‘We Are Not the Only Political Animals’

A political caricature of the United States Senate from 1894 Credit: Library of Congress

A political caricature of the United States Senate from 1894
Credit: Library of Congress

Justin E.H. Smith, professor of History and Philosophy of Science, published an interesting article in the Opinionator pages of the New York Times, entitled We Are Not the Only Political Animals. He argues in favor of using a political framework in our interactions with animals.

Excerpt:

This supposed freedom from political strictures has motivated some, such as the 19th-century anarchist aristocrat Piotr Kropotkin, to take nonhuman animals as a model for human society. But for the most part the ostensibly nonpolitical character of animal life has functioned simply to exclude animals from human consideration as beings with interests of their own.

What might we be missing when we cut animals off in this way from political consideration?

You can read the entire article here.

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