Animal-humanities and the Eco-sophical Parergon: Homo Reflectus in Species History

Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Saptaparni Pandit


Philosophy is perhaps all too human and excludes the non-human Other from its epistemic humano-sphere. This paper dislodges the human monopoly over the planetary life-world so that a “zoography” of morals can be inaugurated in a world witnessing the Anthropocentric apocalypse caused by our arrogant sense of human supremacy. In a restructuring attempt, we try to “think through” the Earth and the Earth Others, so as to expose the inherent violence in our normative nonchalance when it comes to our atrocities against animals or our colonization of non-humans. Perceived through post-Anthropocentric optics, the normative binary of human/non-human assumes larger significance as we endeavor to think through other fellow species to salvage the damage of our “common home”- the planet Earth, inhabited equally by humans and non-humans. Human-centric epistemic trajectories are premised on power bound binaries of inside/outside, human/non-human, etc and such divisions remind us of Derrida`s notion of the “parergon” that problematises the frame/content, or inside/outside binaries to tease out a bridge between the divided realms. We therefore, argue for an eco-sophical parergonal suturing of the human/non-human, the Earth/Earth-others to constitute a holistic frame of co-living. Borrowing Claire Colebrook, Tom Cohen and J Hillis Miller`s ideas in their Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols (2016), we intend to work for alternative philosophems – something Rosi Braidotti and Cary Wolfe named as anti-humanism or posthumanism. We propose to deepen such post-humanist approaches in the humanities and social sciences so that a better critique of Anthropocentric humanism can be actualized.

Keywords: Anthropocentrism; Posthumanism; Animal Studies; Anthropocene, New Materialism; Manifesto.

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