A Translation of Luigi Paolucci’s On Birdsong is the first English translation of a groundbreaking memoir on birdsong by the Italian naturalist Luigi Paolucci. It is accompanied by extensive annotations and an introductory essay by the translator, Paolo Palmieri, that examines the scientific and philosophical questions raised by birdsong in relation to the history and philosophy of science, phenomenology, and the theoretical problems of the demarcation of the human and non-human animal. Paolucci’s memoir focuses on firsthand ecological research and offers a fundamental theory of birdsong as language and music. Paolucci studies songbird species and behavior by bringing to bear linguistics, music and sound theory, and the debate on evolutionary theory and animal cognition. In the introductory essay, Paolo Palmieri adopts a phenomenological approach in order to investigate the problem of animal suffering and ethics, animal reasoning and will, the neurophysiology of hearing in humans and birds, and the relation between birdsong and laughter. This book will appeal to a large audience of philosophers, posthumanists, historians of science, animal cognition theorists, birdsong scientists and naturalists, and students. This book will also be valuable to the general public who is interested in the ethical debates on the presence of non-human animals in our society.
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XVIII, 212 pp., 13 b/w ill.
Figures – Preface – Acknowledgments – Note on Translation – Introduction: The Human/Animal – On Birdsong: An
Essay on Animal Physiology and Biology in Relation to Sexual Selection and the Struggle for Existence by Luigi Paolucci
– Part One: Comparative Phenomenology of Birdsong – On Natural Language – The Mechanism of Sound in Autophonous Animals –
The Mechanism of Sound in Heterophonous Animals – The Fundamental Sounds of Birdsong – Musical Representation of Birdsong
– Part Two: Patterns of Psychic Expression in Birdsong – Intelligence and Communication in Birdsong – Diversity in Birdsong
according to Age and Sex – Biological Purposes of Birdsong – Adult Birdsong in Both Sexes – Imitation Voices – Conclusion:
Phonetic Corruption and Regeneration in Birdsong – Index.