Week 3 Seminar Synopsis and Reading List: Animality

For this week of our interdisciplinary seminar on the philosophy of social science we discuss the topic of animality. To this end we present the following three texts:

Paul Ricœur, article on “Ontology” (Razvan Amironesei)
In this article Ricœur provides an overview of the concept of ontology, from a thematic and historical perspective. On a thematic plane of analysis he engages ontology with science and language. From an historical perspective he discusses the concept in Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Husserl, Heidegger, Marcel, and Merleau-Ponty.

Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression, chapter 13, “Ecce Homo” (Ike Sharpless)
Lorenz discusses the function of aggression in human evolution. More specifically, he articulates the moral consequences of a sharp deviation between phylogenetically adapted instincts and contemporary ecological and sociological conditions.

Martha Nussbaum, Frontiers of Justice, chapter 6, “Beyond “Compassion and Humility” (Caleb Scoville)
Nussbaum poses the following question: should our relationships with other animals be regulated by justice? She argues that mechanisms of justice and law can be extended across the species barrier. To do so, she articulates a capabilities approach which she differentiates from Kantian and utilitarian ethics.

References:
Lorenz, Konrad. On Aggression. Trans. Marjorie K. Wilson. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966.
Nussbaum, Martha Craven. Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2006.
Ricœur, Paul. «“Ontologie», Encyclopædia Universalis [en ligne], consulté le 15 novembre 2014. URL : http://www.universalis.fr/encyclopedie/ontologie/

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