Morten Axel Pedersen, Rane Willerslev; “THE SOUL OF THE SOUL IS THE Body”: Rethinking the Concept of Soul Through North Asian Ethnography. Common Knowledge 1 August 2012; 18 (3): 464–486. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-1630395
As part of a Common Knowledge symposium on the “consequence of blur,” this article reassesses the anthropologist E. B. Tylor’s famous but vague concept of the animist soul as an optimal reflection of the soul’s fuzzy ontological status among animist peoples. Unlike the Platonic body/soul dichotomy, with its fixed appearance/essence distinction, indigenous conceptions of the soul among North Asian peoples, such as the Chukchi of Siberia and the Darhads of Mongolia, are reversible: persons can turn themselves inside-out as their inner souls and outer bodies cross over and become one another.