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From a View to a Death: Culture, Nature and the Huntsman's Art

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The division between the natural and the artificial is itself artificial. But we continue to yearn for a 'homecoming' to our natural state - which means, to the identity with our environment which was the condition of the hunter-gatherer. Totemism is the thought-process whereby the prey can be simultaneously consecrated as a species, and pursued to the death as an individual. This thought-process has an evident ecological function. The morality of hunting resides in the maintenance of this dual attitude. An anthropological explanation is offered of the perceived rituals of hunting, and of 'guiltless killing'.

Keywords: aesthetics; culture; field sports; myths; nature; totemism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1997-11-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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