-82). Once it is thatthesupposed downwardtrend associatedwiththedevelopis recognised in mentof social consciousness, a domainof reality distinct fromthematerial domain of biological phenomena,the mystery disappears.At one end of the scale, everyindividualis but a partof an extraordinarily complex,genetically programmed apparatus, and therelations described social are thosebetween as At itselements. theotherend, we aredealingwithrelations betweenconscious in of and control use ofthematerial of agents respect their apparatus production, fashionedcomponent.It is preciselythe confusion includingits genetically betweenthesetwo sortsof relations thatengenders those facileanalogies,to betweenbeehivesand ancient whichwe areso accustomed, As empires. regards


be the'downward trend',it can reasonably arguedthattheelaborateorganisainsectswould be impossibleamong animals tion thatis foundamong certain witha moreevolved social consciousness, sinceitsachievement would depend of upon such subordination will to a dominant purposeas is foundonly at an advancedstagein theevolutionofhumansociety(see Midgley I978: I46). Now there is a popular argument,though one decidedlyunpopular in which holds thatthe actionsof men, as indeed thoseof other anthropology, drives.This contenanimals,are directed moreor less innatephysiological by with the view I am advancinghere, thatthe tion is obviously incompatible social domain. And yetit would be absurdto lies sourceof intent in a distinct deny that, as human beings, we are all subject to certainsensationsand is in and emotions.We do havea nature, one that several respects notso different fromthatof manyotheranimalspecies.This, of course,was a pointon which thisnatureas a set of Malinowski insisted.Wherehe erredwas in regarding impulses, antecedentto the actions which were supposed to lead to their are satisfaction (MalinowskiI944: 77). Our emotionsand feelings realenough, not but theyconstitute qualitiesof actionitself, internal impulsesthatsparkit fear off. Termssuchas pleasure, to in pain,aggression, andso on refer themanner are thatis, to theway theyareexperienced whichactivities conducted, bothby of theselfand by others-for I am as muchthewitness myactionsas thostwho so to speak, on the 'receivingend' of them (Ryle I949: 88). Work is are, if at emotionalas well as physical, indeedthetwo can be separated all, and both of characterise implementation purpose,notthepurposethat to the is attributes In is be implemented. otherwords, emotionor feeling the animator social of as intent. Marx calledit 'passion',regarded 'theessential force manenergetiof callybenton itsobject' (I96I: I58). the of Having separated purposeof actionfromthemanner its conduct,the We are moral beings way is open forus to relatehumannatureto morality. A because, whilstactingas conscioussubjects,we act withfeeling. man who in actedprecisely accordancewiththedictates his societybut whose actions of were not animatedby feelingwould be regardedas amoral-we mightsay 'inhuman' (Kantorowicz I958: 46-7). The emotionalenergythatimpartsa in moralchargeto social actionhas a foundation humannature; thatis to say it innate whichareofcourseopen,in that rests certain on potentialities they be can realisedin any numberof ways, dependingupon the culturalcontext.I am to suchas Lorenz,in so faras they therefore prepared go along withethologists derivespartofitsforcefrom whatare rather called arguethatmorality crudely is 'instincts' (Lorenz I966: 219). WhereI differ quiteradically in insisting that, farfrom to the serving regulate impulseswhichderivefrom sameinnate source, inheresin actionswhose source is essentially social.It followsfrom morality and emotionsdo not oppose but rather what I have said thatnaturalfeelings informthe rationalpursuitof purpose. The idea of an evolutionary struggle betweeninstinct reason,in whichthelatter and gradually gainstheupperhand, is quitemisguided, since'thesearenotparallelterms'(MidgleyI978: 332).6 to that recognition theinnate our It is important stress of of component moral conductin no way compromises assertion theautonomy thesocial. To our of of of inquire into the rationality action is not the same as to inquire into its


