Writer with animals, meets Vinciane Despret in Monaco

And this world may well inspire us to other ways of being human on Earth. An original thought that the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation invites us to discover at the Grimaldi Forum on June 7 on the occasion of PhiloMonaco Week organized by Monaco Philosophical Meetings.

Man is not only at the center of all environmental issues, he is at the center of our entire vision of the world. It is calledanthropocentrism. A view to reconsider if we are to imagine a different future for man on the planet. For years, philosopher and psychologist Vinciane Despret has documented through several books the relationships we have with animals whose intelligent observation could guide us on the path to a more sustainable humanity. Her thoughts decoded in a few words before she met her on June 7 in Monaco at the invitation of the Prince Pierre Foundation.

Do you know the ethology?

Vinciane Despret was born in Anderlecht, Belgium, and is educated in philosophy and psychology. During her studies, she developed a passion for ethology, or thescientific research behavior of animals whose pioneers are Charles Darwin, entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre or biologist Jakob von Uexküll, and one of the most famous founders, the Austrian Konrad Lorenz. Inspired by the sociologist and anthropologist Bruno Latour and especially Isabelle Stengers, with whom she defended her thesis, Vinciane Despret turned to the philosophy of science and decided to follow ethological scientists in the field, as close as possible to their practice, in order to better understand how they manage to make the subject of their studies more interesting.

Altruism in birds.

From then on, she never stops questioning the relationship we have with animals. His first works thus relate to the work of ethologists with New Zealand parrots. Some of his works are called Babler dance, His horse that could count, What would animals say if … we asked them the right questions? or Live like a bird. Recently, The autobiography of an octopus, is written this time in a fictional state. Published in 2015 after his sister’s death, one of his famous works, To the happiness of the dead, explores the diversity of relationships that the dead and the living, despite the commandment to mourn, can maintain. Vinciane Despret offers a unique vision of the world and helps us to imagine other ways of being human on Earth.

Write with animals.

According to the philosopher William James, “earthly things not only have personal lives,” but they weave together real stories that make up the structure of the universe. Other philosophers and historians have since noted the possibility that animals have to “mean”, with signs and clues, in a way that Michel Serres associates with the writing regime. People would therefore not be the only ones to tell stories nor participate in the writing of history. This idea, which Ursula K. Le Guin develops in her fictional stories, translates into certain scientific works, where the possibility of writing with the living appears, in closely connected stories. Stories that would update the proposal put forward by Jakob von Uexküll in Animal worlds and the human world “Each subject weaves relationships like so many spider threads with specific properties of things, and intertwines them to create a network that carries its existence.”

Meeting with Vinciane Despret
Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at 18.30, Grimaldi Forum Monaco

Free admission – Reservation recommended at www.fondationprincepierre.mc
Information: (+377) 98 98 85 15

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