The body we care for. Figures of anthropo-zoo-genesis

The body we care for
Figures of anthropo-zoo-genesis
Vinciane Despret[1]
Published in 2004, In M. Akrich et M. Berg, (éds.) Body and Society. Special Issue on « Bodies on Trial ». Sage Publications (London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi). Vol. 10 (2-3) : 111-134.
What really exists is not things made but things in the making.
William James[2].
One morning of September 1904, in Berlin, thirteen gentlemen belonging to different spheres of social life, came together in a courtyard in Griebenow street, in the north of the town, to work together. They had never worked together before. Some of them had never even met. One of them was director of the Institute of psychology, Professor Stumpf; another was director of the local zoo, Dr. Heck. Mr. Hahn was teacher at the Municipal school; Dr. Miessner was veterinarian; one of the gentlemen was a Major retired from the army; another was an aristocrat. Paul Busch was simply a circus-manager. The courtyard they were working in belonged to another citizen, Mr. von Osten, a former teacher of mathematics at the Berlin Gymnasium. This gentleman was also present at the meeting. Throughout the day, all these persons asked questions to one of the famous pupils of this time, the pupil of Mr. von Osten, Hans. They asked him to solve multiplication and division problems, and to extract square roots. Hans was also requested to spell words and, among other tests, to discriminate colors or tones and intervals in music. Not only did Hans answer with good will, but he also answered most of the questions correctly. He was around 4 years old. However, the most astonishing fact was not his young age. Hans answered questions by tapping his right foot on the floor. Hans was a horse.
How could a horse do that? This was the question these gentlemen were called upon to resolve. This story actually began a few months earlier, when a local newspaper published an article relating the marvelous feats of the horse. Day after day, an increasing number of curious visitors had been coming to the courtyard to observe the horse and his master at work. Scientist and famous people followed. One of the most intense controversy of that time came into being: for some of the people who saw Hans, there were no doubts about the accomplishments of the horse, while for others, the story was nothing more than a tale of credulity founded on a fraud. Mr. von Osten, insulted by the suggestions of fraud, appealed to the Board of education in Berlin. A committee was therefore formed, consisting of the 13 gentlemen mentioned. After hours of work, they all agreed. No signals could be perceived; no tricks like those that are used in circus with trained animals could be noticed. But the best evidence was that Hans could answer to these gentlemen in his master’s absence!
Was Hans a genius? Some believed it. Or was he, as some suggested, a telepathist who could read in the mind of his questioner? Professor Stumpf, who led the commission, was careful when he wrote his report: no signals or tricks “which are at present familiar” seemed to be involved[3]. He insisted that this did not mean that Hans could be credited with having conceptual intelligence: this case, Stumpf concluded, is worthy of serious and incisive investigations. In other words, more research should be done.
One of Stumpf’s assistants at the University, the psychologist Oskar Pfungst, is therefore enrolled to solve the mystery. He goes to the courtyard where Hans lives and performs for the public, and asks questions to the bright horse. Clever Hans gives him correct answers. However, Pfungst does not credit Hans with conceptual intelligence, nor does he believe in some paranormal phenomenon. He is nevertheless convinced by the results obtained by Stumpf and the other witnesses: there are no tricks involved (otherwise the horse wouldn’t answer in his master’s absence). The solution should be elsewhere. Stumpf concludes in his report that he as well cannot notice any signals that are “at present familiar”. This is where the solution was: the horse must be reading cues that humans not only cannot perceive but which are given to him unintentionally! And Pfungst will find them.
The psychologist enrolls some of the gentlemen who have been working with the horse and begins to work. He carefully observes the questioners asking mathematical problems to Hans: as a matter of fact, no signals seem to be at work. However Pfungst still believe these signals are produced. How to find evidences of their existence? The trick is easy: if the questioner does not know the answer of the question he asks, he won’t be able to give these supposed signals, and the horse will fail to answer correctly, which will prove that unintentional signals are actually at work. Mr. von Osten asks Hans to repeat a number to another gentleman and leaves the courtyard. The later, who did not hear the number chosen, comes in and requests Hans to repeat it. Hans fails. If the questioner does not know the answer, the horse cannot find it. There are signals, then. Pfungst may now begin to try to find them. And he will. For hours and hours, he observes, experiments, puts to the test all the hypotheses: what happens if Hans cannot hear the question? The horse still counts. What happens if he cannot see the face of the questioner? Hans still counts. What happens if Hans cannot see the body of his questioner? He fails. The body is involved: Hans can read human bodies. Carefully comparing the different questioners, all the movements each one produces when he asks the question and waits for the final answer, comparing also the questioners who did not succeed in leading Hans to the success, Pfungst ends up at the solution. Unintentional minimal movements (so minimal that they were not perceived until now) are performed by each of the humans with whom Hans was successfully answering the questions. As soon as the questioner has given a problem to the horse, he involuntarily bents his head and trunk slightly forward (to look at the foot that was supposed to begin the tapping). The tension is growing; the attention is maintaining the questioner in that position. But as soon as the desired number of taps is given, the questioner releases his tension, and involuntarily makes a slight upward jerk of the head and the trunk. The horse just keeps his right foot on the floor. Each of the questioners observed by Pfungst produced these movements. And no one among them knew they were doing so, no one among them could notice their bodies were talking to the horse, telling him when to begin and when to stop. Each of them, but the horse, was ignorant of this astonishing phenomenon: their bodies were talking and moving against their will, outside the frame of their consciousness.

Clever bodies

Most interesting in this story is the way Pfungst decided to construct the problem. Yes, it was a beautiful case of influence, but it was moreover a wonderful opportunity to explore a fascinating question. Indeed, the horse could not count, but he could do something more interesting: not only he could read bodies, but he could make human bodies be moved and be affected, move and affect other beings and perform things without their owners’ knowledge of it. And this could be experimentally studied. Hans could become a living apparatus that enables to explore the very complicated links between consciousness, affects and bodies[4]. Hans could play the role of the device that, on the one hand, induces new articulations between conscious, affects, muscles, will, events “at the fringe” of consciousness[5] and that, on the other hand, makes these articulations visible. Hans, in other words, could become a device that enables humans to learn more about their bodies and their affects. Hans embodied the chance to explore other ways by which human and non-human bodies become more sensitive to each other.
