Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animals and humans: A false divide?

Date:
June 5, 2013
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
We don't just share our lives with animals; we are animals -- a reality that we often choose to forget in modern Western culture. New research delves deeper into our relationship with other creatures, critically examining our own animal nature, and looking at how animals profoundly influence our culture -- perhaps more so than we had initially thought.

We don't just share our lives with animals; we are animals -- a reality that we often choose to forget in modern Western culture. Research published in the June special issue of SAGE journal, Social Science Information (SSI), delves deeper into our relationship with other creatures, critically examining our own animal nature, and looking at how animals profoundly influence our culture -- perhaps more so than we had initially thought.

We have often been told in Western thought that the human species is one that is highly developed, above that of the animal kingdom, a division that is clear cut and one that clearly sets the human species apart. Yet Dominique Lestel, a highly influential researcher studying animality (our animal nature), opposes the separation of human and animal life. Lestel ask us to reframe the question of animality, asking us to view humanization as an ongoing performative practice, rather than an historical threshold that was crossed long ago.

Looking at the relationship between animal and human, Lestel argues that species loss has both an ecological and symbolic consequence on our culture, as every species contributes to our very being, our meaning. He warns that "each species that disappears is a part of our imagination that we amputate perhaps irreversibly."

According to Lestel, the question is "not that of knowing how I share my life with others, but how others shape me and how I shape others," The work focuses on the interrelatedness of all animals (humans included), where more usually we tend to highlight the boundaries between us.

In addition to humans' place in the animal kingdom at a scientific level, Lestel also highlights our essential, existential animality in his opening comments with fellow editor, Hollis Taylor. "A key question now is to know how the human of the 21st century can reactivate his animality and animalize himself anew when all Western thought since the Greeks tells him that he is human precisely because of this rupture with animality," Lestel suggests, building on his critique of the very philosophical foundations of the ethological tradition. "To be human does not mean to have fled animality, but on the contrary to live within it and to let it live within us…we are animals and animals are us."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Bussolini. Recent French, Belgian and Italian work in the cognitive science of animals: Dominique Lestel, Vinciane Despret, Roberto Marchesini and Giorgio Celli. Social Science Information, 2013; 52 (2): 187 DOI: 10.1177/0539018413477938

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Animals and humans: A false divide?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605133712.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2013, June 5). Animals and humans: A false divide?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605133712.htm
SAGE Publications. "Animals and humans: A false divide?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605133712.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins