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Being Salmon, Being Human

Encountering the Wild in Us and Us in the Wild

By Martin Lee Mueller
Foreword by Stephan Harding

In search of a new story for our place on earth

Being Salmon, Being Human examines Western culture’s tragic alienation from nature by focusing on the relationship between people and salmon—weaving together key narratives about the Norwegian salmon industry as well as wild salmon in indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

Mueller uses this lens to articulate a comprehensive critique of human exceptionalism, directly challenging the 400-century-old notion that other animals are nothing but complicated machines without rich inner lives and that Earth is a passive backdrop to human experience. Being fully human, he argues, means experiencing the intersection of our horizon of understanding with that of other animals. Salmon are the test case for this. Mueller experiments, in evocative narrative passages, with imagining the world as a salmon might see it, and considering how this enriches our understanding of humanity in the process.

Being Salmon, Being Human is both philosophical and narrative work, rewarding readers with insightful interpretations of major philosophers—Descartes, Heidegger, Abram, and many more—and reflections on the human–Earth relationship. It stands alongside Abram’s Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal, as well as Andreas Weber’s The Biology of Wonder and Matter and Desire—heralding a new “Copernican revolution” in the fields of biology, ecology, and philosophy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Lee Mueller

Martin Lee Mueller

Martin Lee Mueller, PhD, received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oslo in 2016. Before that, he received his master’s degree in culture, environment, and sustainability at the University of Oslo’s Center for Development and the Environment (SUM). He has previously helped build teaching centers in rural Mongolia, worked as a kindergarten teacher, been an elementary school librarian, and led a wilderness school in the Norwegian forest. Recently he has also been touring as a storyteller to festivals in the U.K. and Scandinavia, with a stage performance inspired by this book. Salmon Fairytale weaves together philosophy, traditional storytelling, and Samí joik music. He lives in Oslo together with his partner and daughter.

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Salmon Fairytale

With joik, philosophy and stories from Sami and North-American indigenous tradition we wonder with salmon, both the wild and the farmed.

Being Salmon, Being Human

Pages:384 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603587457
Pub. Date October 11, 2017

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 384 pages, $25.00