"Domestication and the Problem of Human Tyranny", by Angie Pepper (Roehampton) & Rich Healey (UCL)

February 24, 2023
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield and the Sheffield Animal Studies Research Centre

Room G07, Elmfield Building
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

This event is available both online and in-person


London School of Economics
University of Roehampton

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Dear all,  

You are kindly invited to the next ShARC Ethics & Politics Seminar, which will feature Angie Pepper (Roehampton) and Rich Healey (UCL), with a talk entitled "Domestication and the Problem of Human Tyranny". A commentary will be provided by Jessica du Toit (Western U.), followed by an open discussion. The speakers will join us in person, so you are very welcome to attend in person too.  

This is the abstract of the talk:

The practices and processes of domestication involve humans exercising extensive social and political power over animals. These exercises of power, like all exercises of power, stand in need of legitimation. Contrary to prevailing popular and philosophical views, we are sceptical that the power exercised over domesticated animals is or can be made legitimate. Our overall aims in this paper are to articulate some of the main reasons for this scepticism and begin exploring the implications of this claim. First, we argue that domestication involves the routine violation of animals’ interests in self-determination. Second, we show that domesticated human-nonhuman animal relationships are inherently relationships of asymmetrical power, dependency, and vulnerability. This fact makes it especially difficult to justify creating such relationships. Finally, we argue that we cannot justify these relationships by extending political membership to domesticated animals. Since nonhuman animals cannot take up the internal perspective of being a member of our political community, we cannot legitimate our exercise of power over them by extending this status to them. Ultimately, we suggest that sentient animals are entitled to more and better than domestication allows.


We will host this seminar on February 24th, from 2:00 to 3.30pm (GMT).

LINK FOR ATTENDING ONLINE:  meet.google.com/jbd-ycsb-rgm

If you have any queries, please send them to [email protected].

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