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Flight WaysLife and Loss at the Edge of Extinction$
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Thom van Dooren

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166188

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166188.001.0001

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Telling Lively Stories at the Edge of Extinction

(p.1) Introduction
Flight Ways

Thom van Dooren

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter retells all-too-familiar extinction stories, with the perspective on avian entanglements with other living things. Alongside a particular focus on these entanglements, alternative thoughts on the extinction based on entrenched patterns of “human exceptionalism” are herein discussed. This exceptionalism basically sets apart human beings from all other animals and the rest of the “natural” world. In this context, extinction can be regarded as something that happens “over there” or out in “nature.” Given these patterns of human exceptionalism, subsequent chapters employ the understanding that human beings—as individuals, as communities, and as species—are, in diverse ways, implicated in the lives of disappearing others.

Keywords:   extinction, avian entanglements, living things, human exceptionalism, human beings, natural world, extinction

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