for is of morality, thelatter notjusta matter whatwe do butofhow we do it,of thequalityoffeeling thatournature imparts it. Some confusion thispoint to on the of appearsto underlie banishment humannature from structural anthropology, whichhas yieldedan accountofsocialexistence remarkable itsaridity. for Indeed it mightbe said that,sinceMalinowski,we have suffered prolonged a drought.Shakespeare puts us back on theright trackwhen, in Othello, has he lago declare that 'our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners'.Otherwiseput: fromour naturespringthepowers, both physical and emotional,thatbeara socialpurposeintoeventual fruition. I Let me recapitulate. began withtheremark a psychologist, of who contrasted the work of men with the behaviourof animals. Implicitin the distinction is betweenwork and behaviouris the premissthatthe former directed a by knowingsubject.In other words,workimpliesconsciousness purpose.The and wilful subject, in turn, is constituted his relationswith others: hence by consciousness socialexistence buttwo perspectives theperson,from and are on theinsidelooking'outwards',and from outsidelooking'inwards'.In short, the social beingis consubstantial withconsciousness. We recallMarx's famousdictumthat'it is not theconsciousness men that of determinestheir existence,but theirsocial existencethat determines their has consciousness'(I970: 2I). As Avineri rightly 'the remarked, worstthatcan is it be said aboutthis. . . sentence that is tautological' (I97I: 76). Yet some odd constructions have beenplacedupon it. One ofthesehas itthatconsciousness is not a predicateof social being but an epiphenomenon some social reality of located at a deeper, invisiblelevel, promptingthe search for 'unconscious structures' social lifewhich are supposed to underlieconsciousexperience of (Godelier I972: XiX, 260). This appearsto be guidedby two basic misconcepis tions: the first thatthe unconsciousis equivalentto the non-intentional or of unwilled; the second is the identification social consciousnesswith the conscious model of society-of the reality with its symbolicrepresentation. constitute conscious,wilful the Marx's pointwas thatsocialrelations subjectand arenotwilfully whose consciousness somehow givenin is designedby subjects individuals an independent, had existence advance,as though outside subjective of and opposed to society.7 Historically, people have not made up societies, rather societieshave made up people. We do not deal, in the studyof social witha seriesofinventions 'socifacts' or evolution, (BidneyI953; ReynoldsI976: 65; Harre I979: I8), nor does the design of social relationsissue from a unconscious (Levi-Strauss I968: 58-9; Laughlin & d'Aquili preconstituted consciousor unconscious, not a property is I974: iSo). The mind,whether of individualsin vacuo,a mysterious ghost in the bodily machine (Ryle I949) within whose recesseswe mighthope to find the hidden secretsof social of structure. existsin theverysystem inter-subjective It relations thatis social and structure, unfoldsrightbeforeour eyes in purposiveaction.That human of of are beings,by virtue their faculty symbolic thought, capableofrepresenttheirconscious experience,albeit in a partial and and reflecting ing upon matter to distorted way, is another altogether, whichI shallreturn.



that I the partofmyargument everythinghave It shouldbe clearfrom earlier its and the barring lastpointconcerning just said about consciousness sociality, appliesnot onlyto man butmuchmorewidelyin the symbolicrepresentation, friend. withmypsychologist animalkingdom.So hereI would haveto disagree Ifworkimpliespurposiveaction,thensome animalsworktoo-though notall When animalsact as (we may reasonablyexclude insectsand invertebrates). conscious subjectstheymust-in my terms-be social,thoughI must stress from once againthatwhatI havein mindhereis quitedifferent whatethologists meanby social behaviour. and sociobiologists in is in programmed no that manyspeciessuchbehaviour genetically The fact upon the exerciseof consciouspurpose,for as I have shown, way infringes and relations of the naturefurnishes instruments powers-including material the and co-operation-forexecuting purposeofsociallyconstituted association and powers are extendedand partially subjects. In man these instruments fashionedattributes; nevertheless greatest our technoreplacedby culturally of pale beside the physiologicalcomplexity the human logical achievements is of existence thehigher contention, then, thatthesubjective body. My general we including man,is locatedon a levelofreality callsocial,whichis not animals, reducibleto the physicaldomain of nature.The problem of evolutionis to between the social and physical discover the dynamic,reciprocalinterplay of either one as directly derivative theother. domains of lifewithouttreating that the activity affects state The linkbetweenthetwo domainsliesin purposive work. of thephysical world,in otherwordsin socialproduction, and consumingtheirfood, In the consciouslydirectedwork of extracting flowof materials energy and act on natureto bringabout a continuous animals into own bodies,to thepointat whichit may be environment their fromtheir This flowis a precondition their for assimilated. growth,maintenorganically ance and reproduction.These latterprocessesare going on in nature,and represent productionin its ecological ratherthan social sense (Ingold I979: effects Thus socialproduction world changesin thestateofthephysical 274-7). of which the producersare equally a part, and on which theirsubjective existence depends. I The distinction am drawing is between socially directedaction on the in world. On one side ofthe world and ecologicalreaction thephysical physical and of fall fall boundary theextraction consumption food;on theother growth, Now it is clearthatthisboundarymarksthe and reproduction. maintenance than pointat which-to speak as thesubject-it is I who am working,rather just the organs of my body. Consequently,too, it marks offthe division between what I earliercalled the 'maintenance'and 'executive' partsof the is body-between vital organs whose functioning automatic,and the bodily In whose operationdependson purposivedirection. contending instruments animalsI am also challenging thatthisdualismappliesgenerally amonghigher is an assumptioncentralto anthropological orthodoxy:thatanimalexistence 'purely' organicor ecological, whereashuman existenceis 'purely'social or is to cultural.My argument, the contrary, thatthereare distinct physicaland and has social domainsto bothanimaland humanexistence, thatanthropology between[these]domains. . . fora temporal tendedto mistake'thedisjunction



