A Short Philosophy of Birds by Philippe J. Dubois & Elise Rousseau [4/10]

If you’re like me and use birding as a portal into our real Earth, “A Short Philosophy of Birds” could well appeal to you. An ornithologist and philosopher combine forces to offer 22 short and deep observations of birds in the wild, and to draw out “the secret lessons that birds can teach us about how to live.” For example, watching larks elicits: “Knowing how not to worry – perhaps that is the beginning of happiness.” The authors are engaging writers and the book is a graceful, short trip through the pleasures of observing birds, and that aspect I can recommend to any birding reader. But, reader beware: the philosophical conclusions quickly emerge as nonsensical. I guffawed at the very notion that observing the miracle of bird migration contains any lessons at all for us humans, and certainly that it might compel us “to learn our own truth” defies any reasoning. So … perhaps you might be partial to such illogicality; even if not, you could well enjoy bird observations well penned.

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