The Epistemology of the Parrot


This article presents a reading of “Un cœur simple” from a perspective that brings together the philosophy of stupidity, the animal, and religion. Focusing on the links between stupidity and irony, that Félicité’s fusion of God and the parrot implies a hermeneutical grid that sees religion as parrotry, insofar as her transcendence depends upon the idea of God as purveyor of non-referential language. In “Un cœur simple,” irony operates within the problem that a judgment of stupidity poses: judging someone stupid becomes a stupid judgment.

Bruno Penteado
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