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Joy Sorman & Catherine Lacey in Conversation ONLINE EVENT Albertine Bookstore/French Embassy

Mark Alizart

Mark Alizart is a philosopher, writer, and the author of Dogs (Polity Books, 2019). He is curently working on a book about the environment that will be published next year.

Photo © H. Assouline

Mark Alizart is a philosopher born in London in 1975 and living in Paris. He formely served as an associate director of the Palais de Tokyo (2006-2011) and curator of the Cultural Programs for the Centre Pompidou (2001-2006). His most recent book, Dogs (Polity Books 2019), was published in 2018 in France by the Presses Universitaires de France under the title Chiens. He is curently working on a book about Clinate Change that will be published next year, titled Carbofascisme: Le Coup d’Etat Climatique.


About Dogs: A philosophical guide to our best friends

Since prehistoric times, dogs have been man's best friends. They are travel companions for explorers, artists, thinkers, and walkers and are equally happy curling up by a fire and leaping through the great outdoors. Dogs matter to us because we love them. But is that all there is to their good-natured enthusiasm and affectionate dependency?

In Dogs, Mark Alizart dispenses with the well-worn clichés about dogs and their masters. He sees them as unexpected life coaches who are ready to teach us the secret recipes for contentment and joy, rather than as submissive pets. He explains that dogs seem to approach their fate as domesticated animals with a unique softness and happiness. Unlike other animals in similar situations, they have not become hardened or despondent. Alizart's book is devoted to understanding this miracle -- the miracle of the joy of dogs -- and, if possible, how it is achieved.

By elegantly and cleverly combining historical myths and anecdotes from pop-culture and integrating the peculiar views of philosophers with the bizarre findings of science, Alizart offers us a new, surprising portrait of dogs as thinkers who may know the true secret of our humanity.


Suggested lectures

1-Talk on his latest publication in Engish Dogs

2-Carbofascism: What It Is and How to Fight It.

Inaction in the face of global warming is often attributed to a lack of political courage or a denial of the seriousness of the situation. In the light of what we already know of the tactics of “disaster capitalism” it shouldn’t be excluded though that part of the reluctance of our governments to fight it may be motivated by cynicism and even sheer “evil”, as Greta Thunberg herself suggested during her speech at the UN in September of last year. Indeed, there are many financial and political benefits to be reaped out of the chaos it will undoubtedly trigger. Alizart's lecture will consider that possibility and its consequences. Accordingly, he will advocate for changes to be made to the strategy of ecological activism in order to forestall what could be nothing less than a “climate coup” in the making; inspired by Trotsky’s own diagnosis of the failure of socialism to win over fascism in the 1930s, as well as by Act Up’s success in dealing with the AIDS pandemic during the 1990s.


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AUTHORS ON TOUR