Practices of Approximation
18 July 2019


During the meeting we will discuss three texts about possible “practices of approximation” in relation to animals, birds and plants. Vinciane Despret investigates cases in which the body of the scientist researching animals becomes actively mobilized in a particular form, namely, that of a mediating device. Fahim Amir analyses how in a very short space of time the image of pigeons had been transformed from epitomizing the beautiful, the health-giving and the good, to being urban pests and ugly disease-carriers. Michael Marder examines the possibility of an ethical treatment of plants grounded in empathy.

Reading list:
1. Vinciane Despret, Is it all right to urinate in front of animals?, in: What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions?, 2016, pp. 15-20
2. Fahim Amir, Rats with wings, in: dérive 51, 2013 (German version); Eurozine (English version) (
3. Michael Marder, The Life of Plants and the Limits of Empathy, in: Dialogue / Volume 51 / Issue 02 / June 2012, pp 259 273 (

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