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What Animals Teach Us about Politics

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | What Animals Teach Us about Politics.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Brian Massumi(Author)

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In What Animals Teach Us about Politics, Brian Massumi takes up the question of "the animal." By treating the human as animal, he develops a concept of an animal politics. His is not a human politics of the animal, but an integrally animal politics, freed from connotations of the "primitive" state of nature and the accompanying presuppositions about instinct permeating modern thought. Massumi integrates notions marginalized by the dominant currents in evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and philosophy-notions such as play, sympathy, and creativity-into the concept of nature. As he does so, his inquiry necessarily expands, encompassing not only animal behavior but also animal thought and its distance from, or proximity to, those capacities over which human animals claim a monopoly: language and reflexive consciousness. For Massumi, humans and animals exist on a continuum. Understanding that continuum, while accounting for difference, requires a new logic of "mutual inclusion." Massumi finds the conceptual resources for this logic in the work of thinkers including Gregory Bateson, Henri Bergson, Gilbert Simondon, and Raymond Ruyer. This concise book intervenes in Deleuze studies, posthumanism, and animal studies, as well as areas of study as wide-ranging as affect theory, aesthetics, embodied cognition, political theory, process philosophy, the theory of play, and the thought of Alfred North Whitehead.

"This is a truly brilliant book, one of Brian Massumi's best. More than anyone else I have read, Massumi makes real progress in untangling the relationship between play, sympathy, politics, and animality. What Animals Teach us About Politics provides a fascinating and persuasively non-subject-centered account of sympathy, and it goes a long way toward helping us to see how the practice and theorization of 'politics' would be radically refigured within a process-ontology."--Jane Bennett, author of"Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things" (03/04/2014)"In a remarkable work of speculative thought, Brian Massumi reimagines what politics can be when we ramify the importance of play its excesses, surpluses, and transformative energies and how it intimately binds human beings to other forms of life. This is not the 'animal, ' and the 'politics, ' you thought you knew."--Cary Wolfe, author of "Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame ""For those ready and willing to navigate the complexity of What Animals Teach Us about Politics, Massumi is a brilliant thinker who has produced another incisive critique that is likely to elicit interesting scholarship and responses, both from his immediate interlocutors and anyone else looking for a way out of humanity. --Liam Mayes "Montreal Review of Books """[C]omplex, dazzling, and sometimes elusive central essay bolstered by various addenda (propositions, supplements, and lavishlyintricate endnotes) presents an intensely ratiocinative meditation on how animals play and what that might mean for people."--Randy Malamud"Common Knowledge" (09/01/2015)""[A]n active book aimed at establishing a new understanding of politics. It is thus useful for anyone who wants to approach politics from a new perspective, one that does not limit the political to that which is already given, but one that opens politics up to creative potentialities and affectivity."--Colleen Harmer"Limina" (12/11/2015)

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Book details

  • PDF | 152 pages
  • Brian Massumi(Author)
  • Duke University Press (15 Aug. 2014)
  • English
  • 6
  • Science & Nature

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Review Text

  • By Paul Ennis on 1 February 2016

    In this book a human gives up and starts to ask animals to think for us.


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