The animal condition in the human condition: Rethinking Arendt’s political action beyond the human species

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Abstract

This article puts Arendt’s conception of non-human animal appearance into a productive dialogue with recent developments in critical animal studies (CAS) and animal rights theory (ART) within which notions such as (dependent) agency, zoopolis, and animal agora play an important role. By reinterpreting the animal condition in Arendt’s account of the human condition, it demonstrates her potential contribution to political theory in a world where non-human-animals and nature are seen as making claims of entry into the political community. By emphasizing Arendt’s later work, in which she expresses an openness towards the possibility that non-human animals are drawn to appear (and not just for appetite satisfaction), the article indicates how Arendt might help us, both to rethink the boundaries of the political community beyond the human species, and to recognize the political agency of non-human animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-239
Number of pages21
JournalContemporary Political Theory
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Arendt
  • action
  • animal
  • appearance
  • the political

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