The art of (correctly) questioning animals
What do rats take an interest in during experiments? Do goats agree with the statistics? Do birds produce art? Will penguins come out of the closet? Who has ever asked themselves this type of question? The philosopher Vinciane Despret has for her part made it the subject of her new work, Que diraient les animaux si…on leur posait les bonnes questions? (What would the animals say if…we asked them the right questions?). An A to Z tinged with both a humorous and a denunciatory tone, which examines the relationships which human beings (and above all scientists) maintain with animals. Because another way of ‘doing science’ is possible...
Should horses provide their consent?
In addition to asking, with the letter ‘Q’ for queer, if the penguins will come out of the closet, to return to the example cited above, the philosopher also wonders: do birds produce art? Do the goats agree with the statistics? Is it indeed common practice to urinate in front of the animals? What do rats take an interest in during experiments? Can we live with a pig’s heart? So many questions which can appear both light hearted (letter ‘B’ for beasts: can monkeys really ape behaviour?) and provocative (‘Z’ as in zoophilia: should the horses provide their consent?).
(1) Vinciane DESPRET, Que diraient les animaux si... on leur posait les bonnes questions?, Paris, La Découverte, coll. "Les empecheurs de penser en rond", 2012, 325p.