In the fall of 2013, I took a seminar on the way the boundary between humans and animals has been characterized throughout the history of western philosophy and science. The seminar itself has brought me great joy and perhaps some small share of wisdom (certainly a very early discussion exposed to me a prejudice I held and perhaps still hold), and the readings have been stimulating—some stimulating enough to result in posts here. This page collects those posts, as well as any others on the topic that will come after the course is, sadly, concluded.


On the Accusation of Sophistry in Plutarch’s “Beasts are Rational” (September 4, 2013)
Addendum to my previous post (September 4, 2013)

Herman Melville

A violence against reason: Bartleby versus human nature (September 24, 2013)

Johann Gottfried von Herder

Emerson in conversation with Herder I: Scholars and the Invention of Language (October 15, 2013)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Two metaphors in Coleridge’s “Theory of Life” (October 17, 2013)
Is Science Rational (October 18, 2013)

Friedrich Nietzsche

An impossible argument in Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations (November 09, 2013)
Scientific and Analogical History (November 09, 2013)
Nietzsche at Sea (November 10, 2013)

Michel de Montaigne

Skepticism at the margins V: On the possibility of pure zoomorphism (December 02, 2013)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Circumstance and principle (April 16, 2014)

D.H. Lawrence

Self and circumstance (April 26, 2014)

  1. 2014/04/17 at 17:47

    Sounds fascinating. Thanks for visiting FrayedDustjackets; I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • 2014/04/17 at 17:50

      And, in my turn, I look forward to having a place to discuss literature with people other than myself.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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