This book explores the phenomenon of animal imagination and its profound power over the human imagination. It examines the structural and ethical role that the human imagination must play to provide an interface between humans’ subjectivity and the real cognitive capacities of animals.
The book offers a systematic study of the increasing importance of the metaphors, the virtual, and figures in contemporary animal studies. It explores human-animal and real-imaginary dichotomies, revealing them to be the source of oppressive cultural structures. Through an analysis of creative, playful and theatric enactments and mimicry of animal behaviors and communication, the book establishes that human imagination is based on animal imagination. This helps redefine our traditional knowledge about animals and presents new practices and ethical concerns in regard to the animals. The book strongly contends that allowing imagination to play a role in our relation to animals will lead to the development of a more empathetic approach towards them.
Drawing on works in phenomenology, contemporary animal philosophy, as well as ethological evidence and biosemiotics, this book is the first to rethink the traditional philosophical concepts of imagination, images, the imaginary, and reality. It will appeal to philosophers, scholars and students in the field of animal studies, as well as anyone interested in human and non-human imaginations.
Table of Contents
Introduction the Imaginary: A Human-Non-Human-Animal Interface 1. Human-Animal Metaphors: Identity and Similarity at Issue 2. Phenomenology of the Animal Imaginary: Non-Human Subjects, Ambiguous Worlds, Empathy 3. Animal Bodies and the Virtual: Animals as Real Phantoms 4. They Talk the Way We Dream: Animal Communication and Human Imagination 5. Metamorphoses and Corporeal Imagination: The "Second Person" at Stake Conclusion: Why Imagine With Animals?
Annabelle Dufourcq is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Radboud University. She researches and teaches in the areas of contemporary continental philosophy and animal studies. She is the author or editor of several books on the relation between the real and the imaginary from a phenomenological perspective.