Pfungst was so interested by this new access that he even created a typology of the human bodies according to their capacity for being affected and for being able to affect. Why did only a few persons receive responses regularly from Hans, whereas the majority of people were favored only occasionally? The most successful among the subjects who questioned Hans, he wrote, have ability and tact in dealing with animals (Pfungst 1988, p. 204). They have the power of intense concentration in expectation. They show a great facility for motor discharges or are gestually inclined: during infancy we are trained to keep all of our voluntary muscles under a certain measure of control. During the state of concentration (while working with Hans), this control is relaxed, and our musculature becomes the instrument for the play of non-voluntary impulses. Long dealings with very abstract thoughts, for example, weakens this capacity. Talented bodies also have the power to distribute the tension, to sustain it long enough and to relax it at the right moment. In sum, the questioner should embody his will of success (a sort of “you ought to” addressed to Hans) while ignoring it. And this embodiment may be qualified by two other terms: trust and interest. Trust and interest because the ones who succeeded with Hans did so as long as they were confident of success: when they don’t expect success, they fail (Ibid., p. 161).
Hans greatest feat, Pfungst explains, was to show an extremely keen reaction to every movement of the questioner. Horses, Pfungst ads, are generally excellent muscle-readers: they read the mind of their rider throughout the pressure of the bit. We know that in the case of perfectly trained horses, the rider’s mere thought of the movement that he expects the horse to make is seemingly sufficient to cause the animal to make it. Pfungst quotes Tolstoï story of the race opposing Count Wronskij, riding Frou-Frou and Machotin mounting upon Gladiator (from Ana Karenina): At he very moment when Wronskij thought it was time to overtake Machotin, Frou-Frou, divining her master’s thought, increased her pace considerably and without any incitement on his part. She began to come nearer to Gladiator from the more favorable, the near side. But Machotin would not give up. Wronskij was just considering that he might get past by making the larger circuit on the off-side, when Frou-Frou was already changing direction and began to pass Gladiator on that side (Ibid., p. 184).
Following Tolstoï, we may suggest that Hans’ greatest talent was to be able to switch from one sense (the sense of kinesthesia) to another one: the visual one. Talented horses generally read through their skin and their muscles; Hans could read all these signals visually. Hans was really talented.
Was, however, reading muscles and doing so visually his only actual talent? We should not conclude too fast. Of course, we will not propose to save his mathematical abilities; what Hans seems to be able to do is actually much more interesting. Jean-Claude Barrey[6], the French ethologist who has been working for years with horses, suggests construing the case in another manner. Rereading Tolstoï’s beautiful descriptions, he notes something very important. What Tolstoï described is nowadays known as the “isopraxis” phenomenon. Unintentional movement of the rider occurs, as Tolstoï suggested, when the rider thinks about the movements the horse should perform. The horse feels them and, simultaneously, reproducesthem. A careful analysis of these unintentional movements made by the human body has shown that these movements, in fact, are exactly the same as the ones the horse performs. The human’s right hand imitates (and anticipates) what the horse’s right front leg will do, the bottom of the back of the rider makes a jerk which is exactly the movement the horse will do to begin to run, and so on. In other words, according to Barrey, talented riders behave and move like horses. They have learned to act in a horse fashion, which may explain how horses may be so well attuned to their humans, and how mere thought from one may so simultaneously induce the other to move. Human bodies have been transformed by and in a horse body.
Who influences and who is influenced, in that story, cannot receive a clear answer anymore. Both, human and horse, are cause and effect of each other’s movements. Both induce and are induced, affect and are being affected. Both embody each other mind. Shouldn’t we therefore suggest the same for Hans and his questioners? If we can see, according to Pfungst hypothesis, how human bodies influence the horse’s answer through his peculiar sensitivity and talent, shouldn’t we also imagine the converse situation: the horse has taught to the humans, without their knowledge, what were the good gestures to perform (involuntarily)? Pfungst seems to hesitate. On the one hand, he assumes that all the gestures performed, but one, are “natural expressive movements”. But there is a gesture that seems not to obey this rule and might support our hypothesis, which could allow distributing the “influence” more fairly. When Pfungst asks to his questioners to think about the answer “null” or “zero”, he notes that the minimal gesture is not the same as when they are in the horse’s presence. When they concentrate on the thought “null” or “zero”, for Pfungst, the minimal gesture is a slight ellipse with the head; when they ask the horse, it is a shaking of the head that is observed, which is exactly the movement used by the horse to answer. How could it happen that humans replace their own spontaneous movements by the horse’s one unless we assume that Hans taught them the gestures he needed? Hans has made them move otherwise, he changed the habits of their bodies and made them talk another language. He taught them how to be affected differently in order to affect differently.
Another characteristic should lead us to suspect that Hans could actively “influence” his questioner. Pfungst, in the beginning of his research, observed that some questioners could receive, immediately, good answers from the horse, but failed in the following trials. By contrast, others needed what he called “some practice” but were performing better and better after a while. What could this “practice” mean? How to explain that they failed during the first trials and finally succeeded? Is it only human practice, as Pfungst assumes? We could suggest quite a different story: they had to learn to which cues Hans was sensitive, without knowing that they were learning. How could this happen? The practice was not on the questioner side only: Hans was teaching them what made him move. Hans the horse was as much leading them as the humans were leading him. Their human bodies were not only sensitive to their own will of making the horse succeed, they were also translating the horse’s will to help them to lead him successfully. Let us not miss that last point: Hans wouldn’t have done so well if he was not interested in the game, sometimes for other reasons than some of the humans. The hypothesis of him teaching to the human how to be moved testifies of his “preference for agreement”[7], in that he attempted to align his action with what was expected of him. In some ways, trust and interest, even for very different stakes, could be shared.  As well as the human bodies exhibited who were deeply involved and interested, Hans’ feats witness his capacity to be actively engaged in the game proposed, to give intense attention to minimal gestures expressing human desires, expectations and affects, and to respond to them with talent.

The Hans legacy: the bright and the dull rats

No matter how interesting this research was, this is not the way Hans’ story has been transmitted. Clever Hans has become famous in the history of psychology, but for quite different purposes: today, when the horse’s story is called upon, it involves very different stakes. The influence, which was for Pfungst the best way to study experimentally how bodies can articulate[8] differently, became, for modern psychologists, the threat to eradicate. At anytime Hans, the bright horse, is requested to testify about someone else, be it talking apes or intelligent ravens, I will argue, his testimony is always called upon to impoverish the range of explanations.
