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Naturalism is whacking the arts harder than the sciences: “Cross-species rhetoric”?


Naturalism = nature is all there is and humans are not special. Human consciousness, including reason, is an illusion.

From Joshua Mayo at First Things:

Take the burgeoning subfield of Animal Rhetorics, where theorists now use Aristotle and Derrida to study non-human communication. Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) collaborators are calling on scholars to recover “rhetorical theory in a cross-species context” and transcend “western religio-philosophical traditions that encourage anthropocentrism.” Say nothing of the helter-skelter philosophy that this enterprise represents. The academic agenda is explicit: The humanities ought to move in a non-human direction.

Most people who care about higher education have a handful of similar stories, projecting a dismal forecast for the liberal arts. There are certainly enough of them to go around. Whether it is Whitmanian web-surfing or canine elocutio, these anecdotes lend some dark humor to our present prospects. We laugh, but it is the pained laughter of a Samuel Beckett audience. Welcome to Endgame U, students. Your professors are Drs. Hamm, Clov, Nagg and Nell.More.

Sow the wind…

Of course animals communicate. But they don’t use reason (conveniently a dead category, right?).

You thought it was all a joke. Progressives didn’t. And you will be compelled to support any number of adventures that cannot in any sense be serious disciplines.

The main beneficiaries, apart from the profs fronting this stuff, are students who do not need to learn actual arts disciplines which,  take it from someone who has been there,  were – at one time – a lot of work. – O’Leary for News

See also: Mock at your peril! Naturalism is a jealous fraud

Are apes entering the Stone Age?

Nearly 50% Americans now think humans arenot special

Reasoning: the process of thinking about something in a logical way in order to form a conclusion or judgment : the ability of the mind to think and understand things in a logical way Planning an attack that cuts off all possible retreats is reasoning. Picking out the biggest nut is also a form of reasoning. Biggest nut = more food. Crows use tools to get what they want. And yes, that would also be a form of reasoning. ET
None of this is reason or abstract thought. News
When chimps attack monkeys they definitely communicate and reason. I have seen blue jays pick up a shelled peanut only to drop it in favor of a larger shelled peanut. They actually test both and choose the largest. Squirrels do the same thing. They will drop a smaller nut in favor for a walnut. ET
Of course animals communicate. But they don’t use reason (conveniently a dead category, right?).
What do you mean by "reason"? We know they can think, and their cognitive abilities have been tested, so it's not obvious where you're drawing the line. Bob O'H

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