leap from one domain to the other, supposedly separatingman from the

animals' (Ingold I979:


but Secondly, spearsdo nothunt.Thatis to say,technical instruments conduct, do not constitute, It sociallydirected activity. is absurdto regardas a 'force' is inert.8 something that, itself, practically by How, then,shouldthe'forces'be I regarded? would suggestthatthere two kindsof force, are thatcorrespond to the two kinds of productionI have identified: social and ecological. Thus, insteadof an oppositionbetween 'forces' and 'relations'of production,we should thinkin termsof the interplay two systems relations of of existingon can social and physical The Marxiandialectic thenbe distinct, levelsof reality. rephrased one betweenthe forcesof social action and those of ecological as reaction,emanatingfrom each of these levels. The intensity what, in of Darwiniantheory, called 'selective are pressures' a function thedegreeof is of strain betweenthesetwo setsof potentially forces contradictory (Ingold I98I). The pressures at their is of are peakwheresocialproduction up against limits the in or ecosystemic functioning, in otherwords, of reproduction the physical world. Bearing in mind, then, thatthe instruments productionare not to be of confused withtheforces theyconduct,we can proceedto a comparison the of I instruments manwiththoseofother of animals.Forthesakeofargument,shall of adopt the undoubtedly oversimplified view thatthe instruments animals, whether theybe a partof thebody such as theteethof thebeaver,or separate fromit such as the web of the spider,are both constructed and operatedin toolsand use accordance withan innate programme.9 fashion Men, by contrast, themby cultural design.Nevertheless, humaninstruments not exclusively are toolsto extend cultural. The hand,forexample,is markedly ineffective without constitute a it, but thearm, thewrist,thehand and thetool it holds together fashioned. composite instrument, only one componentof which is culturally can Likewise,although ourjaws and teeth workon certain foodsonlyafter they have been processed by culturaltechnique,we cannot eat without them. Moreover, to operatethesebodily,executiveinstruments do not need to we manualin theimagination, carrytheequivalentof an instruction althoughin we such thatwe do theory would be capableofconstructing a manual.The fact

uselessmuseumscrap (Cohen I978:

of In thisfinalpartI turnmy attention fromwork itself a consideration its to instruments. First,though,a word about theso-called'forces'of production, whichup to now have been veryvaguelyconceived. of It is commonplaceto findtheforcespresented an inventory tools and as to Two material equipment appropriate someill-defined 'levelofdevelopment'. it needto be madeaboutthis.First, takesmorethantoolsto do ajob. Puta points than spearintomyuntutored hand,and I would be no morecapableofhunting weredestroyed knowledgeofitsconstruction but and without Ifequipment it. use retained, thenone could alwaysstart afresh witha new setoftools. Keep the andone is left but equipment destroy knowledge, and the withnothing a heapof

see also Popper I972:




