On the Animal Trail
Original title: Sur la piste animale
NATURE | ANIMALS
Preface by Vinciane Despret
The work brings new life to the wild and enriches our own inner worlds.
From the forests of Yellowstone to the peaks of Kirghizstan and Haut-Var steppes or an apartment balcony, Baptiste Morizot offers a different approach to nature: as he calls it, “philosophical tracking”. We are invited to become detectives of nature and to follow the trail of extraordinary, often mythical creatures – bears, wolves, and snow panthers.
By deciphering and interpreting paw prints and signs, we gradually discover not only their animal perpetrator but also the animal’s motives. We get to experience that unique animal perspective and learn to live through the eyes of other living beings to create a singularly enhanced experience of nature. Through his various animal tracking tales, Baptiste Morizot gives us a chance to “enforest” ourselves, as Canadian trackers in the Great North say – to enter the forests of the tundra, wastelands or kitchen gardens and let their forest inhabit us. We learn how to pay increased attention to the living world around us and inside us and to cohabit with it. These encounters with living beings become moments for philosophical enquiry, revealing our relationship with the wild. They tell us about the inner-animal inside us. We learn how we can cohabit with grizzly bears and the virtues we share with the snow panther.
Baptiste Morizot is a writer and lecturer in philosophy at the University of Aix-Marseille. His work is devoted to the relationship between the human and living and is based on extensive fieldwork, especially in tracking wild animals. He has also written Diplomates. Cohabiter avec les loups sur une autre carte du vivant (Wildproject, 2016).