On animals. And a book. And ideas

On animals. And a book. And ideas

In one of his final interviews, Latour discussed how our perception of reality should change. Instead of viewing objects, dead things, or letterboxes, we should view animals, bacteria, nature, and networks as integral parts of the world, embedded in objects.

1. Literature Where do we begin when it comes to drawing attention to animals? There are numerous animal films and even more books about them. The challenge, however, lies in how we observe animals and interact with them. Essentially, all animal stories can be classified into two categories. Some merely observe the life of animals, similar to how Husserl observed letterboxes. This approach objectifies animals and maintains the phenomenological boundary. The other category of animal stories tries to humanize animals by attributing human characteristics to them, which can lead to the same conundrum that Davidson faced when he pondered whether dogs can think. In reality, they can, but the answer depends more on how we define ‘thinking’ than on the dogs themselves.

2. Texts

We could try to learn a “new language” to express ourselves better. However, this approach seems artificial and ineffective because learning new words alone doesn’t necessarily lead to new perspectives. What we need is a shift in our viewpoint. The author of a collection of short stories about her dogs has found an ideal way to interact with her pets. She doesn’t treat them as humans or objects, but rather engages with them and describes those interactions using simple, yet effective words. These words are not fancy or unfamiliar, but they capture the essence of her experiences with her furry companions.

3. The Impression

Joanna Kraińska-Smith found a form that was exactly what Latour was looking for, and it’s where the network starts. These texts are easy to read and have an interesting message due to their everydayness, lightness, and interaction. Additionally, dogs have personalities just like any other living being, despite what Davidson suggests. However, Joanna’s description makes them come to life in an effortless way.

The best Christmas presents come after Christmas. Here’s (external link) a tip. A little book to think about.

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