in notin no way reducestheintentionality theactsofconsumption whichthe of processes of jaws and teeth are used. Unlike the subsequentmaintenance digestion,where 'intentionality lapses' (Cohen I978: 55), eatingis something of we do on purpose-indeed it is one of the supremeexpressions conscious suffice dispelthenotionthat cultural to the design Perhapstheseobservations for and use of tools is a precondition purposivelabour (Engels I934: 34; see treesis Ingold i979: 280). Ifit is arguedthat,say, thebeaver'sactionin felling whereasmanemploysan axe, non-purposive becausehe does it withhis teeth, to we would have to conclude-in directcontradiction experience-that our too. So what,ifanything, actionin eatingis non-purposive really distinguishes withteeth and man's felling withtheaxe? thebeaver'sfelling of Morgan, an authority his day on theAmericanbeaver,believedthatthis animalpossessesa capacityforrationalthought differing onlyin degreefrom this but thatofman (i 868: 252). Today we havegood reasonto reject belief, this of gives us no groundswhateverfordoubtingtheintentionality the beaver's action. Man is not uniquelypurposive,but he is unique to the extentthathe of carriesa conscious, symbolicrepresentation the procedures which his by includebotha planfortheconstruction of purposeis to be executed.This might for I the axe itself,and a set of instructions its use in tree-cutting. wish to is one. suggest,however,thatthesymbolic representation at bestonlya partial can havingto Anyone,witha bitofpractice, learnhow to swingan axe, without construct his capability.Undoubtedly the of form a complete intellectual in he woodsman does carry hishead an imageofthenotchthat will carvein the and treeand ofitsevolvingshapeand direction, before everyblow, he linesup of his axe with theintendedcut. Yet in theinstant theswing,a marvellously sophisticated apparatusof bodily controlcomes into operationto co-ordinate and theman's visionwiththemusclesofhis trunk limbs,'guiding'theblade to him at work, we judge the its intendedtarget(Bateson I972: 3 I7). Watching ofeachblow as a markofthewoodsman'sskill.But thedemonstration accuracy in neither attests nordependson, theexistence his mindofa of competence to, for symbolicblueprint the operationof the compositeapparatus,comprising both body and tool, whichhe appliesto his task. The converseargument, of confer As competence. course,is thattechnical knowledgedoes notnecessarily to Ryle (I949) long ago pointedout, to 'know that'is not necessarily 'know can how': a good theoretician be a poor practitioner. Itis commonly the of supposedthat intelligent performance someactdepends One has first planout in themindwhatis to to upon two successiveoperations. be done, and thento put one's plan intopractice.You will recallthearchitect builds'a cellin hisheadbefore constructs in wax' (or he it who, in Marx's story, And yetMarx pointedly the architect with incompetent concrete). compared most a the bestof bees. To have constructed buildingin the imaginationbefore it countless no disasters, guarantee constructing in concrete as we know from is, thatit will not falldown. The generalpoint,as Ryle showed,is that'efficient of practice precedesthetheory it' (I949: 3 i). However, I wish to arguefurther thatthispointappliesnotonlyin a logicalbutalso in a developmental sense. In non-humananimals,practiceis conductedthrough proceduresthatare



is largelyor wholly innate.In man, practice neverconductedthrough procebut a of duresthatarewhollycultural, alwaysthrough combination genetically transmitted human evolution, and culturally capabilitieswhich, throughout have been mostintricately conjoined(DobzhanskyI962: 75). Culturaladaptahave begun where organicadaptationleftoff(Caspari tion cannot therefore of development culture, accordingto whichman has acquireda progressively more inclusive,though still far fromcompleteknowledge of the technical activated his purpose.As I have shown,suchknowledgeis not a operations by for prerequisite social production.In thedevelopmental sense,therepresentain rather thanpreceded operations the tionoftechnique theimaginationfollowed represented. For example, as Haldane (I956: 9) once suggested,our flinthominidancestors toolsin stoneforanylength chipping mayhave beensetting of time beforetheybegan to design themin theirminds. For much of our as evolutionary history, technology a corpusofknowledgemusthave followed one stepbehindtechnique a body ofpractice. as does implysome kind of threshold, Yet thisargument consequentupon a of certain degreeofdevelopment thesymbolic associated faculty, veryprobably withtheappearanceof language(Kitahara-Frisch I980: 2I7-2I). The reflexive of property human language enables the speakerto explore,in thought,the he conscious representations has formedof his practicalactivity, and by the of to logicalmanipulation concepts, generate alternative procedures appropriate to theexecutionof newprojects.Symbolicthought from maythusbe detached theimmediate context action,shaping of rather thanmerely practice expressing it (Reynolds to image the of architect: I976: I 82; CrookI980: I40). To return the modelto builda house,norevento builditwell. one does notneeda conceptual But only when one has constructed such a model does it become possible to kinds.Fromthat follows designand buildhousesofdifferent pointon, practice rather thantheotherway around. one stepbehindtechnology, Two of thekey features cultural opposed to organic)adaptation of (as stem is fromthis reversal.The first thatinnovationinvolves conscious creativity thantrial and error; secondis that tempoofadaptation increased the rather the is by severalordersof magnitude (Durham 1976: ioo-i). Moreover,possessedof a symbolicfaculty, humanbeingscan modelnotonlytheir own procedures but in also thosethattheyobserveelsewhere theanimalkingdom.In thisway the of specialisedcapabilities a rangeof speciesmay be rolledinto thegeneralised 10 of capability one species. We shouldnotforget, that representation the though, -whether ofhumanor animaloperations-is onlypartial, and thatwe remain constrained thenature ourbodilyinstruments, of by whatever mayattach we to theselimitations them.Nothingillustrates moreclearly thanthesad history of man s earlier to attempts fly. a Having constructedpairofwingson thebasisofa plan modelled on the observation birds,and affixed of themto his arms,the would-be flyer to plummets theearth.For not onlywas themodel constructed in ignorance theprinciples aerodynamics whichflight of of on depends,butalso the executiveapparatusof theflyer's body is quiteinadequateto perform the feat. intended Throughout my discussion, I have regardedtechnologyas a corpus of
I96I: 274;

