Rethinking the animate, re-animating thought

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

480 Citations (Scopus)


Animism is often described as the imputation of life to inert objects. Such imputation is more typical of people in western societies who dream of finding life on other planets than of indigenous peoples to whom the label of animism has classically been applied. These peoples are united not in their beliefs but in a way of being that is alive and open to a world in continuous birth. In this animic ontology, beings do not propel themselves across a ready-made world but rather issue forth through a world-in-formation, along the lines of their relationships. To its inhabitants this weather-world, embracing both sky and earth, is a source of astonishment but not surprise. Re-animating the 'western' tradition of thought means recovering the sense of astonishment banished from official science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • animism
  • relational ontology
  • movement
  • weather-world
  • science


Dive into the research topics of 'Rethinking the animate, re-animating thought'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this