Fishing was Re: Early Language

Matthew Hill (mhhill@WATARTS.UWATERLOO.CA)
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 08:20:55 -0500

On Thu, 15 Feb 1996, Shalom Zaidfeld wrote:

> On Thu, 15 Feb 1996, Mr. E wrote:
> > Why is fishing and hunting not the same? One can catch/kill a fish in the
> > same manner one can catch/kill land roaming animals. I remember a debate in
> > a philosophy class a while back ... one side basically abhored the idea of
> > killing an animal for food, while having no quams with killing and eating
> > fish. We didn't come out with any definite conclusions. I'd appreciate
> To me, it sounds the same. Either killing a fish or a land-based animal,
> its the same act. Yet, you might try and explain it by saying the

Technologically it is quite different. Medium transgressivness (ou! to
think of such a term so early in the morning) may have something to do
with it.
I suspect, however, that as far as North American anthropologists are
concerned, our ideal type for fisherfolk is formed on the Northwest
Coast and the vast cultural differences seen there from gather/hunters
formed as a type on the San or the Shoshoni etc. leads us to insist
on a significant difference in the technologies. The gradient which
exists in productivity and related factors is obscured by reference to
the ideal types.

I try to use Gathering/hunting as ranking them in terms of productivity
rather than gender relatedness. The latter is certainly an open question
when we get into paleo-anthropology. My efforts are notably unsuccessful
since they only started many years after the reverse had become habitual

Matthew Hill (