Rosenthal’s experiment illustrates this. About sixty years after the Clever Hans story, Rosenthal, a psychologist, decided to put the case to the test. The device is rather simple (1966): Rosenthal asks students enrolled in a laboratory course in experimental psychology to repeat the work on Maze-bright and Maze-dull rats, work done years ago by a famous experimental psychologist from Berkeley, Tryon. Many studies, Rosenthal explains to the students, have shown that continuous inbreeding of rats that do well on a maze leads to successive generations of rats that do considerably better than « normal » rats, and that continuous inbreeding of rats that do badly on a maze leads to successive generations of rats that do considerably worse than « normal » rats. Each student is assigned a group of rats to work with, some of them working with « bright » rats, while the others work with « dull » animals. Rosenthal tells his students that those who will be working with bright rats should find evidence of good performances, while those who will be working with dull should find little evidence of learning in their rats. The « Berkeley rats » are distributed to the students, at the beginning of the experiment.
The students tested the rats, and confirmed the effects of selection: the bright ones produced good performances in learning while the dull ones performed rather poorly.
What does Rosenthal’s experiment show us, as each rat did what was expected? These are exactly the terms in which the problem can be defined: each of these rats did exactly what was expected from him, and nothing else! All these 65 little rats, in fact, were naïve rats. They did not come from Berkeley; they were not the result of years of cautious inbreeding, and their grand-grand-grand-…father never heard about Tryon. Although the students had been told that the rats were different, they were only naïve albino rats, randomly labeled bright or dull. If I dare make the comparison, naïve students were running naïve rats.
Rosenthal, in fact, has only one aim: we have to find, he says, in the experiment, the little things that produce differences, these little things that affect the subjects to respond differently than they would if the experimenterwere literally an automaton[9]. These words are not given by chance, and the reference is meaningful. What does for Rosenthal the ideal of an automaton mean? Let us refer to the etymology: the auto-maton is the one who is moved by itself, and only by itself, that is the one who will not be moved, put in motion by others. In sum, it is the one who will not be affected, and therefore who will not affect, his object of study: an indifferent autonomous experimenter collecting indifferent data. As a matter of fact, the study of these “little differences” that Rosenthal wants to spot, these differences that affect the subject to respond differently was a marvelous idea. But Rosenthal’s idea was not to explore a world enriched and created by these differences, it was to mark them off as parasitic supplements that seriously contaminate the purity of the experiment. What is at stake is simple: the device is built in order to show and to elucidate how experimenters produce bias, in order to eradicate this bias, or at least, to neutralize its effects.
The question however remains: how did the students obtain results that confirmed their expectations, or, in Rosenthal’s words, how did all these differences work out to produce biased results? Rosenthal cannot give us clear answers. Certainly, he asserts the results are not due to intentional or other errors, each student being under close supervision. Rosenthal suggests that some emotional factors played a role: the bright rats were handled more gently, treated with more care, probably encouraged more. Moreover, the students had to fill in a questionnaire, after the test, and they had to characterize their relation with their rats, and how they felt about the experiment. The experimenters who worked with bright rats judged their rats to be more likable and more pleasant than did the experimenters running dull rats.
We can also, as Rosenthal suggests, consider the problem as a problem of power, and we may ask what would happen to a student whose results contradicted what he was supposed to find. Rosenthal has been cautious about that, and each student was told, before the experiment, that there would be no external sanction; the performances of the rats wouldn’t affect the performances (the grades) of the students. However, if the question is raised in these terms, in terms of the power of the experimenter, it seems to me that it burkes the real issue: the real power of science is not so much power as authority. Authority has to be understood here in the sense given by Gregory Bateson, i. e., a person is said to have authority, when anyone who is under the influence of that authority does as much as possible to make everything this person says be true.
Here we may suggest that Rosenthal missed the reflexive question. Indeed, if we assume this definition of authority, don’t we see that this is exactly what happened in this device? Students have done as much as possible, as much as they could, to make what Rosenthal says be true, because it mattered for them that it was. The Berkeley rat is a prestigious rat, from a prestigious university; Rosenthal is a famous professor, he is an authority. The relationship between him and his students has to be construed as a relation characterized by authority. Of course, we do not deny that the rats were called upon to perform accordingly to the expectations; but shouldn’t we say also that the students themselves acted beautifully to fulfill Rosenthal’s expectations? Should we say that the rats fulfilled more expectations than the students did? They all played the game, the best they could, as Hans and his questioners did. They all exhibited this “preference for agreement”; their will to achieve what was expected from each of them at different levels.
While Rosenthal complains about experiments, his own successfully provides a reproduction of the black box he wanted to open, black-boxing rats, students and himself together. He argues that the bright or the dull rats are not bright or dull in “reality”, they are produced in a “pseudo-reality”, the unreal field of by-products of beliefs, expectations, and illusions. Thereby, Rosenthal happens to split reality and to distribute what will be real and what will be effect of influence, interest, affects: there is Reality, per se, the collection of data by enthusiastic (and « automated ») scientists; here is subjectivity, construction, expectations, illusions.
What do we blame Rosenthal for? We blame him not to realize that the students are not more than the rats, in a « real reality », as long as they are activated by Rosenthal’s beliefs.
Beware of this: if we follow my criticism we are distributing even more than Rosenthal did! With Rosenthal, the distribution is done between the reality of the world (rats should be there but they are not, the student is there, and really deceived, both naïveté’s are guarantees of the real world) and the « reality » of the subject (i.e. false reality produced by beliefs, subjectivity, artifacts). With my criticism, neither the rats nor the students are in the reality of the world, as both are in the reality of the subject (rats being produced by students expectations, students being produced by Rosenthal’s expectations).
What is left? Almost nothing, I am afraid. Rosenthal duplicated the ontology (one false reality for the rat, one real for the student). We did not do better. In fact, we did worse: we actually emptied ontology. There is no more reality; our ironic distribution has completely cleared it. And we may wait, now, for someone to come to talk to us about our own beliefs, about Rosenthal fulfilling our expectations. How can we give back its role to reality?
To change this distribution[10] we may reconsider both the concept of authority and the parallelism between Rosenthal’s and the students’ expectations. What does Rosenthal do with his authority? The word’s etymology suggests to us the answer: he not only allows, but he alsoauthorizes. Shouldn’t we consider that what Rosenthal is doing, what his expectations and authority are doing, is to authorize a student to become a competent experimenter (not exactly in Rosenthal’s sense[11]), to become an experimenter able to make an intelligent rat exist (let us take the bright cases for our purpose, the others are just there to provide a contrast and to invite us to think about what it means « not to propose » to the animal to give the best of whatmay be expected). Therefore, we can acknowledge that the student-experimenter, while fulfilling Rosenthal’s expectations, is becoming a good experimenter in the « real reality », producing good realities; producing real rats becoming intelligent rats. The expectations of a good experimenter have authorized the rat to become competent; the authority of Rosenthal allows the student to be entitled to produce competent rats[12].