a towards gradualistic ofthe view Geertz I965). I aminclined, rather,



the whichmediateor conducttheforce knowledge,representing procedures of social actionupon thephysical world."lEven thoughthatphysical world may, be to a greatextent, 'engineered' humanaction,we shouldnot confusethe by artificial result with the instrumental means, as in the notion of 'technoenvironment' (HarrisI968: 4). Moreoverwe maygeneralise fromtechnology, as one partor aspectofa larger symbolic to as system, culture a whole,to argue culture serves translate to a socialpurpose practical that into effectiveness. impliesa This not only of thecrudematerialism locateshumanpurposesin the rejection that world of nature, but also the kind of idealism that so invertsagent and as instrument to suppose thatpersonsare theinstruments cultural of purpose thanculture instrument social purpose.12Wordsand symbolscan the rather of in and conveymeanings a culture, spearscanbe usedto killgame,butwordsand or symbolscannotthink talkanymorethanspearscan hunt(Ingold 198I). Just . as language comprisesa 'systemof cognitiveinstruments . . foruse in the service thought' of (Piaget& Inhelder 87), so thematerial toolkit provides I969: us witha set of instruments practical for action.But culture, divorcedfrom social purpose, inert. it ispractically To be activated, mustbeartheintent thehunter of of game or the speaker of language, and the source of intent(as opposed to lies referential significance) in thedomainofthesocial. All thisrequires to makean absolutedistinction us betweenthesocialand the cultural,just as technologymust be distinguished fromits environmental object. Consequently,too, we mustnot confusetheprocessesof social evolution and cultural the adaptation.Culturemediatesor transmits forceof social actionon thephysical bornofthetension world,andis conditioned pressures by between social and ecological forces. These same pressuresconditionthe evolutionof theexecutiveorgansof thebody whose operation amplified is by thecultural equipment.Culturaland organicadaptation closelyinterdepenare dent and are analogous in so far as both proceed throughvariationunder selection (Durham I976; Ingold 1979). But as I pointedoutearlier, criteria the of alone but depend upon what selection are not given by the environment to are members thesubjectpop-ulation seeking do in it. Ifthesocialdomainis of the source of theirpurpose, it follows logically that society cannot evolve For a of unlesscombined through processofadaptation. theconcept adaptation, with a demonstrable withoutit, principleof selection,loses all significance: that anything existsand therefore ipsofacto, adapted(GodelierI972: functions,is, social structure a setofinstrumental as xxxiv). Only by regarding responses to or natural hedonistic as extra-social, impulsescan itbe placedalongsideculture 13 theobjectofa selective process. to WithMalinowski,I takeculture be, in essence,'an instrumental apparatus' (1944: 150)14, thoughI partcompanywithhimin locatingthepurposeofaction in a subjective social consciousness rather thanan objectivehumannature.Yet of my separation the social and the cultural, once orthodoxin social anthroof pology, ringshollow today. Thus Sahlinswritesscornfully the 'arbitrary differentiation "culture" from"social system"in the Britishschool, as if of socialrelations werenotalso composedandorganised meaning'(I 976a: II 7). by us of and Sahlins'sobjectionsbring backonce moreto thestory thearchitect the bee.



