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« Borrowing a phrase from Brian Leiter: The Texas Taliban | Main | A Text Without Content (Dean) »

March 16, 2010


Culture is not just for primates alone, it's even for the fish!

Who is to say that one day, when biologists have more sensitive means of measurement, that they won't find that fish have been all along been communicating in ways unknown and imperceptible to us 'stupid humans'.

I've been reading 'Eating Animals' by Jonathan Safran Foer, and while the tales of cruelty in the factory farms are horrific, couldn't help feeling that his language was too much informed by the 'chain of being' concept to make sense to me when he was pleading the case for vegetarianism/veganism. His target readership was evidently from a totally Western background.

"... how linguistic monopoly affects science." Could it be that de Waal's article was motivated more by this than by the work of Imanishi? One rarely hears such a complaint from a Westerner of any professional standing. And why just science? Language is used as a bludgeon in all spheres of life. I am glad that I am not alone in feeling victimized by the arrogance of native Anglophones. This despite the fact that my English language skills are superior to most natives I meet.

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