If we define expectations in terms of « which authorizes », we can see that everything is shifting, articulating many more things, giving chances to many more entities to belong to the real world. If Rosenthal authorized his student to become fine experimenters, able to bring into existence an intelligent rat, shouldn’t we then acknowledge the same role for the rat? Doesn’t it, in fulfilling the expectations of his student, authorize this one to become a competent experimenter able to create an intelligent rat? Exactly as we, in redistributing the influence more fairly between Hans and his questioners, could construe the situation as a situation in which Hans could enable the humans questioning him to gain a body that does more things, that feels other events, and that is more and more talented to lead him.
Instead of a clear-cut distribution that dramatically and paradoxically disorganizes reality, we now have an undetermined distribution that brings much more order. And, surprisingly enough, of this undetermined distribution, by which Rosenthal authorizes a student to authorize a rat, and by which a rat authorizes a student, we find, in some way, the hypothesis in Rosenthal’s text itself[13]. At one moment[14], we see Rosenthal suddenly possessed with perplexity: was it not the case that the rats have, in some way or another, influenced the student? Should we, then, regard the experimenters’ behavior toward his subject as antecedents or as consequents of the subject’s performance? Perhaps it makes most sense to regard experimenters’ behavior as both.
Let us pay attention to this new distribution. It allows us to give an active role to the rat. It allows us to give words back to the rat! This distribution authorizes us to authorize Rosenthal, the students, the rats; it authorizes us to be authorized by them: it allows us to transform a cascade of bad faith into its opposite, into a cascade of new existences raising new questions, a cascade of trust.
If with that question, Rosenthal seems to give a chance to the rat, we should mention that in the next sentence, he changes this distribution. The reasons for changing his mind appear soon: Rosenthal suddenly recall the famous Clever Hans’ case. The “influence” as the eternal source of error returns front stage. Why does Rosenthal suddenly seem to change his mind and come out with that story? The reason is clear: because he cannot accept transformations. He takes the most impoverished version of Hans’ marvelous story in order to remind us that the rats, finally, could not be real (of course, we all agree Hans could not count). These rats could not be affected nor they could affect their students in the process of gaining reality. And the most difficult is to convince his students of that! Because these students, after the experiment, and even aware of the real study that was conducted, continued to give their chance to their rat. Rosenthal comments, rather ironically, that the reaction of some students was a sudden increase in sophistication about sampling theory (…) Many of these experimenters pointed out that, of course, by random sampling, the 2 groups of rats would not differ on the average. However, they continued, under random sampling, some of the « dull » would be really dull by chance, and thattheir animal was a perfect example of such phenomenon. Caught between what their rats have taught them (we did perform as we did!) and what Rosenthal wanted to prove, the only way to solve the double bind was to give reality to the rat before the experiment!
How could they simultaneously trust their rats and their professor as long as science is defined as a process of revealing pre-existing reality instead of creating a becoming? How could they give faith to both?
Indeed, the whole matter is a matter of faith, of trust, and this is the way I suggest to construe the role of expectations, the role of authority, the role of events that authorizes and makes things become. It is because the students could (in the best cases, of course) trust their rats, because they have faith in what the rats were enable to perform, and in turn, because they could trust that the rats were going to enable them to be good experimenters, that the experience worked. Students that succeeded in transforming their rats into bright rats winned their trust; as much as these bright rats were winning the students’ trust. We may also consider that it is because the students had faith in Rosenthal’s propositions that they could fulfill his expectations, and take these expectations as their own ones.
Certainly, trust is rather problematic in a device in which someone is deceiving, and this is probably a difficulty that remains. But it is not difficult to imagine that even if Rosenthal didn’t lie, even if he had proposed to the students to take part to the experiment « as if » the rats were bright or dull, it would have worked. Anyhow, we may say that the students were reliable as long as they could fit in with Rosenthal’s expectations. And we may also admit that Rosenthal would not have done the whole thing if he didn’t trust the capacity of the students to fulfill his expectations, i. e., their capacity to make rats exist differently. The students, and this is still clearer, put their trust in their rats, emotional trust, trust that passes in the gestures, in students’ bodies, in all these rats’ bodies that were manipulated, caressed, handled, fed and encouraged: the students succeeded in attuning their rats to their beliefs. And this is the most interesting fact of this experiment — a fact that however is rather hard to grasp —, these beliefs brought into existence new identities for the students and for the rats. These emotional relations, made of expectations, faith, belief, trust, which link each rat to each student, disclose the very essence of the practice: this is a practice ofdomestication. As long as this practice proposes new ways to behave, new identities, it transforms both the scientist and the rat. Both the student and the rat transform the practice that articulates them into what we may call a « anthropo-zoo-genetic practice », a practice that constructs animal and human[15]. The rat proposes to the student, as well as the student proposes to the rat, a new manner of becoming together, which provides new identities: rats giving to students the chance of « being a good experimenter », students giving to their rats a chance to add new meanings to « being-with-a-human », a chance to disclose new forms of « being together ». Wasn’t that what we learned with Hans? The clever horse gave to his human questioners the chance of “becoming with a horse”, performing a body that a horse can read, acquiring a horse sensitivity, as well as the humans domesticating horses offer them a new identity: being a horse-with-human.
Trust, writes Isabelle Stengers, is one of the many names for love, and you can never be indifferent to the trust you inspire[16]. This trust that links together students and rats, this trust that produces occasions and domestication, may now allow us to redefine belief. If you define belief as « what it is », you always take the risk of ending up with notions of error, of deception: the scene is full of people believing that the others (wrongly and passively) believe. By contrast, if you define « beliefs », in a pragmatic way, not as « what it is », but as « what it makes », the scene is completely changed: it becomes a site full of new active entities that articulate differently. It will be the pragmatic definition that will lead our work: a belief is what makes « available » to the happening. It is because the students believed that their rats could be bright that both of them became available to the transformation of their identities: being good and bright rats, on the one hand; being careful (in the most literal sense) and accomplished experimenters, on the other. The articulations may even be more complicated: the bright rats were, in their « becoming bright », making each of their students available to their becoming scientists, as well as the students were making their rats available to create new relations with them. Indeed, the definition does not come down in favor of a « who » or a « what » that is made available to the happening. Letting it undetermined or hesitating allows much more entities to be active. Indeed, as long as we stay in the middle realm, we may disclose how an affected and affecting student makes himself available to the « becoming » of the rat, as well as how the rat makes itself available to the « becoming » of the student.
