The Anthropomorphic Hegemony of Subjectivity: Critical Reflections on Law and the Question of the Animal

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The Anthropomorphic Hegemony of Subjectivity: Critical Reflections on Law and the Question of the Animal

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: The Anthropomorphic Hegemony of Subjectivity: Critical Reflections on Law and the Question of the Animal
Author: Villiers, J. de
Issue Date: 2019-12-16
Keywords: Animal ethics
deconstruction
anthropomorphic hegemony of subjectivity
Derrida
metaphysical subjectivity
Abstract: This project contemplates an ethics of difference and singularity that can effectuate a displacement of anthropocentrism and radical transformation in the way we understand and approach relationality across species borders. The reflections take place against the background of the problematic accompanying the (re)presentation of animals in the subject-centered models of moral philosophy and law, and call into question the salient ways in which theorists have engaged these avenues in order to effect change in our treatment of animals. Animal liberation scholars and activists have mainly sought to address the plight of animals from the theoretical frameworks of legal rights, interest-based equality, and identity discourse that foreground the ways in which animals are essentially similar to human beings in terms of ethically relevant qualities or characteristics. This project critically reflects on Emmanuel Levinas’s formulation of the ethical in order to advance an alternative understanding of human-animal relations as grounded in the radical singularity or difference of individual beings. This project deconstructs the dominant animal rights models by uncovering anthropocentrism as a guiding thread of the Western metaphysical tradition and illustrating how the construct of subjectivity born from that tradition forecloses or limits certain ethical possibilities.
Promotor: Supervisor: Cliteur P.B. Co-Supervisor: Kwak A.J.
Faculty: Leiden Law School
University: Leiden University
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/82072
 

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