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Horizontes Antropológicos

Print version ISSN 0104-7183On-line version ISSN 1806-9983


DESCOLA, Philippe. Genealogia de objetos e antropologia da objetivação. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2002, vol.8, n.18, pp.93-112. ISSN 0104-7183.

The present article defends the idea that we should subvert the usual procedure used to study the social genesis of techniques. The issue of the social genesis of techniques should be studied by considering, first and foremost, that which is conventionally called "technical choices." Habitually, tautological explanations are given in an attempt to explain the adaptive advantages that make a certain technique necessarily emerge. Rather than offering such explanations, the negative determinants for a technological choice are examined here. Negative determinants are sought with questions such as why did such technique not appear in that particular context where it could have possibly appeared? Any technique may be thought of as a relationship between man and the inorganic or live matter (which he himself is a part of). If so, then such a relationship can be objectified, that is, it can be represented with preexistent relationships considered possible in a given cultural group. This idea regarding technique is illustrated here with an explanation for the rejection by the Amazon Amerindian populations of animal domestication.

Keywords : Amazon indians; animal domestication; hunting; tameness; techniques.

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