By Charlotte Sleigh
Ants lengthy have involved linguists, human sociologists, or even cyberneticians. on the finish of the 19th century, ants looked to be admirable types for human existence and have been praised for his or her paintings ethic, communitarianism, and obvious empathy. They supplied a natural-theological lesson at the relative value of people inside construction and encouraged psychologists to enquire the query of intuition and its position within the lifetime of better animals and people. via the Nineteen Thirties, in spite of the fact that, ants got here to represent one in every of modernity's private fears: the lack of selfhood. Researchers then considered the ant colony as an unthinking mass, simply governed and slavishly organized.
In this quantity, Charlotte Sleigh makes use of particular representations of ants in the box of entomology from the overdue 19th to mid-twentieth centuries to discover the wider position of metaphors in technological know-how and their frequently unpredictable translations. Marking the centenary of the coining of "myrmecology" to explain the research of ants, Six Legs Better demonstrates the striking ancient function performed via ants as a node the place notions of animal, human, and automaton intersect.
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