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Penser le comportement animal


Penser le comportement animal

Contribution à une critique du réductionnisme


Penser le comportement animal
Contribution to a Critique of Reductionism
How to characterise behaviour? How to develop a fairer ethology, as much in terms of understanding the behaviour as of needs, of animals dominated by man?

isbn :  978-2-7592-0400-7
Release :  21/01/2010
Nb of pages :  416
Reference : 02174
Language : French
Editor :  Quae
Co-editor :  MSH
Collection : 
Natures sociales


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Saying that an animal behaves with respect to people around him means what? Behaviour is made up of a type of demonstration that only belongs to certain living beings; it forms a constant, spontaneous flow that is unavoidably destroyed by a segmented study. And yet, these brief behavioural sequences isolated in the laboratory are what we choose to study. But are we still dealing with behaviour? Have we not thus reduced it to one of its constituent components: physiological mechanisms, genetic programme, cognitive operations, etc.? It is therefore important to wonder about the reasons for the predominance of laboratory studies and the potential benefits from such a production of knowledge. For these methods determine in particular living conditions for millions of mammals and birds raised for consumption. Unlike this reductionist perspective, behaviour is understood by phenomenological approaches such as the expression of a freedom, a dialectic relationship with the environment. These impose themselves by the same token as conditions of observation in the natural environment. How to develop henceforth a fairer ethology, as much in terms of understanding the behaviour as of needs, in the widest sense, of animals dominated by man?