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When Harambe, a now-famous gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo, was shot for endangering a small child, animal rights activists protested, calling into question moral reasoning that privileges the possibility of injury to a human over definite violence to an animal. Many others, though less vehement in their objection, voiced the same questions: was the gorilla any worse than the negligent parents? Doesn't Harambe have rights just like you and me? How do we decide what animals deserve and how we ought to treat them? To what extent are our attitudes towards animals embedded in our subconscious and immune to reason? The foundations of our moral attitudes to animals are more complex than many may appreciate. Subhuman takes an interdisciplinary approach to these questions, drawing from research in philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, law, history, sociology, economics, and anthropology, to unearth surprising revelations about human relationships with animals. T.J. Kasperbauer argues provocatively that behind our positive and negative attitudes to animals is an enduring concern that animals pose a threat to our humanness. Namely, our need to ensure animals' inferiority to human beings affects both our kindness and cruelty to animals. Kasperbauer develops this idea by looking at research on the phenomenon of dehumanization, revealing that our attitudes to other humans are predicted and reflected in our treatment of other species. In making his case, Kasperbauer provides a critical survey of leading theories that range over the role of animals in human evolutionary history, the psychology of meat-eating and keeping pets, feelings of fear and disgust toward animals, the use of animal minds to determine their moral status, and the "expanding moral circle" hypothesis. By exploring the psychological obstacles humans face in meeting ethical demands, Kasperbauer sets forth new and fascinating ways of thinking about our moral obligations to animals, and how we might correct them.
This book is a historical and philosophical meditation on paying back and buying back, that is, it is about retaliation and redemption. It takes the law of the talion - eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth - seriously. In its biblical formulation that law states the value of my eye in terms of your eye, the value of your teeth in terms of my teeth. Eyes and teeth become units of valuation. But the talion doesn't stop there. It seems to demand that eyes, teeth, and lives are also to provide the means of payment. Bodies and body parts, it seems, have a just claim to being not just money, but the first and precisest of money substances. In its highly original way, the book offers a theory of justice, not an airy theory though. It is about getting even in a toughminded, unsentimental, but respectful way. And finds that much of what we take to be justice, honor, and respect for persons requires, at its core, measuring and measuring up.
This book focuses on Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, philosopher and controversial artist. It expresses the opinions of philosophers, museologists and artists, for whom Stanislaw Ignacy Witkacy's 130th birthday anniversary became an opportunity to view his works from the perspective of postmodernity. The authors concentrate on Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz as eminent and prophetic philosopher concerned about Western culture with its waning metaphysical feelings, master of gesture and poses, anticipating the postmodern theatricalization of life.
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