Radical Animal

Reconnecting to the evolutionary function of play.

We are the radical animal. Animal, because we – our bodies and our minds – are the outcome of evolution, of the struggle to propagate our species, and to defend it against predators and rivals. Radical, because that same evolutionary process has given rise to self-consciousness: this is able to turn experiences into concepts, and then return us to the world with the power to reframe and manipulate reality. We are natural, but we are able to go to the roots of everything, and pull it apart with our will – guided by reason, driven by emotion. So we are also unnatural. 

How does this radical animal exist with other members of its species? Generally in a state of fitful tension, caught between two poles. At one pole, we deeply embrace the ties of family, tribe, class, nation, or any other more elective affinity – but in any case, we affirm the sociability that took us out of the savannah, and into our ever-more-complex forms of cohabitation. 

The other pol

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