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What is Philosophical Ethology?

July 22, 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Tree of life by Hartwig HKD

A CCAT EVENT: What is Philosophical Ethology? An afternoon symposium.

Guest Presenters: Prof. Roberto Marchesini (Director, School of Human-Animal Interaction, Bologna, Italy), A/Prof. Brett Buchanan (Laurentian University, Canada), A/Prof. Jeffrey Bussolini (City University of New York, NY), and Dr. Matthew Chrulew (Curtin).

The Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT), the Reading Culture, Animality and Technology Discussion Group (RCAT), and the Curtin Posthumanism and Technology Research Program would like to invite you to attend an afternoon symposium and roundtable discussion with leading international scholars from the fields of posthumanism, animal studies and critical theory.


Ethological research of the last few decades has taught us that “culture” and “technology” are not the unique possessions of humankind. Long-term observational studies of animals from chimpanzees to Arabian babblers have revealed among nonhuman societies a great variety of behaviours and mediations irreducible to genetic or environmental determination. These empirical findings challenge many long-held assumptions regarding the mechanicity of animal life and the exceptionality of human worlds. Yet their consequences have rarely been accounted for, let alone rigorously drawn out, among the humanities and social sciences. This half-day symposium will take a step in this direction by asking: what is philosophical ethology? Three special issues of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities have been devoted to introducing this field, presenting the work of important thinkers: Dominique LestelVinciane Despret and Roberto Marchesini (forthcoming). In this symposium, speakers working at the intersection of philosophy, anthropology, cultural theory, environmental humanities and animal studies will explore the reconfiguration of concepts of humanity and animality that follows from the ethological revolution.


Roberto Marchesini (Director, Scuola Interazione Uomo Animale and Centro Studi Filosofia Postumanista, Bologna, Italy)

Brett Buchanan (Director, School of the Environment and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Laurentian University, Canada)

Jeffrey Bussolini (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, City University of New York, USA)

Matthew Chrulew (Research Fellow, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University, Australia).


Please RSVP your attendance by 15th July to matthew.chrulew@curtin.edu.au. Early responses are encouraged and appreciated as attendance is limited.

Image: Tree of life by Hartwig HKD


July 22, 2015
12:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Curtin University
Bentley, WA Australia


Matthew Chrulew