By Sarah E. McFarl, Ryan Hediger, Sarah E. McFarland
This assortment examines the query of nonhuman animal organization via transferring emphasis from the human point of view towards that of alternative animals, exploring modes of animal resistance to human behaviors, and contemplating the methods the presence of animals refracts human notions like corporation and species.
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Additional resources for Animals and Agency (Human-Animal Studies)
7. 24 traci warkentin affordance) appears in the form of a moving, warm, sweaty mammalian body. Her world must seem (feel, smell) radically different from one’s human world, in terms of scale, time and space, and in terms of what is of vital, sensory importance. ”5 While vividly effective, the image of the umwelt as a bubble can be somewhat misleading. One might assume a kind of extreme disconnection arising from the bubble, and so imagine that there is no possibility of common or shared experience.
If affordances are understood as perceptual opportunities for action, then to assert that a being perceives affordances in the environment assumes that being has an awareness of its environment and of social relations within it. It further assumes a being’s capacity to perceive possible actions available in that environment. These assumptions coincide with the notion of a reciprocity of perception36 between beings, the understanding that just as I can see other animals in my perceptual field, so too can I be seen (smelled, heard, touched, tasted) by them.
Colin Smith (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1962). 37 David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-thanhuman World (New York: Random House, Inc, 1996), 67. , italics added. 35 whale agency 31 Appreciating the perceptual experiences of animals in phenomenological and non-mechanical terms further accommodates notions that individuals learn from their unique experiences, and can remember and apply such learning in later situations. Such flexibility and agency in adaptability disturbs assumptions that all animals are born with a fixed set of instinctual responses, programmed to be expressed when the proper stimulus is presented.