anagnori

Animals and the Human Imagination By Linda Simon

In biology, nature, philosophy, science, social sciences on October 31, 2012 at 18:57

From: Animals and the Human Imagination By Linda Simon, The Montreal Review, http://www.themontrealreview.com

In his introduction, Aaron Gross points to a “danger” in a scholarly study of animals whose contributors come from the humanities and social sciences, rather than the natural sciences: that animals themselves might become “absent referents,” as he puts it; when “animals themselves seem beside the point. . . .when there is no one looking in the horse’s mouth or even in the direction of the horse.” Certainly animals as specific references are not often found in this collection. There are passing mentions of pets, but the only animals given extended discussion are wolves (as they represent wildness), dogs (as they are imagined in children’s stories), hogs (as they are treated by industrial farmers), and, notably, bacteria (as imagined in a science fiction novel). Nevertheless, the essays-erudite, engagingly written, and accessible to general readers-serve admirably to call attention, as Gross puts it, “to how a certain understanding of animality is implicit in our self understanding (and thus our understandings of language, symbol, myth, subjectivity, religion, etc.)” and can possibly “expose the naturalness of the category animal as illusory.” Once the human/animal binary is no longer useful, we will be able to see both terms as “strange” and may move toward new conceptions and definitions.

Read the article

Reposted with permission from: The Montreal Review

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: