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The Human Being, this Strange Animal. The Origins of Language, Culture and Thought (L’Homme, cet étrange animal)



Original Language: French | 368 pp. | 2012

2 Seas Represents: World excl. French, Japanese & Lithuanian rights

Rights sold: Japan (Shin-Yo-Sha), Lithuania (Zara)


“The author, with remarkable clarity, reviews the most recent research…” — Maurice Godelier, La Recherche

“Whether scientists, literary or philosophers, this beautiful book, a veritable encyclopedia of great richness, is for everyone.” — Pierre Attali, Cahiers rationalistes

“A remarkable work. From time to time, a return to the roots is good. A must read!” — European Social Area

“It is the merit of this book to explore with pedagogy and in a living style the advances in the disciplines that have changed our vision of humanity.” — Science and Future

“Do you still have questions about the man? The answer is in this book.” —

“For a long time paleoanthropology has been searching for its missing link, in vain. The social sciences and humanities are more fortunate because they have found Jean-François Dortier.” — Pascal Picq

A strange animal appeared on earth two million years ago. He began to speak, to make tools, to produce works of art, to bury his deeds and to invent gods.

How can we explain the emergence of these new behaviours? Is there a hidden relationship between them?

Research on animal cultures, the emergence of language, the evolution of the brain, the origins of art and religion constantly renews the question of “man’s own”.

“More than two million years ago, somewhere in the African savannah, this strange animal appeared. This primate was unlike any other. While mammals are four-legged, he stood up and walked on both legs; while all primates have their bodies covered with hair, he was a “naked monkey”. But it was above all by its behaviour that this strange animal would distinguish itself.”