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Title: Sweet dreams rocking Viking boats : biocultural animic perspectivism through Nordic seamanship
Author: Giraldo Herrera, César Enrique
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores animic and perspectivist notions in the context of Nordic Seamanship with a biocultural framework. It examines the history, cosmologies, terminology, practices, physiology and phenomenology of Nordic crafts and arts of boat building, rope-making, seafaring and fishing. Rope-making, its molecular basis and the social organization in a boat reveal the way in which physical and social bodies coalesce in the harmonies of the differing intentionalities of their constituents, forming symmetric hierarchical structures, which are at the basis of Nordic egalitarian and individualistic society. Through the enskillment in seafaring and fishing, we explore the perspectival transformations involved in nausea; the development of sea-legs (the attunement to the rhythms of the sea), fishiness (empathy with the fish) and the meiths (a system navigation, perception and theorization of the coastal environment), showing the role of normal microbial biota in the perception and interactions with the environment. Based on the experience at sea, it is suggested that the ontologies developed through the interactions of seamanship constituted a cosmology that influenced the development of the Medieval Perspectivist theories in Natural Philosophy, Norse poetry and hermeneutics, which were means of secularization of pagan knowledge in the Nordic conversion to Christianity. Elaborating on some aspects of medieval perspectivist theory through their comparison with Amerindian animic theories and the biology of the eye it is suggested that its morphology entails an entoptic (inner-vision) microscopy, affording a means of visual perception and interaction with microbial entities. Finally, with the aid of a Treponema pallidum, a transatlantic traveller with a copious Amerindian mythology, it is shown that animic notions about spirits, dwarves and gods are coherent with an ecological physiology that takes into account microbial sociality and their role, both in health and in disease, in our metabolism, perception and relations with the environment in particular ecological communities. In so doing, it demonstrates that animic perspectivist ontologies are compatible with a naturalism that takes into account intentionality as a generalized physical property constituent of beings and things, and therefore sociality as generalized characteristic of the interactions between beings/things in the environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social ecology ; Fisheries ; Boatbuilding ; Ropemakers ; Seafaring life ; Indians of North America ; Animism