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The Others

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610912438
Size: 62.25 MB
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Paul Shepard has been one of the most brilliant and original thinkers in the field of human evolution and ecology for more than forty years. His thought-provoking ideas on the role of animals in human thought, dreams, personal identity, and other psychological and religious contexts have been presented in a series of seminal writings, including Thinking Animals, The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game, and now The Others, his most eloquent book to date.The Others is a fascinating and wide-ranging examination of how diverse cultures have thought about, reacted to, and interacted with animals. Shepard argues that humans evolved watching other animal species, participating in their world, suffering them as parasites, wearing their feathers and skins, and making tools of their bones and antlers. For millennia, we have communicated their significance by dancing, sculpting, performing, imaging, narrating, and thinking them. The human species cannot be fully itself without these others.Shepard considers animals as others in a world where otherness of all kinds is in danger, and in which otherness is essential to the discovery of the true self. We must understand what to make of our encounters with animals, because as we prosper they vanish, and ultimately our prosperity may amount to nothing without them.

Network Nature

Author: Richard Coyne
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1350029513
Size: 77.23 MB
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How do people avoid the stresses of the digital age? Urban dwellers must now turn to nature to recover, restore and rebalance after the stresses brought on by relentless digital connectivity. It is easy to task nature as the cure, with technology as the ailment. In Network Nature, Richard Coyne challenges the definitions of both the natural and the artificial that support this time-worn narrative of nature's benefits. In the process, he attacks the counter-claim that nature must succumb to the sovereignty of digital data. Covering a spectrum of issues and concepts, from big data and biohacking to animality, numinous spaces and the post-digital, he draws on the rich field of semiotics as applied to natural systems and human communication, to enhance our understanding of place, landscape and architecture in a digital world.

Homeless Dogs Melancholy Apes

Author: Laura Brown
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801448287
Size: 56.75 MB
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Brown shows how the literary works of the 18th century use animal-kind to bring abstract philosophical, ontological, and metaphysical questions into the realm of everyday experience, difference, hierarchy, intimacy, diversity, and transcendence.

Home

Author: John S. Allen
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0465073891
Size: 56.91 MB
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Home is where the heart is. Security, comfort, even love, are all feelings that are centered on the humble abode. But what if there is more to the feeling of being at home? Neuroanthropologist John S. Allen believes that the human habitat is one of the most important products of human cognitive, technological, and cultural evolution over the past two million years. In Home, Allen argues that to "feel at home" is more than just an expression, but reflects a deep-seated cognitive basis for the human desire to have, use, and enjoy a place of one's own. Allen addresses the very basic question: How did a place to sleep become a home? Within human evolution, he ranks house and home as a signature development of our species, as it emerged alongside cooperative hunting, language, and other critical aspects of humanity. Many animals burrow, making permanent home bases, but primates, generally speaking, do not: most wander, making nests at night wherever they might find themselves. This is often in home territory, but it isn't quite home. Our hominid ancestors were wanderers, too—so how did we, over the past several million years, find our way home? To tell that story Allen will take us through evolutionary anthropology, neuroscience, the study of emotion, and modern sociology. He examines the home from the inside (of our heads) out: homes are built with our brains as much as with our hands and tools. Allen argues that the thing that may have been most critical in our evolution is not the physical aspect of a home, but developing a feeling of defining, creating, and being in a home, whatever its physical form. The result was an environment, relatively secure against whatever horrors lurked outside, that enabled the expensive but creative human mind to reach its full flowering. Today, with the threat of homelessness, child foster-care, and foreclosure, this idea of having a home is more powerful than ever. In a clear and accessible writing style, Allen sheds light on the deep, cognitive sources of the pleasures of having a home, the evolution of those behaviors, and why the deep reasons why they matter. Home is the story about how humans evolved to create a space not only for shelter, but also for nurturing creativity, innovation, and culture—and why “feeling at home” is a fundamental aspect of the human condition.

Being Animal

Author: Anna L. Peterson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231534264
Size: 12.94 MB
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If nature is what lies beyond human society, then animals must be a part of it. For most people, animals are the most significant aspects of the nonhuman world. They symbolize nature in our imaginations, in popular media and culture, and in campaigns to preserve the wilderness. They are also real creatures and individual subjects with whom we have diverse and complex relationships Scholars, however, tend to treat animals and the environment as distinct, mutually exclusive objects of interest and concern. Conducting the first systematic examination of the place of animals in scholarly and popular thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects simultaneously a part of nature and human society. Disrupting the artificial boundaries separating these two realms, Peterson explores the tensions between humans and animals, nature and culture, animals and nature, and domesticity and wildness, and she uses our intimate connections with companion animals to examine nature more broadly. Liminal creatures who straddle the boundary between human society and wilderness, companion animals reveal much about the mutually constitutive relationships binding humans and nature together. Through her paradigm-shifting reflections on animals, nature, and ethics, Peterson underscores the fluid and continuous character of two seemingly immutable categories.