The architect, who herestandsforcultural man,builta cellin hishead before it that constructing in wax. FromthisMarxinfers 'thelabourprocessendsin the creationof something which,when theprocess began, alreadyexistedin the worker's imagination.. . in an ideal form' (I930: I70). And this seems tantamount the assertion, to to central Sahlins'sthesis,thatthe objectivesof work are symbolically constituted-thatpurposiveactionis governedby an autonomouscultural thrust Marx's argument entirely of is logic. Yet theentire to the contrary. Sahlins shows, Marx gets both himselfand his readers As in to thoroughly entangled a circular 'the attempt transform preexistent image ofproduction intoitsobjectiveconsequence'(1976a: 153). WhatI have tried to show is thatMarx is wrong, as indeed is Sahlinsto'o,in supposingthatthe for preexistent image or model is a condition production. Animalsproduceas conscious,purposiveagentswithout holdingsucha model; and ifmenact to a the cultural blueprint, representation incomplete. other is In words,consciousness is a preconditionfor production;the conscious model is not. Social investactionwith purpose,and in that relations, constituting consciousness, sense give it meaning. But this does not make them mean in the sense of 15 referring to symbolically another reality: theyare thereality. The fault in lies of productionas a numberof discrete, finite each with a thinking processes, and an ending.Men (and otheranimals)produce,even as theylive, beginning continuously-if not withouttemporary interruptions. Production,and the be meaningof production,must therefore understoodintransitively, as a not transitive of relation imageto object.Thus in orderto locateculture, should we ask not 'whatis beingproduced?'but 'how arepeople producing?' The images neither initiate nor concludeproduction; and artefacts culture of theyare the on. vehiclesby whichitis carried

in My problemhas been to resolvean age-old dichotomy our views ofhuman between whosepolesanthropology oscillated-as Sahlins has existence, graphiwalls of his cell' cally puts it-'like a prisonerpacing betweenthe farthest (1976a: 55). One view begins with man as an organic part of nature,an individualhumanbeing,interacting withothercomponents his of materially In natural environment. itsMalinowskianversion,thisview treats socialas the whichin turn thought consistofa setof conditioned, an aspectof culture, is to instrumental behavioursfor the fulfilment purposes that necessarily of lie outsidesociety,in the realmof nature.For sociobiology,social behaviouris the of similarly instrument a natural design,thoughtheinstrumental apparatus is herelargely rather thiscanbe setthe genetically thanculturally coded. Against as oppositeview, whichfocuseson humanexperience theproductof involvementin a collectivity conceivednot as an aggregateof individualsbut as an ordered of withan independent system relations logic,and existing a levelof on thatis set apartfromnature.Wherethefirst reality view comprehends society andculture as together functional extensions thehumanorganism, second of the treats 'sociocultural the system'as thoughit had a lifeofitsown-an analogue rather thanan extension theorganism-of whichhumanbeingsare merely of



Betweenthesetwo views,ithas beenasserted, theinstrumental supports. there is no room forcompromise (SahlinsI976a: 55). as thereis no need forcompromise, we have thekey thatwill Fortunately fromhis cell. It lies in the separation the social, as the releasethe prisoner of fromthe instruments powers thatconstitute and source of conscious intent, The latter thenbe connected withthoseinstruments powers culture. can up and thatarelocatedin humannature. of All purposiveactionis conductedby an intimate conjunction bothinnate contributions and cultural vectors,whose relative vary(Thorpe I974: I67). In man the strength the cultural of vectormay outweighthatof the natural;in animalsit is obviouslytheotherway around,butthe remains. purpose Together both vectorsprovideus with theequipmentto act sociallyupon thephysical from I do world.By 'demoting'culture purposetoinstrument notfora moment mean to question its indispensability. Withoutculture,as Geertz (I965) remarks, we would be 'incompleteand unfinished animals'. Nevertheless,I believe it is essentialthatwe should distinguish betweenthe body of cultural consciousness thosewho use it.16 of knowledgeand thesubjective It is a remarkablefact that both the cultural anthropologist and the at from oppositecorners their the of sociobiologist, glaring one another cell,are is together trappedby certaincommon misconceptions. The first thatboth for of invert agentand instrument: one thesocial is theinstrument culture; for of the otherit is the instrument nature.Hence the prisoners'dilemma,for to havingopposed natural cultural determination appearsthat can butopt it we for one or the other. I have argued, to the contrary, thatboth natureand instruments the executionof culture-operatingin conjunction-furnish for is social purpose. Instinct neitherthe locus of purpose nor the antithesis of culturalreason, for both geneticand culturalprogrammes-like computer whichrational programmes-encode themechanisms through purposeoperates The second misconceptionshared by both cultural anthropologyand sociobiology is thatanimal existenceis purelyphysicalor organic. Cultural anthropologistsassert human uniqueness and evolutionarydiscontinuity throughvarious versionsof the 'doctrineof emergence'(e.g. Kroeber I9I7; on and SpuhlerI959). Sociobiologists, thecontrary, denysuchuniqueness stress 17 culture a genetic to evolutionary continuity tracing by template. Both adopta view ofanimalsother thanman. The failure apprecimechanistic to thoroughly has ate the distinct social domain of animalexperience allowed thebiology of evolution to be writtenup to now as though this domain did not exist. froman evolutionary Consequently,human social action is comprehended on of nature. perspective grafting thesocialas an extension man'sorganic by My It intentionis quite different. is to suggest a synthesisof biological and neither to whichis flawed anthropological approaches theproblemofevolution nor delusionsof grandeur and by biological reductionism by anthropocentric of we ascendancy.Accordingly, should accountforthe continuity theevoluit levelbutbyshowinghow tionary processnotbylocating on a purely physical forms are the of and cultural thepressures conditioning adaptation bothorganic located in betweensystems generated an underlying, by reciprocal interplay

