Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Epigraph

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pp. i-vii

Contents

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pp. viii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

No work is accomplished entirely MANU PROPRIA, and it is my pleasure to extend gratitude and appreciation to all those who have had a hand in my own. I thank my family, especially my parents, Monica and Richard Tyler; without each of them this would have been a very different book, and without both of them it would have been altogether impossible. Many...

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Prelude

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pp. 1-8

A fly-bottle is an item of laboratory equipment used in the study of fruit flies (Drosophila). It is not especially sophisticated, and in fact half-pint milk bottles were often used in the early days of research. The science writer Jonathan Weiner has suggested, nonetheless, that this humble bottle is “one of the most significant legacies that the science of the twentieth century bequeaths to...

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Vallatus Indicibus Atque Sicariis: Surrounded by Informers and Assassins

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pp. 9-76

Much ink has been spilled addressing the appropriate understanding of “animality” as it bears on the question of anthropocentrism. Georges Bataille takes this as a suitable starting point for the first chapter of his Theory of Religion,2 though he admits from the outset that his account is...

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Rideto Multum et Digitum Porrigito Medium: Laugh Loudly and Flip Them the Bird

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pp. 77-108

At the British Academy Annual Philosophical Lecture in November 1939, G. E. Moore delivered a paper boldly entitled “Proof of an External World.” Moore took his cue directly from Immanuel Kant, who had suggested that it still remains a scandal to philosophy and to human reason in general that the existence of things outside us...

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Medico Testiculi Arietini: On the Ring Finger a Ram’s Testicles

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pp. 109-162

Nietzsche, in his early essay “On Truth and Lies,” owes a debt to Kant. We saw in the previous chapter that, toward the close of his Protagorean critique of truth and corresponding account of the essentially inventive nature of perception and knowing, Nietzsche invokes a set of primal forms (Urformen), innate elements of the human mind that structure...

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Digito Minimo Mundum Universum Excites: With Your Little Finger You Would Awaken the Whole World

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pp. 163-210

Uniquely terrifying, the Sphinx was the daughter of Echidna, one of the formidable Dracaenae who had the upper bodies of beautiful women but the long, coiling tails of serpents, or of the fire-breathing Chimera, who, in addition to a serpent tail, had the hindquarters of a goat, the foreparts of a lion, and three fearsome heads. The Sphinx...

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Manus Parva, Maiori Adiutrix, Pollex: The Thumb Is a Little Hand, Assistant to the Greater

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pp. 211-262

Something of our opening question remains unanswered. We began by asking whether a claim that has been asserted or assumed by a varied series of thinkers and theorists, that humanity can only ever know the world from an inescapable, distinctively human standpoint, was required by their epistemologies. We enquired, that is, into the necessity of the...

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Coda

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pp. 263-266

When he discussed the thumb, Galen claimed, following “one of the Ancients,” that the ape, a ridiculous caricature of the human, was a “laughable toy for children at play.”1 The ancient source on which he drew was in fact the very same line of the same Pythian ode that had so appealed to Nietzsche...

Bibliography

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pp. 267-292

Publication History and Permissions

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pp. 293-296

Index

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pp. 297-320

Dedication

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pp. 321-322

About the Author

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pp. 323-324