However, to make this definition practical, to articulate it with trust, we ought to disclose a contrast, a contrast between to “be available” and to “be docile”. We said that the student was, as much as the rat, available to an event they created together. But may we say the same about the rhesus that Harlow separated from his mother and peers, in order to measure the effects of an apparatus designed to create despair (also in order to make Harlow feel entitled to talk about love)[17]? Harlow’s only concern is to obtain monkeys that are docile to the experiment. How may we assume that a setting is designed to perform docility rather than availability? I think we can draw the difference from the possibility of « resistance »[18] that each of the setting offers to the one it addresses. Of course, the students « expect » something from their rats; but each of these rats may always resist what is said about him/her; what is expected from him/her. To fulfill expectations, to be available to other’s beliefs or concern is not to obey these expectations or beliefs. I find good evidence of it in this story.
We are still in Rosenthal’s experiment. A student experimenter comments on his work at the end of the process: Our rat, number X, was in my opinion extremely dull. This was especially evident during training for discrimination. However, as surprising as it can be, after analyzing the data this rat appeared to be one of the best of the dull category, even on discrimination test, and its results were very close to the bright category. It makes sense to think that this rat responded, but in its own way, to the expectancy, and that it cannot be said to have obeyed it. Of course, the prophecy was not fulfilled in that the rat resisted nicely; but this does not mean that both the rat and its experimenter were not, in a subtle way, available to something else that shows close links with trust. This appears when we read what the student adds:perhaps it might have been discouraging (to work with such a dull rat) but it was not. In fact, our rat had the « honor » of being the dullest in all the sections. I think that this may have kept our spirits up because of the interest … in our rat[19].
In fact, the rat did not obey the expectations of the student (it was supposed to be dull), but it was available to some more subtle expectations, the expectations of someone who cares, of someone who trusts, moreover, of someone who was interested, someone it interests (inter-esse, to make a link). And this dull rat became, in some strange ways, the one that gives and that has honor, the one that keeps the spirit up, it disclosed an interested experimenter bringing into existence a very interesting rat. Therefore, even if the rat did not obey expectations (it resisted rather nicely in being one of the best of the dull ones), it was however available for some of them: the expectations of an interested student asking for an interesting rat.
By contrast, we may say that the rhesus literally tortured by Harlow could hardly find means to resist the apparatus and the questions that are addressed to him/her. One of the ways to resist an apparatus is to lead the experimenter to transform his/her questions into new ones that are the good questions to ask to that specific individual. In other words, an apparatus that does not stake on docility is an apparatus that is designed to give the opportunity to the « subject » of the experiment to show what are the most interesting questions to address to him; what are the questions that make him/her the most articulate. By contrast, as we see, each of Harlow’s rhesus is articulated by the apparatus in such a way that there is no one to raise the question of the « point of view », the question of what « makes sense » for a rhesus, the question of how the experiment itself constructs a « monkey-without-anyone ». Thereby, Harlow cannot take into account the question of relevance, the question that asks what are the good questions that offer an interesting becoming for the one to which the question is addressed, i. e., the question that construes and constructs signs that « make a world » for the animal[20].
The contrast between a scientist who stakes on the availability of both the apparatus and the animal and a scientist who requisites docility (this scientist being himself docile to the perceived prerequisites of science) may be translated along another contrast: the contrast between the manner to address oneself to the system, on the one hand as a care taker, as somebody interested in its possible becoming, and on the other hand, as a judge or a master. In the first case, the animal is the one that articulates the system, in the other, it is the system that articulates the animal, which just has to show how it obeys laws[21]. We find evidences of this contrast when we observe how an animal may resist what is expected. How can a rhesus resist that experiment? In showing despair? Of course not, that is exactly what is expected. In becoming happy? I would not bet on it.
The definition of beliefs as « availability » to the events, by contrast with the « docility » on which some practices relay, cannot be reduced to sentimental concerns or moral issues. It is first of all a matter of raising more interesting questions that enables more articulated answers, therefore, more articulated identities. It is an epistemological question. Moreover, to define beliefs, expectations as availability to an « affecting » that both creates events and is created by them, may also help us to overcome the great distribution that results from the « will to make science ». With the notion of « availability » the signs that mark the world and that mark the subject are redistributed in a new way. Both are active and both are transformed by the availability of the other. Both are articulated by what the other « makes him/her make ». This is, in my opinion, the most interesting characteristic of the practices that allow to be defined as practices of domestication, the practices that afford to be pervaded by humans: they are practices that create and transform through the miracle ofattunement.
This miracle of attunement, be it between Hans and his questioners, be it between horses and their riders or between rats and their students experimenters, radically changes the question we may address to the body. If we are forced to give up on the issue “what a body is”, our access leads us to question it in quite a different manner. All our examples raise the same problem: what the body makes (us) (others) make. And as all our examples suggest, this body that “makes one make” is primarily articulated by affects. All these events we described, rats handled with cautious hands, xxmotor discharges, tensions and attentions, desires, embodied interests, bodies learning to feel like a horse, now call for a theory of affected and affecting bodies. That is a theory of emotions.

How do you feel about theories?

If we call here for a theory of affecting and affected bodies, or in a word, a theory of emotions, let us not forget what we have learned until now. If we want to explore how these experiences with rats or horses are constructed, if we want to gain an access that gives the chance to much more entities to be active, we need a theory that prevents us to distribute too fast what is cause and what is effect, what affects and what is affected. James’ theory of emotions provides a good means to build this undetermined site: the emotions become, in his theory, an undetermined experience that distributes the world, the minds and the bodies in a radically different way; an experience which discloses perplexity. James’ emotional experience discloses perplexity in that it enables us to overcome the distribution between causes and effects, between bodies and minds, world and bodies, world and consciousness. First, concerning the body itself, James reminds us its peculiarity: it resides in a strange ambiguous sphere of being; our body belongs sometimes to the world of objects, to the world outthere, it belongs sometimes to the world of subjects, the world inside. In some cases, the body is the object to know, in some others, it comes to be the knowing subject; sometimes part of nature, of the objective world, sometimes linked to the mind and to subjective events.
His theory of emotions discloses the same kind of ambiguity. According to James, the emotional experience belongs to that strange sphere of experiences where neither world, neither body, neither consciousness can be clearly separated, distributed.