its toachieve effects (Thorpe I974:


Popper I972:




quite separatesocial and physicaldomainsof existence.Man not only acts on nature, is also a partofit (GiddensI979: i6i). My approachimpliesthatthe he same goes for those animals whose action is demonstrably governed by consciouspurpose. PerhapsI may concludeby affirming visionof anthropology the whichlies behindall 1have argued,as thestudynotjust of mankind a whole but of the as Whole Man. He is to be conceivedas an unusualkindof animal,not merely a of but of bearer culture a creature flesh blood, ofemotions feelings, and and who and acts purposefully creatively his environment on the through instruments availableto himin orderto achieveconcrete, practical results. The idea is hardly novel, for it was preciselythis vision of man, and of anthropology, which the informed workofthat-great anthropologist whose memory lecture to my is dedicated-Bronislaw Malinowski.

A preliminary versionwas read to anthropology seminars theUniversity Oxfordand at the at of of for University Kent. I am verygrateful comments receivedfrom bothseminars, whichwereof muchassistance me in preparing present to the lecture. I In approaching definition work,I shouldpointoutthatI am concerned the of withtheuse ofthe termas a conceptin analysis,and not withits classificatory significance an item of everyday as discoursein our own or anyothersociety.ForthisreasonI shalldisregard semantic the subtleties of between work and labour (FirthI979: I78-9), and use the termsmore or less the distinction interchangeably. Kroeber 2 See, for example, (I9I7); Steward (I955: 3I); Huxley (I956); White (ig59); Harris (i968: 24I). 3 As Lorenz has written:'It is in principleimpossibleto make any scientifically legitimate of assertion aboutthesubjective experiences animals.. . . However,similarities analogiesin the and nervousprocessesof animalsand men are sufficiently greatto justifythe conclusionthathigher whicharequalitatively animalsdo indeedhave subjective experiences different in essenceakinto but our own' (I966: I80). Indeed to argue otherwisewould be blatantly It anthropocentric. is no is accidentthat the same rhetoric used today about animals to extol the qualitiesof common humanity was used a century about 'savages' to extolthevirtues Europeancivilisation. as ago of 4 The notionsof purposeand intent, consciousness and will requiresome elaboration. do not I the meanto imply,by myuse oftheseterms, possessionor deployment theintellectual of faculty of reason. Volition, for example, can refer eitherto a formalprocess of rationalchoice or to the intentionality an action.These arebynQmeansthesame,anditis thelatter of meaning whichI wish to convey.An actionthatembodiesintent purposeis one thatis consciously or directed. Thereis a bias systematic in our own, so-called'western'ideologythatleads us to see all purposiveactionas deliberation autonomousindividuals, the outcome of intellectual each actingin pursuitof his by It own self-interest. is perhaps for this reason that the termswe have to denote intent(e.g. to 'deliberate')extendsimultaneously formal decision-making (e.g. 'deliberation'). Consequently, to the of or too, we findit difficult comprehend intentionality actionby animalswhich,rightly are not wrongly, thought to possessthepower ofreason. I One example of thefailure graspthispointconcerns well-established to a itemof orthodoxy in abouta transition socialevolution from bandsto tribes. The bandis conceived an assemblage as of its individualsand families, organisation under arisingout of thepractical exigenciesof foraging environmental conditions(Steward I955). The conceptof tribe,by contrast, particular signalsa formof social consciousness, whichpersonsare locatedwithina structured of specific by system of of segmentary oppositions(e.g. SahlinsI968: I5-I6). Thus thereference 'tribe'is to relations a different from kind thoseoftheband,whichshouldnotstrictly regarded social be as fundamentally at all (Meillassoux I 98 I: I 8). Bands cannottherefore transformed tribes. thesociallevel, be into On would be a system whicha person'sposition thecollectivity in thelogicalantecedent thetribe of in is

