City of Asylum (12th Year)

In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

Vinciane Despret

Saturday, November 5th
8:00 pm

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

What Would Animals Say...Do apes really know how to ape? Do animals form same-sex relations? Can animals create art? Are these even the right way to ask the questions?

Vinciane’s book, What Would Animals Say If We Asked The Right Questions?, poses twenty-six such questions that stretch our preconceived ideas about what animals do, what they think about and what they want.
In an abecedarium of twenty-six chapters, Vinciane Despret argues that behaviors we identify as separating humans from animals do not actually properly belong to humans. She does so by exploring incredible and often funny adventures about animals and their involvements with researchers, farmers, zookeepers, handlers and other human beings. These deftly translated accounts oblige us, along the way, to engage in both ethology and philosophy. She combines serious scholarship with humor that resonates.

Vinciane Despret

Vinciane Despret studied philosophy and, later, psychology, coming back to philosophy with her PhD in 1996. Her first field work was in the Negev desert, in Israel, where she explored the possibility of doing an ethology of the ethologists. She then wrote her PhD about the scientific practices that study emotions in humans and in animals. Currently she is Maître de conferences at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Liège, and at the Faculty of Anthropology and Social Sciences and Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education at the Free University of Brussels.

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