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Species at War? The Animal and the Anthropocene

Mussgnug, F; (2019) Species at War? The Animal and the Anthropocene. Paragraph , 42 (1) pp. 116-130. 10.3366/para.2019.0291. Green open access

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Abstract

Environmental politics has become inextricably entwined with planetary deep time. This article calls for a reconceptualization of the relation between humans and nonhuman nature. It rejects the ontological singularity of the human, either as a biological species (Homo) or as a planetary super-agent (Anthropos) and argues for a perspective centred on companionship and shared vulnerability. Animal philosophy serves here to counter a growing tendency to generalize and address the human species at large, in the singular. The cultural force of the animal, it is suggested, stems from a productive tension between the abstract singular (‘the Animal’) and the unique specificity of each particular nonhuman other. In the context of Anthropocene Studies, references to Anthropos follow a similar logic. The planetary future of humans cannot be deduced from any specific geopolitical context or expressed through universalizing categories. It must be understood, against the vertiginous backdrop of geological time, as a process of becoming: a complex set of material and semiotic practices shaping open-ended, transformative trajectories

Type: Article
Title: Species at War? The Animal and the Anthropocene
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3366/para.2019.0291
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3366/para.2019.0291
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070443
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