Vinciane Despret is a Belgian philosopher whose work proposes new questions and approaches to human-animal relations. Of central importance to her thought is an intellectual and cultural proposal to allow animals to show their agency and allow them to be interesting. With genuine curiosity, Despret looks at how humans and animals transform one another through daily encounters, and she explores these metamorphoses through an engagement with the history of philosophy, literature, science, field research, and art. In a playful though serious tone, Despret claims that animals are always more interesting than we give them credit for, and that the achievements of animals are never far from our own. This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.
Introduction: Vinciane Despret Preface: A Curious Practice 1. The Metamorphoses of Vinciane Despret 2. Models and Methods: Sketch of a Field Study 3. The Enigma of the Raven 4. Who Made Clever Hans Stupid? 5. The Pragmatics of Expertise 6. Beasts and Humans 7. The Otter and the Fish Farmer 8. Thinking Like a Rat 9. Animal Abecedary: "O for OEuvres" and "Q for Queer" 10. We Are Not So Stupid … Animals Neither 11. On Asking the Right Questions: An Interview with Vinciane Despret