The emotional experience in other words is an experience that makes us hesitate. Each of the events that composes it may not firmly be distributed, may hardly be defined as unequivocal cause or unequivocal effect, may not be definitively said to belong to the world, the body or the mind. Each of the emotional experiences can remain equivocal: they appear ambiguous, insofar as they seem neither quite inner nor quite outer, as if a diremption (sic) had begun but had not made itself complete (…): sometimes the adjective wanders as if uncertain where to fix itself (ibid., pp. 35-36).  Should we talk about seductive visions or of visions of seductive things? Of feelings of anger or of angry feelings? Of good impulses or impulses toward the good ?[22] Both, James says, both are in the mind and in the things.
Indeed, most of our theories, whatever the classifications they choose, classify emotions as if they were not ambiguous or equivocal, — or, even more, classify them in order to make them less equivocal —and may be characterized as operating the translocation of experiences in one world or in the other. For some of them, I laugh because the joke was funny, I am scared because the world is terrifying, while for others the joke is funny because I laugh, the world is terrifying because I am scared. Each of these theories, aiming to define what is an emotion, distributes the signs in discrete groups, on the one hand assuming to explain how the world affects the mind, and on the other hand, how the mind affects or construes the world.
Of course, the ambiguity James wants to produce or to preserve, does not appear at first glance. When he defines emotion as nothing but the feeling of a bodily state, and it has a purely bodily cause (1890, p. 459) — we do not cry because we are sad, we are sad because we cry— we often misconstrue the proposition as a radically materialistic conception. Some detractors complained about the loss of the world (empiricists, realists, and still more, social theoreticians[23]); while others bemoaned the loss of consciousness (Sartre (1995; first ed. 1938) is an example). Such contradictory reproaches provide best evidences that it was not the absence of the world or of the consciousness that was problematic, but rather their mode of presence, their way of presence, hesitating, perplexed, undecided. What has been the most misconstrued was James’ aim itself: it was not to define what is felt but what makes feel, it was not to define a passive affected being, but rather a being that both produces emotions and is produced by them[24]. An emotion is not what is felt but what makes feel.
And to Sartre’s question « where is the mind? » he would answer that the mind is exactly where it should be, in the skin, in the breath, in all these small corners of physical nature our bodies occupy (1958, p.151).  And to the social theoretician’s question « Where is the world? » he would answer: the world is at the same place, exactly, and the emotion arises at the intersection of the process. Maybe he would even go as far as to say that emotion makes the intersection of the process, and it makes it last. Our body itself, he writes, is the palmary instance of the ambiguous. Sometimes I treat my body purely as a part of outer nature. Sometimes, again, I think of it as « mine », I sort it with the « me », and then certain local changes and determinations in it pass for spiritual happenings (1958, p. 153). Ambiguous experiences, ambiguous bodies, experiences making bodies and bodies making experiences; signs that wander, hesitate to fix themselves: we produce emotion, and it produces us. The inner world is outside, the outer world passes inside, sometimes in the guise of wine that makes us joyous, or maybe we should also say, in the form of a wine that our body makes joyous: We see that joyous thoughts dilate our blood-vessels, and that a suitable quantity of wine, because it dilates the vessels, also disposes us to joyous thoughts. If both the jest and the wine work together, they supplement each other in producing the emotional effect, and our demands on the jest are the more modest in proportion as the wine takes upon itself a large part of the task (1890, p. 462). This is an experience of « making available » that is described here, an experience by which both the body and what affects it produce each other, each of the events (wine, thoughts, vessels, jests) create an occasion for the others: should we say that the wine made us happy or that we made the wine joyous? Each one authorizes the others and is authorized by the others. The world disposes us to feel, and our body makes the world available. Our feelings dispose our bodies, our bodies dispose our feelings[25].
We may now understand a little further what has been lost in Clever Hans’ story when Rosenthal reinterprets it. Rosenthal forces us to choose between scientific truth and interest. If we follow him, we will lose one of the accesses that enables us to explore how bodies may be moved by interests; how interests may be embodied and transformed into affects; and how these embodied affect-interests, in scientific practices, transform both the scientific and the one who is the active object (inducer) of his interest.
What was lost in Rosenthal’s project is, however, fortunately still at work in some practices. This is probably not by chance; we may find the most interesting examples in the practice of ethology. If we follow carefully how some of these scientists create their access to the ones they study, the way they are moved by their subjects of interest, the way they give them a chance to be interesting and to articulate other things, we notice that the signs that define subject and object, what talks and what is talked about, subjectivity and objectivity, are redistributed in a new manner.

New distributions: Lorenz and the « becoming jackdaw »

In the beginning of the spring of 1928, therefore the first spring of my « fourteen » borne in 1927, Green-Yellow, the despot of that time, got engaged to Yellow-Red, the prettiest among the available young persons. She was the one I would have chosen also (Lorenz, 1985, p. 90).
Don’t we have here a perfect example of anthropomorphism ? How should we call this: empathy, projection? Animal becoming human, and telling a human story, with human words?
Let us not go too fast, let us slacken again and allow a redistribution of signs. The young female jackdaw Lorenz would have chosen is not an anthropomorphous jackdaw. First, we may rather suggest the opposite; that it is Lorenz who has been metamorphosed: he became a jackdaw. Certainly, to consider it in this way allows us to understand how he could have this beautiful idea to ascribe to a non-human a competence we have always believed to be human: the jackdaw is zoomorphic, it sees others as other « selves ». And we may suggest that Lorenz’s jackdaw could gain this competence because Lorenz has been able to zoomorphize himself. But to say that Lorenz became a jackdaw is still going too fast, it is still distributing according simple analogies: that proposition, for example, could too easily refer to empathy. And to refer to empathy is not resisting the distribution, it is to perform it once more. Empathy, as explanation, does not disclose how each of them, Lorenz and the jackdaw, has been articulated into the relationship. Certainly, empathy transforms the subject (the one who feels empathy) but this transformation is a very local one as long as it does not really give his object the chance to be activated as subject, the subject feeling empathy remaining the only subject of the whole thing. While pretending to be inhabited (or locally transformed) by the other, the empathic in fact « squats » in the other. Empathy allows us to talk about what it is to be (like) the other, but does not raise the question « what it is to be « with » the other ». Empathy is more like « filling up one self » than taking into account the attunement[26].
