Evolution is among the most central and most contested of ideas in the history of anthropology. This book charts the fortunes of the idea from the mid-nineteenth century to recent times. By comparing biological, historical, and anthropological approaches to the study of human culture and social life, it lays the foundation for their effective synthesis. Far ahead of its time when first published, the book anticipates debates at the forefront of contemporary thinking. Revisiting the work after almost thirty years, Tim Ingold offers a substantial new preface that describes how the book came to be written, how it was received and its bearing on later developments. Unique in scope and breadth of theoretical vision, Evolution and Social Life cuts across the boundaries of natural science and the humanities to provide a major contribution both to the history of anthropological and social thought, and to contemporary debate on the relationship between human nature, culture, and social life.
Table of Contents
Preface to the 2016 edition
Preface to the 1986 edition
1 The progress of evolution
2 Mankind ascending
3 The substance of history
4 Times of life
5 Chance, necessity and creativity
6 What is a social relationship?
7 Culture and consciousness
Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, UK. His books for Routledge include Lines: A Brief History (2007), The Perception of the Environment (reissued 2011), Being Alive (2011) and Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture (2013).