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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsPrelude1. VALLATUS INDICIBUS ATQUE SICARIISSurrounded by Informers and Assassins
Like Water in Water
Into Your Hand They Are Delivered
Deciphering Deciphering
Prickly Porcupines and Docile Dogs
An ABC of Animals
If a Lion Had Hands
Quia Ego Nominor Leo
Taking Animals in Hand2. RIDETO MULTUM ET DIGITUM PORRIGITO MEDIUM Laugh Loudly and Flip Them the Bird
Two Hands Are Better Than One
The Truth about Mice and Ducks
The Philosopher and the Gnat
The Birds and the Bees
The Back of a Tiger3. MEDICO TESTICULI ARIETINIOn the Ring Finger a Ram's Testicles
The Digestive System of the Mind
An Unknown Something
Praying to the Aliens
Nothing to Phone Home About
From Noumena to Nebula
Those Who Like to Think So
One Ring to Rule Them All4. DIGITO MINIMO MUNDUM UNIVERSUM EXCITESWith Your Little Finger You Would Awaken the Whole World
The Eyes Have It
A Tale of Three Fish
Handing On and Gathering In
Bird Brains
Getting Stuck In5. MANUS PARVA, MAIORI ADIUTRIX, POLLEXThe Thumb Is a Little Hand, Assistant to the Greater
To We or Not to We
If I Had a Hammer
The Rule of Thumb
Four Hands Good, Two Hands Bad
Report to an AcademyCodaNotes
Publication History and Permissions

About the Author

Tom Tyler is senior lecturer in philosophy and culture at Oxford Brookes University.


"Tom Tyler's reinvention of the bestiary is a remarkable achievement, and Tyler emerges as an engaging storyteller. The book's teeming pages are full of improbable pleasures, pictorial and philosophical. Presented with modesty and wit, the result is an audacious account of what it is not to be human. This is a beautifully written book of exceptional imaginative range and it amounts to nothing less than a poetics of the posthuman." -Steve Baker, author of The Postmodern Animal

"CIFERAE is a remarkable accomplishment. Tyler provides the most subtle and thorough analysis of anthropocentrism I have encountered; and his critical reworking of the relationship between animals and philosophy allows for an extraordinarily rich understanding of more-than-human subjectivities." -Matthew Calarco, California State University, Fullerton

"CIFERAE engages and pushes forward the theoretical foundation of human-animal studies. Tyler aptly develops a critique that encourages the recognition of a perspective that decenters human experience as the primary mode through which knowledge is produced. This work also has pragmatic implications, as it clears a path to understanding people's subjective experiences as 'more than human.' " -Society and Animals

"Delivers tremendous insight into philosophy's indefensible anthropocentrism, concluding that pragmatic knowledge (and its refusal of a "God's eye view") is most promising." -CHOICE

"Sizable but thoroughly convincing. . . [CIFERAE] is a thoroughly enjoyable experiment in literary analysis and creation, a very original attempt at weaving very different themes - epistemology, animals, and hands - into a broad discussion that constantly plays with its own elements." -Journal for Critical Animal Studies

"The book is not merely an astute jeu d'esprit around our ways to count and account animals. It also carefully probes the ostensible anthropocentricism of three dominant epistemological paradigms in Western thought: realism, relativism, and pragmatism." -Humanimalia

"This book is an experience." -Environmental Values

"CIFERAE is a playful philosophy with a serious purpose. This is a cogently argued and beautifully produced (and illustrated) argument for why the persistent invocation of animals in philosophy is significant, and for why animal knowing (as Nietzsche recognized) drives a cart and horses through anthropocentricism." -New Formations

"For scholars in science studies and animals studies, CIFERAE offers a thought-provoking and entertaining opening onto a question of central importance: whether and how our membership in the human species, or in any other species, determines what we can know." -Configurations

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