How the Politics of Inclusion/Exclusion and the Neuroscience of Dehumanization/Rehumanization Can Contribute to Animal Activists' Strategies: Bestia Sacer II

Society and Animals 19 (4):407-424 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Juxtaposing the continental philosophy of inclusion/exclusion and the cognitive and affective neuroscience of dehumanization, infrahumanization, and rehumanization may inform animal activists’ strategies. Both fields focus upon how we decide who counts and who doesn’t. Decisions over who’s human and who isn’t are not simply about species membership but involve biopolitical value judgments over who we wish to include or exclude. Posthumanists seek to disrupt the biopolitics of inclusion/exclusion, partly to heal ethical and political relations between human and nonhuman animals. Calarco calls this jamming Agamben’s anthropological machine. Bestia Sacer are those designated as included or excluded, moving among zones of humans, nonhuman animals, and things. Cognitive and affective neuroscience describes how mechanisms of inclusion/exclusion function in dehumanization, infrahumanization, and rehumanization. Humans assign varying degrees of humanity to others according to in-group/out-group status in judgments open to manipulation. Investigating how these mechanisms operate in human perceptions of nonhuman animals may inform activist strategies, transforming ethical and political relations between humans and nonhuman animals and end the exclusion of Bestia Sacer



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,420

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

78 (#210,663)

6 months
6 (#735,879)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?