Conférence de Roberto Ferrari : The animal experience of contact. Zoo-phenomenology of the present moment.

Le séminaire sur l’animal des Archives Husserl recevra le samedi 25 mai de 14h à 16h00, à l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm, en salle Celan

Roberto Ferrari (Université de Bologne) pour une conférence intitulée The animal experience of contact. Zoo-phenomenology of the present moment

 

Résumé/Abstract

How is animal’s life “from within”?

The animal experience is an event characterized by a double nature : on one side is unity and relationship, with no separate entities, spatial maps or any idea of past and future. On the other, is a living action-perception-environment sphere (Umwelt) self-organized and in a state of absorption (Googlesphere-VReality). His identity is not an entity but the feeling to be at stake, as observed with neuro-imaging (Rilling, 2007) of chimpanzees.

 

Quite often it is forgotten that the living unity is continuously exposed to breakdowns (F.Varela). These breakdowns are contacts with the unknown, accompanied by the emotional tone of “shaking” (M. Heidegger): a lion ousted by a younger male after three years of domination, loses its “lion-ness”.

 

When collapse is absorbed, it produces a new generation of living worlds and identities. Enaction (F. Varela) is a non-representative, phenomenological model of production of new Umwelt. Case study is the tropical termite nest: how does the organism become so coherent and integrated with its surroundings? Where does order come from? And how is this order stored and transmitted? How does it faces dryness?

 

The aim of phenomenology is to reconstruct the meanings of things, to connect the living beings to their worlds again. The aim of this work is to investigate both this co-production of animal worlds, and the moment of animal contact-breakdown. The feeling of de-meaning and contingent existence can be the embodiment of a radical phenomenological aporia?

 

Hence, in relation to animal rights, we assert that animals feel existence like humans. If we are able to feel it, we empathize with their bewilderment, compassionately. So we can ask ourselves: the capacity of building undivided worlds is giving dignity to animals enough? Or should we give full dignity also to their alertness and anguish, for the fragility of their worlds and the upcoming collapses?

Audrey Lasserre

Chargée de mission

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