The story that tells how Lorenz met his first jackdaw may help us to construe another interpretation. « When I bought it in a pet-shop, Lorenz confesses, it was for reasons that have nothing to do with scientific reasons: I felt, all of a sudden, the craving to fill this big red and yellow beak the bird was keeping wide open toward me with good foods » (p. 63). Certainly, Lorenz, while being affected by the begging of the bird, metamorphosed himself. He was « imprinted » by the begging: what was a specific signal, a specific bird’s pattern that induces a parent to feed its offspring, this time worked on him. The begging jackdaw offered Lorenz a new identity; Lorenz’s passion took then the form of a bird’s instinct. And therefore, Lorenz acted as if he belonged to that species and he did that in such a convincing manner that the jackdaw got caught up in the game, and began, after a while, to see Lorenz as a member of the species which needed to be fed. However, the story is still not comprehensive enough. This jackdaw in its turn, Lorenz explains, incessantly tried to feed him, and did not rest until it could fill Lorenz’s mouth with fresh worms and other good food. And, Lorenz tells, when it was feeling abandoned, it shouted out the call by which the juvenile birds call their parents back.
When the little goose Marina hatched out, Lorenz decided to keep her a few hours before confiding her to the domesticated goose’s care, so she could recover. He spent these few hours observing her. But as soon as the little goose was given to the care of the old one, she refused to stay, and addressed to Lorenz a desperate « abandon’s call ». Lorenz tried, but could not convince her not to follow him. Then, he says, I did exactly as if I had adopted her, feigning to ignore that, in fact, it was she that adopted me. The whole day, and the coming days and months, Lorenz played the role of a good goose’s mother.
There are, Lorenz explains, two kinds of field ethologists: the hunter (like Tinbergen), and the cattle-breeder, like himself. The hunter follows the animals in their own field, and observes them. The cattle-breeder keeps them with him, and tries to provide them with the most natural conditions. What Lorenz is trying to build is indeed an ethos, a goose’s ethos, but it is still more an ethos pervaded with humans, an ethos for which the « natural conditions » are, in an undetermined manner, of the nature of the animal and of the nature of the one who question him, an ethos where « natural condition » never means neutral condition. What Lorenz constructs with his goose (or his jackdaw) is the ethos of domestication.
This device clearly discloses itself as a « domesticating device » when Lorenz uses his own body as a tool for knowing, as a tool for asking questions, as a means to create a relation that provides new knowledge: how does a goose become attached to its mother? Lorenz takes the mother’s place, and becomes all at once a variable of the experiment. He then discloses the « critical period », and the way the « following answer » is both innate for its pattern and acquired in regards to its object. The device, the goose and Lorenz have therefore constructed the practical conditions that allow each of them to bring into existence new possibilities, new availabilities: the goose acquires a flexible behavior and surprises Lorenz in adopting him. Lorenz becomes ready for becoming a goose’s mother and may therefore add to his scientific repertoire new questions about imprinting, new questions about attachment, new manners of collecting data, new competences and new manners of practicing.
The experimenter, far from keeping himself in the background, involves himself: he involves his body, he involves his knowledge, his responsibility and his future. The practice of knowing has become a practice of caring. And because he cares for his young goose, he learns what, in a world inhabited by humans and gooses, may produce relations.
He involves his own responsibility because he will have to fulfill its needs[27], to be a « good mother » for it, to care for it, to walk like it, to talk like it, to answer the calls, to understand when it is scared. Lorenz and his goose, in a relation of taming, in a relation that changes both identities, have domesticated one another[28]. Lorenz gave his birds the opportunity to behave like humans, as much as his birds gave him the opportunity to behave like a bird. They both created new articulations, which authorized them to talk (or to make the other talk) differently.
Therefore, when Lorenz talks about goose’s love as very similar to human love, we are not going to claim that his goose is anthropomorphous, neither that humans are « goosomorphous »[29]. In some sense, Lorenz, producing a goose body, may be said to be « goosomorphous ». It is because he could love in a goose’s world, because he could produce an affected body (remember the horse’s rider performing horses movements) that he could compare its love to our own (which allows him to suggest that it is precisely in their manner of falling in love that many birds and mammals behave like humans). Of course, in some sense we could also say that Lorenz talking about goose’s love is anthropomorphic. He uses human words, but this anthropomorphism is something more than a simple attribution: as long as his body is producing and being produced by a new identity, this experience is a new way of being human, which adds new identities. Therefore, being anthropomorphic means here to add new definitions to what it is to be a human being. Lorenz adds new meanings to love, and new identities that provide these new meanings[30]. This practice of domestication is, once more, an anthropo-zoo-genetic practice.
But this experience is not only an anthropomorphic or a zoomorphic experience. The experience of loving is first of all a shared experience (which does not infer that it is a symmetric experience, as long as Lorenz does not expect the goose or the jackdaw to love him the same way he does). Even more, the whole experience is a shared experience, an experience of being « with ». Rather than saying that Lorenz became a jackdaw, I suggest that Lorenz became a « jackdaw-with-human » as much as the jackdaw became in some ways a « human-with-jackdaw »; Lorenz did not become a goose, as we asserted too fast, he became « with a goose-with a human ».
This is a new articulation of « with-ness », a undetermined articulation of « being with » that makes us suggest that finally, when Lorenz talks of love, he does not articulate human words. The opposite: Lorenz is articulated by the setting he created. The setting is articulating new manners of talking, new manners of being human with non human, human with goose, goose with human[31].
This experience by which Lorenz constructs a « being with » sheds light on one of the ways bodies and worlds articulate each other: it is a particular mode of « disposing » both body and world. Lorenz produces a goose’s body to allow a goose’s world to affect him (and also to allow a human’s world to affect a goose). He learns to be affected.
While asking what matters in a goose’s or in a jackdaw’s world, in making his own body articulate this question the way he does it, Lorenz not only raises the question from the point of view of the one to whom the question is addressed. He does more than that: he activates this point of view, and therefore he activates his object as a subject, a subject of passion, a subject producing passions; a subject of questions, a subject producing questions. Lorenz not only arouses a subject from the point of view his body is constructing, but he is himself activated by the one he gave existence to. He is activated as a subject both creating and created by passions. What passion means does not refer neither to some parasitic supplement nor to some sweet story of love: it means to make an effort to become interested, to immerse oneself in the multitude of problems presented by a jackdaw or a goose, to grow, to experience the following of a mother, the scare for strangers[32]. It means to care. What passions teach to Lorenz, his own ones as well as the ones he gives opportunity to exist, is that learning how to address is not the result of scientific theoretical understanding, it is the condition of this understanding.
To ‘depassionate’ knowledge does not give us a more objective world, it just gives us a world « without us »; and therefore, without « them » — lines are traced so fast. And as long as this world appears as a world « we don’t care for », it also becomes an impoverished world, a world of minds without bodies, of bodies without minds, bodies without hearts, expectations, interests, a world of enthusiastic automata observing strange and mute creatures; in other words, a poorly articulated (and poorly articulating) world.
