The Others: How Animals Made Us Human / Edition 1

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Overview

<p>Paul Shepard has been one of the most brilliant and original thinkers in the field of human evolution and ecology for more than forty years. His thought-provoking ideas on the role of animals in human thought, dreams, personal identity, and other psychological and religious contexts have been presented in a series of seminal writings, including Thinking Animals, The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game, and now The Others, his most eloquent book to date.<p>The Others is a fascinating and wide-ranging examination of how diverse cultures have thought about, reacted to, and interacted with animals. Shepard argues that humans evolved watching other animal species, participating in their world, suffering them as parasites, wearing their feathers and skins, and making tools of their bones and antlers. For millennia, we have communicated their significance by dancing, sculpting, performing, imaging, narrating, and thinking them. The human species cannot be fully itself without these others.<p>Shepard considers animals as others in a world where otherness of all kinds is in danger, and in which otherness is essential to the discovery of the true self. We must understand what to make of our encounters with animals, because as we prosper they vanish, and ultimately our prosperity may amount to nothing without them.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this provocative, illuminating volume, Shepard examines the role of animals in human history from the Pleistocene to the present. He argues that anthropomorphism binds our connection to the rest of the natural world. Noting that narratives in which animals are protagonists occur in all kinds of societies and in different forms at all stages of life, Shepard Thinking Animals analyzes fairy tales child, folktales juvenile and myths adult, concluding that the last is the most revealing source of information about how people relate to the nonhuman world. He reviews the sources of biblical natural history and parable, and he discusses the ``nightmare of domestication.'' Shepard argues that the benefits to other species of being domestic are fictitious; they are merely slaves. Additional topics include animals in language, the cult of the cow and the rise of pastoralism, augury and the biblical zoo. Illustrations not seen by PW. Dec.
Library Journal
Shepard's Man in the Landscape, 1967 dry, academic prose is bogged down with so much jargon that it obscures his argument that human beings use animals as a metaphor to define themselves. Shepard draws upon myth, philosophical writing, and religious tradition to make his point, but his conclusions do not always seem to follow logically from his background material. Not for popular collections.-Laurie Tynan, Montgomery Cty.-Norristown P.L., Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559634342
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 814,293
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Encounter 3
Pt. I The Animal Fare
1 The Ecological Doorway to Symbolic Thought 15
2 The Swallow 28
Pt. II Cognition
3 The Skills of Cognition: Pigeonholes, Dinosaurs, and Hobbyhorses 43
4 Savanna Dreaming: The Fox at the Fringe of the Field 58
Pt. III Identity
5 The Self as Menagerie 71
6 Aping the Others 81
7 The Ecology of Narration 90
8 Membership 99
Pt. IV Change
9 The Masters of Transformation 117
10 Heads, Faces, and Masks 127
11 The Pet World 140
12 The Gift of Music 153
13 Ontogeny Revisited: Teddy, Pooh, Paddington, Yogi, and Smokey 167
Pt. V The Cosmos
14 The Meaning of Dragons and Why the Gods Ride on Animals 175
15 Augury and Holograms 195
16 Bovine Epiphanies: Fecundity and Power 205
17 Lying Down with Lambs and Lions in the Christian Zoo 222
18 Hounding Nature: The Nightmares of Domestication 243
Pt. VI Counterplayers
19 The Miss Muffet Syndrome: Fearing Animals 271
20 Cuckoo Clocks and Bluebirds of Happiness: Animals as Machines 278
21 The Great Interspecies Confusion 284
22 Final Animals and Economic Imperatives 291
23 Rights and Kindness: A Can of Worms 304
24 The Many and the Fuzzy: Plurality and Ambiguity 321
Notes 335
Acknowledgments 357
Index 359
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