On the Animal Trail

Original title: Sur la piste animale

Publication Date:

April 2018



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

World English (Polity)
Germany (Reclam)
Italy (Nottetempo)
Spanish (Spain) (Errata Naturae)
Argentina (Ediciones Isla Desierta)
Japan (offer received)


Animals & Nature

On the Animal Trail

Original title: Sur la piste animale


Morizot practices an entirely new genre of experimental philosophy: he shuns thought experiment, seeking instead to experience how non-human animals perceive the world by looking for traces of their actions and, eventually, encountering some of them. Tracking wolves in the Alps, bears in Yellowstone or snow panthers in Kyrgyzstan is not for him the mere hobby of a nature-lover, it is a deeply philosophical exercise: it means experimenting the world from the point of view of other animals, hence partially transforming one’s body into their body so as to imagine what it is to inhabit a place from a non-human perspective. Philippe Descola, author of Beyond Nature and Culture​

(Mondes Sauvages)

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.

Marketing Information

  • Over 15,000 copies sold
  • English sample available