Orientation: epistemology, observation and cognitive penetrability
Colin Allen, 2004, Is anyone a cognitive ethologist?: a summary of the history of ethology and its theoretical basis; he stresses the primacy of observation.
Jerry Fodor, 1984, Observation Reconsidered: a classic essay in theory of mind, still cited in neuroscience papers today. Defends the epistemological validity of observations in the face of the 'cognitive penetrability of perception', ie., how the things we believe affect what we see.
Powers et al., 2016, Hallucinations as Top-Down Effects on Perception: a contemporary neuropsychiatry paper which summarizes the debate on cognitivie penetrability and paints a picture of a perception that is indeed very penetrated by cognition.
Jack Lyons, 2011, Circularity, Reliability and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: contains a novel argument that the cognitive penetration of our perception is not epistemically vicious because it makes our observations more reliable, not less.
Projects: some simple ways to co-construct life with minibeasts
Wildflower meadow: a garden of native plants. Doesn't require any upkeep after setup, and great for all kinds of wildlife.
Bug Hotel: a place that all kinds of wildlife like to live, especially solitary bees. Put next to your wildflower meadow for your own little Biosphere 2.
Mud Puddle: make this and add salt or piss on it. Butterflies get filthy in here.
Amateur Biology: general resources
How to keep a Species Account: Michigen State University biology homework, and a useful reference.
How to keep a Field Journal: general information on taking notes in the field.
The Ecoreader: an enormous archive of field notes, catalogues, etc. Almost all are indecipherable due to sloppy handwriting. For philologists.
The Tree of Life: a huge amount of biological information.
Orientation: a total or limited animism?
Steven Shaviro, 2010, Consequences of Panpsychism: discusses a philosophy called 'panpsychism' which takes a very broad view of cognition, arguing all matter possesses a self-conscious interiority.
Corcoran et al., 2020 From allostatic agents to counterfactual cognisers; active inference, biological regulation, and the origins of cognition: an argument against the broad view of cognition.