Abstract/Details

States of nature: The animal as object and ancestor in political thought


2008 2008

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Concepts of personhood result from a repression of the animal and nature in the history of political philosophy. I examine the historical significance of the philosophical and political removal of the animal from the human domain. In particular, I turn to the history of metaphysical humanism and social contract theory to argue that the hierarchy of human over animal is a baseless and ultimately inhumane distinction of kind. Traditional contract theory presents a logic of mastery that collectively fictionalizes tales of savagery and cultural stagnation outside of industrial development. Consequently, both animals and nature are seen to lack moral worth outside of their applications to human labor.

By plotting the historical origins of the human/animal divide, I ultimately offer a rethinking of the human subject, not as anti-animal, but fundamentally comprised of animality. To rethink subjectivity in relation to animal life, I argue, will grant animals a subject position worthy of philosophical consideration, and thus entail an ethics based on the vital interests that they claim in their own right.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy;
Political science
Classification
0422: Philosophy
0615: Political science
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Animal rights; Environmental philosophy; Political; Social contract; State of nature
Title
States of nature: The animal as object and ancestor in political thought
Author
La Barbera, Christopher
Number of pages
213
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0771
Source
DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549941163
University/institution
State University of New York at Stony Brook
University location
United States -- New York
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3339972
ProQuest document ID
275841109
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/275841109
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.