What really exists is not things made but thinks in the making. But put yourself in the making by a stroke of intuitive sympathy with the thing and (…) you are no longer troubled with the question which of them is the more absolutely true (James 1958, pp. 263-4).
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[1]Vinciane Despret. Department of Philosophy. University of Liège, Belgium. Email I would like to thank for their precious help and comments, Ruth Benshop and Kerstin Sandell who commented first this paper, anonymous referees for helping me to make my arguments clearer, Emilie Gomart, Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers who showed me new access to the problems I was dealing with, and Marc Berg who did a wonderful work as editor.
[2] (1958, p. 263).
[3] C. Stumpf, Introduction to Oskar Pfungst (1998; First ed. 1911).
[4] Pfungst writes (1998, p. 241): The interrelation existing between ideas having a high degree of affective coloring and the musculature of the body (which is brought to light in this process), is by no means a novel fact for us. Nevertheless, it is possible that this case may be of no small value, on account of the great difficulties which are usually met in the attempt to establish experimentally the more delicate details in this field.
[5] Pfungst (1998, p. 203).
[6] Interview, Aug. 2003.
[7] See the beautiful analysis of Eileen Crist (1997), with whom I sometimes disagree in this article.
[8] This notion of « articulation » comes from the work of Bruno Latour. See this volume; see also Latour (2000).
[9] p. 119. And therefore, the emotional investment of the professional experimenter would be in collecting the most accurate data possible.(p. 344). Clearly, the data are given, per se, and wait to be collected by an enthusiastic automaton.
[10] See for a similar way of giving chance to new distribution the analysis of Milgram’s experience by Isabelle Stengers, who offers the means to think over about a distribution that multiplicates, that complicates the ontology of beings in relation. (1993).
[11] Of course we actually (and almost unduly, but it is for the sake of the world) completely reverse Rosenthal’s end.
[12] And we may see, therefore, the pervading effect of authority: to have the authority to authorize is to make the one who is authorized gain authority, and thereby, to be entitled to authorize, in his/her turn, someone else (Rosenthal authorizes the student, the student the rat, my analysis authorizes Rosenthal and vice versa, further analysis, and so on).
[13] This note is for those who wonder if Rosenthal fulfills my own expectations: of course, he does. I propose to him a new mode of existence, and I do it because I will never define my own practice as a collection of data, but as a set of propositions that offer new identities.
[14] To be precise: at p. 177.
[15] This is not a simple matter of theoretical interest. An intelligent animal may provide an opportunity for the « becoming » intelligent of the ethologist who observes it. Zahavi’s extraordinary Israelian birds, the babblers, show good evidence of this (Despret 1996). To consider ethological practices as anthropo-zoo-genetic practices, also producing humanity, constitutes therefore a practical or a pragmatic interest.
[16] God’s heart and the stuff of life; Conference (1996). This is, as a matter of fact, what Rosenthal blames the scientists and the human and the non-human to produce in laboratory and in research: both of them do not show the « good » indifference..
[17] Harlow was a famous primatologist who aimed to disclose the vital necessity of attachment in monkeys. In that purpose, he built a device that dramatically prevents newborn monkeys to establish links with mother and peers. Newborn monkeys were separated from their mother and peers, and isolated for months in a little cage. The dramatic effects of separation (pathological and self-destructive behavior, despair and very deep depression), according to Harlow, clearly showed that attachment is a primal need. All the devices were built to evaluate different situations confirming the terrible effect of separation (already well acknowledged by psychiatrists since the second war) (Harlow 1964).
[18]Resistance or “réclacitrance”, see Stengers (1997-1998), and Latour’s comments (1997).
[19]Rosenthal quotes this comment to show that the experimenters were not aware that their rats were not specially bred (p. 176).
[20]Of course, T-mazes are probably not the best signs that « make a world » for a white coated rat (but who knows, as long as they are created by and for laboratories, how to define these good signs unless we give them the chance to help us to learn this). The problem is still more obvious (and obviously more complicated) when we raise the question of the good ethos to give to a rat especially bred in order to produce rats that like alcohol, for example. But we can assume that it makes sense for a rat to be handled, encouraged, caressed, fed.
[21] For a similar analysis in the case of human psychology, see my previous work about emotions (2003).
[22] Or, to say it in our words, do we laugh because the joke is funny, or is the joke funny because we laughed?
[23] For example Schachter S. et Singer J. (1962).
[24] For example, he talks about dispositions that wecultivate (1890, p. 463).
[25] Actors, James says, all know this simple fact: if we want to feel an emotion, we can dispose our body to produce it, and we will feel it. Psychologist Fechner, James explains, says almost the same thing of himself:  when I walk behind  someone whom I don’t know, and imitate as accurately as possible his gait and carriage, I get the most curious impression of feeling as the person himself must feel. To go tripping and mincing after the fashions of a young woman puts one, so to speak, in a feminine mood of mind, (1890, p. 464.)
[26] Bergson’s concept of sympathy, since it means some sort of « articulated rhythm of activity » avoids the impoverishment that empathy brings with it.
[27] With the jackdaws, Lorenz takes into account that to protect them requires attention: to call them back when they get lost, for example. When the colony almost disappeared, and left only one old female, he adopted four juveniles for her not being too lonely, and took care of helping her to adopt them.
[28] Certainly, the term « domestication » may invoke a connotation of subordination. But I take for granted here that the contrast I tried to build between « to make available » and « to be docile » allows us to refer to the situations where both Lorenz and his goose are domesticating each other. We should also pay attention to the fact that if domestication refers univocally to situations of control or mastering, it may be so because we still do not have a good theory of attachment (see about this point, the work of Latour).
[29]Anseromorphous would be the right term here.
[30] See Latour’s comment on Thelma Rowel’s work in terms of « giving a chance » to the animals she questions (2000).
[31]In Lapoujade words (commenting James, p. 39) it would become:  this is not Lorenz who produces interpretation, it is rather the opposite, Lorenz produces himself in the interpretations, moreover, he is an interpretation, an interpretation of his bodily affections (1997). Lorenz’s passion as well as the goose’s passion is not what is felt, it is what makes them feel. Lorenz produces a goose’s or a jackdaw’s body, and is, all at once, produced by this experience.
[32] This is the contrast that should be drawn with Clever Hans. The case is interesting only as so far as we give up on the questions about the horse conceptual intelligence.

Une réflexion au sujet de « The body we care for. Figures of anthropo-zoo-genesis »

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