Its author ever hopeful of abandoning nature-culture or
nature-society, this brief sketch is an attempt to understand some part
of the dyad. It fishes among materials on biological relatedness, ideas
about reproduction, and configurations of kinship that might amount
to a naturalist cosmology, detectable among other things in the problems
it generates. There is nothing new in apprehending how much of
society was already ‘in’ the nature that came to be distinguished from
it. However, the anthropologist’s net has its own gauge, and thus the
argument at once depends on historical niceties and disregards them.
What gets caught in the mesh flung over this huge area are certain
issues concerning identity and individuality. These demand a closer
inquiry into the character of the relations being supposed, the matter
with which the article opens.