Friday, December 24, 2010

Animals get high in order to relieve boredom.

As most of you know, I remain fundamentally suspicious of philosophical anthropologies. That is to say, I have trouble believing there is a single trait shared by all beings we want to call human, that does not exist for any of those plenitude of beings we don't want to call human. Most attempts to create a clear dividing line between human animals and other animals tend to fall into one of two categories. The first is to claim some trait and say only humans have it, when other animals clearly have it, like claiming only humans have self-consciousness. The second way is to claim some action that exists only for some humans as if it defines humanity, like saying that other animals may have language, but only humans have poetry. There is a third way, of course, claiming that the inability to define the human is the special definition of the human. But as Adorno put it in Negative Dialectics, "That we cannot tell what man is does not establish a peculiarly majestic anthropology; it vetoes any anthropology." Lastly, the inability to establish a proper philosophical anthropology should come as no surprise to any of us. Evolutionary patterns tend to repeat themselves, and it seems unlikely that in all of the rest of beings subject to evolution, that we would be special and unique. Humanism always reeks of transcendentalism.

Anyway, I end up collecting information on all the stuff various other animals do that we usually only think of humans doing. Mostly other people give me this, but I always appreciate it. Well, it makes perfect sense, but it seems that some animals consume hallucinogenic fungi in order to relieve boredom (also, animals get bored, take that Heidegger). What I link to mostly talks about reindeer, but other animals do so as well.