TIM INGOLD of not determined by the successivedifferentiations segmentary oppositionbut by thesuccessive the of integrations unboundedincorporation. the latterprinciple personrelatesto othersin By generalratherthan to specific others,and from this follows the personal autonomy which is of in association theband (Ingold r98O: 273-5). in manifested practice thefree 6 Though agreeing that withMidgleyon thispoint,I do notagreewithhergeneral argument 'ust determined as skillsdropoff higher at levelsofevolution, in proportion automatic innately general of desiresbecome morenecessary'(I978: 333). In thisview, thehereditary component behaviour of in of transfers the course of evolutionfromthe specification techniquesto the specification the objectives,frommeans to ends, which may then-in man-be pursuedthrough exerciseof is is rationalintelligence. My view, to the contrary, thatthe transfer fromends to means,from of whichmaythenbe putin theservice a socialrationality. objectivesto instruments, I The same pointis made, stillmoreforcefully, thesixthof Marx's Theses Feuerbach: in on 'The in inherent each singleindividual. itsreality is theensemble In it of humanessenceis no abstraction social relations' (Marx & Engels I977: I22). 'A forceor power. . . is not a relation. is . . . a property an object,or [by It of 8 Cohen writes: an an extension], objectbearingthatproperty, objecthavingproductive power' (I978: 28). This is a nonsense.An inanimate extraordinary object (suchas a machine)exerts forceonlyso long as it is to force notan inherent is of directed an agentexternal thatobject.Therefore by property theobject it to a itself. And becauseitis notinherent, cannotbe used by extension designate classof objects. 9 I thusignorereported or of and cases ofimprovised learnedpatterns tool-making tool-using in to or and theanimalkingdom.Whether notmanis infact tools uniqueinhisability construct operate the of as by cultural design,thoughit may influence conception our difference a species,does not the of affect structure myargument. 10 'Animalsconstruct withthestandards needsofthespeciesto whichthey and onlyin accordance withthestandards everyspecies'(Marx of belong,whilemanknowshow to producein accordance 'Man's contact with naturehas never been direct;it has always been mediatedthrough via knowledgestructures his sensesand hisintellect' (Moscovici 1976: 145). that 12 This is thesortof inversion leads everyday to be regarded a spectacle on forthe life as put a in of benefit an other-cultural otherthan observer; symbolicenactment whichpeople arenothing the roles theyplay, and 'practicesare no more than "executions",stage parts,performances of of scores,or theimplementing plans' (Bourdieu 1977: 96). 13 See for example,Ruyle(1973: 204): 'Social structures themselves subjectto positiveor be may the negativeselectivepressuresdependingon the degree to which theyfacilitate satisfaction of needsor desires'. individual 14 But when Malinowski elsewhere describes cultureas 'the organised, implemented and of of behaviour man' (1944: 203), he is classically the with purposeful confusing instrument theforce a error. purposiveactionit conducts.Salzman(I98I: 243) commits similar Having defined culture, variousforms orientation, of muchas I do, as 'equipmentwhichenables and organisation action',he proceedsto regardit as 'a forcein itsown right'whichhas 'a determining impact,ifa partial one, not upon humanaction'. Enablingequipmentdetermines thepurposeof action,but theway it is on. carried 15 Compare Sahlins,who criticises Marx forapprehending symbolic(domainof culture) the as in 'themodelofa given[social]system consciousness, whileignoring thesystem symbolised that so is itself culture and societyby equating symbolic' (I976a: 139, original emphasis).Sahlinsconflates of one and bothmeanings meaning-the transitive ofreference theintransitive ofintent-with one thesymbolic. 16 This distinction bears comparisonwith,but is not identical thatmade by Popper (1972) to, between'second' and 'third worlds'. 17 In thewordsofWilson:'The geneshold culture on a leash'(I978: I67). This is apparently of one his favourite for metaphors, he has gone on to formalise as the 'leash principle', it and has even suggested ways by whichthelength the'leash' might measured of be (Lumsden& WilsonI98I: 13).
I963: 128).



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