What Are The Animals To Us

Author: David Aftandilian
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
ISBN: 9781572334724
Size: 11.14 MB
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From the first woolly mammoths painted in exquisite detail on Paleolithic cave walls to contemporary depictions of anthropomorphized mice as heroes of animated films and fiction, animals have played crucial roles in human cultures around the world. In What Are the Animals to Us? scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines explore the diverse meanings of animals in science, religion, folklore, literature, and art. The contributors focus especially on analyzing cultural products about animals. The chapters in the first section of the book, “From Totems to Tales,” interpret folklore of cats, foxes, snakes, and frogs in various cultures, while the chapters in thesection on “Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens” concern themselves with literary and historical representations of reindeer, wild birds, tigers, and other animals. The chapters in “Holy Dogs and Scared Bunnies” consider the roles of animals in art and religion. In the section on “Ethics, Ethology, and Konrad Lorenz,” the contributors evaluate the legacy of this cofounder of the science of animal behavior in the light of recent revelations about Lorenz’s National Socialist past. Finally, an extensive afterword offers theoretical and practical ways in which readers might better understand animal others in their own right, and discusses the ethical implications of such an understanding. Accessible and lively, What Are the Animals to Us? is a uniquely wide-ranging and well-written interdisciplinary introduction to the emerging field of animal studies that offers not just novel approaches to the study of what animals mean to people but also fresh insights into a broad range of topics, from environmental history to animal behavior, postmodern art to Christian theology.

Catching Fire

Author: Richard Wrangham
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847652107
Size: 76.29 MB
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In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that caused the extraordinary transformation of our ancestors from apelike beings to Homo erectus. At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating cooked rather than raw food permitted the digestive tract to shrink and the human brain to grow, helped structure human society, and created the male-female division of labour. As our ancestors adapted to using fire, humans emerged as "the cooking apes". Covering everything from food-labelling and overweight pets to raw-food faddists, Catching Fire offers a startlingly original argument about how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. "This notion is surprising, fresh and, in the hands of Richard Wrangham, utterly persuasive ... Big, new ideas do not come along often in evolution these days, but this is one." -Matt Ridley, author of Genome

A Dog In The Cave

Author: Kay Frydenborg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 1328694909
Size: 19.41 MB
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We know dogs are our best animal friends, but have you ever thought about what that might mean? Fossils show we’ve shared our work and homes with dogs for tens of thousands of years. Now there’s growing evidence that we influenced dogs’ evolution—and they, in turn, changed ours. Even more than our closest relatives, the apes, dogs are the species with whom we communicate best. Combining history, paleontology, biology, and cutting-edge medical science, Kay Frydenborg paints a picture of how two different species became deeply entwined—and how we coevolved into the species we are today.

Animals And Society

Author: Margo DeMello
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231526768
Size: 78.14 MB
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Human–animal studies explores human–animal relations and the place of animals within human social and cultural worlds. Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human–animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization. The first textbook to provide a full overview of human–animal studies for students, general readers, and scholars, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. DeMello also covers speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars in each chapter highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human–animal relations.

Animals And The Human Imagination

Author: Aaron S. Gross
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231527764
Size: 39.61 MB
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Human beings have long imagined their subjectivity, ethics, and ancestry with and through animals, yet not until the mid-twentieth century did contemporary thought reflect critically on animals’ significance in human self-conception. Thinkers such as French philosopher Jacques Derrida, South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, and American theorist Donna Haraway have initiated rigorous inquiries into the question of the animal, now blossoming in a number of directions. It is no longer strange to say that if animals did not exist, we would have to invent them. This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collection reflects the growth of animal studies as an independent field and the rise of “animality” as a critical lens through which to analyze society and culture, on par with race and gender. Essays center on the role of animals in the human imagination and the imagination of the human, a discourse that has evolved in tandem with discussions of—and more robust concern for—animals in popular culture. They consider the worldviews of several indigenous peoples, animal-human mythology in early modern China, and political uses of the animal in postcolonial India. They engage with the theoretical underpinnings of the animal protection movement, representations of animals in children’s literature, the depiction of animals in contemporary art, and the philosophical positioning of the animal from Aristotle to Heidegger. The strength of this companion lies in its timeliness and contextual diversity, which makes it essential reading for students and researchers while further developing the parameters of the discipline.