End comment: To conclude in the spirit of rebirth, or, a note on animic anthropo-ontogenesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter presents some closing thoughts of the key concepts discussed in this book. The Western scientific establishment has long cleaved to the first alternative, believing that infants and young children are universally predisposed to animism, being innately inclined to attribute life and mind to ostensibly inanimate objects, and have to be weaned off it as they mature. In truth the child's mind, according to Lévi-Strauss, comes exclusively pre-equipped neither with a propensity towards animism, nor conversely with a propensity towards naturalism, but rather with the seeds of both animism and naturalism. In animism, according to Carlos Fausto, 'intentionality and reflexive consciousness are not exclusive attributes of humanity but potentially available to all beings in the cosmos'. Not just humans, then, but beings of manifold kinds, including diverse animals, gods, spirits, the dead, thunder and the winds, plants, artefacts, harbour the potential to make their presence felt as the bearers of intentions towards others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimism in Southeast Asia
EditorsKaj Arhem, Guido Sprenger
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315660288, 9781317336617
ISBN (Print)9780415713795
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge contemporary Southeast Asia series

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Selection and editorial matter: Kaj Århem and Guido Sprenger.


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