The Three Ethologies

  • Matthew Calarco
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


This essay brings into conversation the remarkable fieldwork of Wyoming ethologist Joe Hutto with Félix Guattari’s critique of established ecological thinking in his 1989 The Three Ecologies, developing a broader and more complex understanding of ethological practice and its implications for our understanding of animal life, sociality, and the ethics of human-animal relations. Working with the three registers also employed by Guattari in his attempt at formulating a ‘generalized ecology’ or ‘ecosophy,’ the essay suggests a concept of ethology that encompasses a social, an environmental, and a mental dimension of ethological practice. These ‘three ethologies’ are developed in conversation with Hutto’s account of his experience of living with a pack of mule deer over a period of seven years, showing that, rather than an analytical framework imposed on Hutto’s experiences, such an expanded conception of ethology emerges from Hutto’s ethological practice itself. The transformative experiences documented in Touching the Wild (2014) not only give fascinating ethological insights into the behaviors and different personalities of the deer Hutto encountered and lived with, they also challenge us to think about forms and practices of living-with beyond the anthropocentric limitations of traditional concepts of society, community, and (inter)subjectivity.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Calarco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State UniversityFullertonUSA

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