This chapter summarizes Merleau-Ponty’s efforts as a philosopher to restore to us “the wild being” and its immanent Logos underlying our experience and that of all creatures. The conclusion argues that these efforts, though unfinished at the time of his sudden death, anticipate recent scientific studies of semiotic and cultural activities among animals and within ecosystems. The chapter connects Merleau-Ponty’s examination of human-animal relations with the zoosemiotics of Thomas Sebeok and Heine Hediger, Donald Griffin’s work on animal cognition, and the pioneering work of biosemioticians such as Jesper Hoffmeyer. Thus it demonstrates that Derrida’s call for philosophical attention to scientific studies of actual animals has been underway for more than fifty years and is opening up a revolutionary understanding of the profound synergies among all organisms. Human language, literature, and arts must be understood as part of an enormous, pulsing web of semiotic and aesthetic activity in earth’s life.
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