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.
|Title of host publication
|Animism in Southeast Asia
|Kaj Arhem, Guido Sprenger
|Place of Publication
|London and New York
|Number of pages
|Published - 2015
|Routledge contemporary Southeast Asia series
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Selection and editorial matter: Kaj Århem and Guido Sprenger.