Cultural artefacts and neglect of the materials from which they are made

  • Terence Rajivan Edward
Schlagworte: Tim Ingold, anthropology, artefact, materials


This paper discusses an explanation, offered by Tim Ingold, for why social and cultural anthropologists have so far paid little attention to the materials from which artefacts are composed. The explanation is that these anthropologists accept a certain argument. According to the argument, what an anthropologist should focus on when examining an artefact are those qualities that make it part of a culture, and this is not the materials from which the artefact is composed. I show that Ingold has not made a compelling case against this argument, but also that it is not sound.