terça-feira, 28 de julho de 2015

Animal liberation as the ability to overstep ourselves

by Roberto Marchesini

In order to understand deeply the issue of animal liberation, it is mandatory to consider the existential supremacy of being-animal as a shared meta-predicative condition (both in human and non-human beings). Liberation is what emerges from the categorical ruins and the revision of what lies at the ground of labeling and exclusions, that is to say ontological anthropocentrism. A frequent mistake has been made in thinking to solve the ethical problem by avoiding the comparison with the ontological aspect, also because of the bogeyman of naturalistic fallacy, that is a useful fiction used by humanists to make only the human being worthy of consideration. The facts do not produce values, but they are relevant in the issue of values. The aims of this paper are: 1) to show that an a-speciesist hypothesis is not possible by maintaining the division between facts and values; 2) to show how the dichotomy between description and prescription can be overcome starting from a post-humanistic frame. Nevertheless the concept of liberation needs to be reconsidered by avoiding the obstacles which do not allow to read beyond appearances and lock the constituency of individuation in the strict etographic expression (umwelt). The liberation movement does not care if you show your existential supremacy through the predicates of cats, horses, wasps or human beings. It does not matter the level of awareness which supports the supremacy, it does not matter if what you express is the outcome of a decision and, moreover, if you are able to abstain, control or pose distance, to transcend an here-and-now moment, etc. According to an ontological explanation, you are the owner because you belong to yourself, because you are not moved by an automatism but you are free to use your own equipment by realizing creative events: to transcend your phylogenetic heritage (and thus your taxonomic membership) is your natural state. No animal liberation could be possible if a cat is considered nothing more than a simple cat and a human being is nothing less than a human being. It is necessary to create a new ontology, which puts in the middle of the discussion the sovereignty of our dotation and the possibility to transit towards infinite temporary results. As long as the animal is fixed into its specie-specific predicate, no animal liberation could occur and nevertheless it could occur if we maintain the passive or minor conception to claim it. To be an animal is a constant attempt to the status quo and an active rebellion against restrictions. I would like to show that the concept of animal liberation requires some shiftings of meaning, starting from a liquid and relational ontology, which transforms freedom into the ability to overstep ourselves. 


Roberto Marchesini is a historic Italian activist for animal rights, philosopher and ethologist. He began working as an activist in the early '80s, becoming a key figure in the Italian landscape of animal rights with the text-investigation on the intensive farming Oltre il muro. He continued his activities in the ethologic and philosophical field trying to argue a thought capable of redefining the role of non-human animals in a non-anthropocentric way. With the text Post-human (2002) he became one of the most important representatives in the Italian philosophical landscape. He is author of more than fifty publications in academic journals and texts.

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