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Humans and Animals: DAY AT THE ZOO

MEET AT THE COWS, GOATS, PIGS, AND PONIES (area 15 on the zoo map)

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Let us meet at the Zoo on a bright, sunny day and talk about the animals. How are humans alike? unlike?

The story of our engagement with animals in philosophy goes back as far as Aristotle, who called humans the 'rational animal'. Another obvious entry point is Descartes, who viewed non-human animals essentially as machines.

Are animals good? For Socrates, goodness comes with reason. For Jesus, it is love. In the movies, the worst of villians are portrayed as completely lacking love and reason. If animals are likewise lacking, are they properly understood as vicious beasts??? Or does this appeal to a model of de-humanization historically reserved for our enemies.  It may seem obvious animals should be insulated from such judgments.  Yet we easily admit a distinction.  What good is there in doing so?


Does language separate us? The capacity to suffer?

How about connection to the natural world? Daoism praises the simplicity and naturalness of animals and advocates that we emulate them.

These are just examples of what we can talk about as we walk around together.

Let's go to the zoo.

MEET AT THE COWS, GOATS, PIGS, AND PONIES (area 15 on the zoo map), which I think is also considered the Childrens Zoo   Just in case, here's my number[masked]-4648. You can text me, please identify yourself :]

1987 Lincoln Park Zoo Commerical "It's New!"

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  • Charlie

    how was the meetup you guys? did you finally figure out that meat is murder? ;-P

    July 22, 2013

    • Charlie

      hint: this is not a threat, im just trying to play on on your emotions (i.e. fear of death), something we share with the rabbit :-)

      July 26, 2013

    • Ivo

      Dealing with the traffic is more than enough for me. (slower traffic keep left, driving in the middle of two lanes slowly, making turn from the middle lane and naturally stopping first for pedestrians or upcoming traffic, parking on two spots, and off-course been slow no mater what - why - because the processes thinking is slow...so...) So, rather spend the time dancing...

      July 26, 2013

  • Chad B.

    We are all pawns of the lettuce.

    1 · July 21, 2013

  • Richard McAvoy S.

    Sorry I couldn't attend due to a serious summer cold and allergies. I would have enjoyed the chance to commune with the Flora and fauna and the Philosophers,of course, lovers of wisdom and seekers after truth,beauty, and goodness, in its myriad manifestations of an afternoon at the zoo.

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very glad to meet everyone!

    1 · July 20, 2013

  • Benji

    Sad face hate missed you guys but enjoyed my visit

    July 20, 2013

  • Benji

    Ok parked where are we walking to entrance from conneticut lol

    July 20, 2013

  • Benji

    Omg I been riding in circles fir 30 minutes trying to park ugh any suggestions besides $35 lot

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wait I think I c it

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't find the entrance

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Almost theree

    July 20, 2013

  • Brian

    we are at the yellow " house" that's raised

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will b there in 15 minutes or so.

    July 20, 2013

  • Benji

    Hey peeps im behind schedule but on my way how will I catch up with others[masked]

    July 20, 2013

  • Brian

    One thought I'm working out: To know something, is to know its reason or cause. When we identify ourselves as 'rational animal', we are trying to understand ourselves in terms of 'the higher' in some way. In contrast, to say the reason for humanity is [ insert biological/evolutionary explanation] is to understand us in terms of the 'lower.' But I think it is important that 'the higher' doesn't mean *superior* because really all we've done is evaluate what we are in order to enable talking about what is good for us in an orderly way.

    1 · June 17, 2013

    • Tom

      Rational animal? We should be identified as pseudo-rational animals.

      July 19, 2013

    • Chad B.

      July 19, 2013

  • Benji

    Is this event child friendly

    July 19, 2013

    • Brian

      Sure. it's really a casual event since we're mostly just walking around a small zoo with 35+ philosophers. You can feel it out and come-and-go as you wish

      July 19, 2013

  • Charlie

    oh crap, i really want to go, especially being like the only "animal rights" activist among you all, but i got this paper thats kicking my ass to do... :-/

    July 15, 2013

  • Richard McAvoy S.

    A chance to try on the Franciscan Spirit and escape the maddening capitalistic slant dead end and definitely not "the Words of everlasting life."(St Peter, Plotinus,Marcel, Hesse,Whitehead,& Ecocritics.

    July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This seems like a meetup ripe for a lot of scientific discourse & debate, heh.

    June 17, 2013

    • Brian

      Yes! If you can get the animals to consent heh

      June 17, 2013

    • Chad B.

      Zoo animals all agree to an implied social contract.

      June 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wish I could come :/ But below is Berger's essay on looking at animals if anyone wants to take a look :] http://artsites.ucsc.edu/faculty/gustafson/FILM%20161.F08/readings/berger.animals%202.pdf

    1 · June 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Interesting.

      June 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      XD

      June 19, 2013

  • Adam

    Damn, I have plans already.

    June 17, 2013

  • Cathy

    I might be terribly jet-lagged, but I'll try to make it.

    June 17, 2013

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