Why do we live with pets? What are these beings who are kin but not kind? How do we live with them? In "Pets" Erica Fudge traces many of the answers modern thinkers have offered in response. Moving from an analysis of the philosophical importance of the Lassie myth to philosophers' surprisingly common musings about their cats, this book challenges many of the easy assumptions we might have about who, what and why pets are. Indeed, meditating on our obsession with domestic animals reveals many of the paradoxes, contradictions and ambiguities of life.The book also argues that pets are a vital resource for contemporary philosophy. True border-creatures - the anthropologist Edmund Leach called them man-animals - pets both exemplify and challenge the construction of self and other that is so important in modern thought. We might think of pets as simply happy, loved additions to human homes, but Pets argues that perhaps it is the pets that make the home; that perhaps without pets we might not be the humans we think we are.
Introduction; 1. Living with pets; 2. Thinking with pets; 3. Being with pets; Conclusion; Further Reading.