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Science, Imperialism, and the Foundations of Human/Nonhuman Animal Oppression

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Abstract:

Numerous works, such as Carol Adams’s The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, illuminate human-human and human-nonhuman relationships. Understanding the interconnection between human oppression and animal oppression is a fundamental avenue for highlighting larger structural processes that help generate and perpetuate inequality in the world. When not focusing on contemporary iterations of animal and human oppression authors mainly focus on the rise of Cartesian dualism as the generative force of the human-nonhuman animal dualism. In this work, we assess specific debates and developments within science related to these relationships, in order to illuminate contrasting positions and the historical context of these questions. We see the refinement of certain aspects of science, such as polygenesis/monogenesis debates and the cementing of the “great chain of being,” as helping to solidify human animals’ “superiority” over nonhuman animals. In this scala naturae view, the path of evolution is viewed as a ladder to perfection with humans occupying the top rung. We demonstrate how the scientific weakness and the socio-economic contexts have lead to the interconnected oppression between human and nonhuman animals. To do so, we place the development of the scientific ideas of polygenesis, monogenesis, and the great chain of being within the context of imperialism. Furthermore, it will be argued that imperialism both depended on and extended the process of ranking within the human and nonhuman context. It is through this materialist grounding of science as shaping and being shaped by the social organization of imperialism that we can better comprehend the connection human-human and human-nonhuman oppressive relationships.
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Association:
Name: Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.pacificsoc.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707831_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Auerbach, Daniel. and Clark, Brett. "Science, Imperialism, and the Foundations of Human/Nonhuman Animal Oppression" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon, Mar 27, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707831_index.html>

APA Citation:

Auerbach, D. and Clark, B. , 2014-03-27 "Science, Imperialism, and the Foundations of Human/Nonhuman Animal Oppression" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707831_index.html

Publication Type: Formal research paper presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Numerous works, such as Carol Adams’s The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, illuminate human-human and human-nonhuman relationships. Understanding the interconnection between human oppression and animal oppression is a fundamental avenue for highlighting larger structural processes that help generate and perpetuate inequality in the world. When not focusing on contemporary iterations of animal and human oppression authors mainly focus on the rise of Cartesian dualism as the generative force of the human-nonhuman animal dualism. In this work, we assess specific debates and developments within science related to these relationships, in order to illuminate contrasting positions and the historical context of these questions. We see the refinement of certain aspects of science, such as polygenesis/monogenesis debates and the cementing of the “great chain of being,” as helping to solidify human animals’ “superiority” over nonhuman animals. In this scala naturae view, the path of evolution is viewed as a ladder to perfection with humans occupying the top rung. We demonstrate how the scientific weakness and the socio-economic contexts have lead to the interconnected oppression between human and nonhuman animals. To do so, we place the development of the scientific ideas of polygenesis, monogenesis, and the great chain of being within the context of imperialism. Furthermore, it will be argued that imperialism both depended on and extended the process of ranking within the human and nonhuman context. It is through this materialist grounding of science as shaping and being shaped by the social organization of imperialism that we can better comprehend the connection human-human and human-nonhuman oppressive relationships.


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