Just a plaything for your pet cat?

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Animals are not merely passive 'others' in our world, argues Erica Fudge. In fact, by their very 'otherness' they help us define ourselves - as well as drive our technology.
When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me rather than I with her?" When Michel de Montaigne asked himself this question in the late 16th century he was continuing a philosophical tradition that took animals as the limit point of human understanding. Going back to the second century AD, and the work of Sextus Empiricus, and continuing through Montaigne to the present in Jacques Derrida's recent work, animals have put into question humanity's assertion of its all-powerful knowingness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-19
Number of pages2
JournalTimes Higher Education Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2002


  • pet cat
  • history
  • animals
  • humanities


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