CFP: Anthropocentrism: Investigations into the History of an Idea
Anthropocentrism can be a charge of human chauvinism, yet it can also be an acknowledgement of the boundaries of human consciousness; it is in tension with nature, the environment and nonhuman animals; and it is in apparent contrast to other-worldly cosmologies, religions and philosophies. Anthropocentrism has provided order and structure to humans’ understanding of the world, while unavoidably expressing the limits of that understanding. It influences our ethics, our politics, and the moral status of others, yet how thoroughly is the concept and its history understood?
This collection seeks essays that question the assumptions behind the label anthropocentrism, specifically aiming critically to enquire into presuppositions about the meaning of ‘human’. The book looks fundamentally to understand what is anthropos in anthropocentrism. What are the epistemological and ontological problems of charges of anthropocentrism? Are not all human views inherently so? What scope is there for objective, ‘ejective’ or empathetic views that genuinely, and not merely rhetorically, trump anthropocentrism? In addition, contributions are desired which explore the history of anthropocentric ideas and their relation to, or implications for, the nonhuman world. Possible topics on anthropocentrism include discussions relating to: the moral status of nonhuman animals; the history of theology; spirits, angels and God(s); humanism; creation and/or dominion; the history of science and scientific research (vivisection, Darwinism, etc.); the history of the environment and environmental activism/conservation; concepts of nature.
Topics are not place or period limited. The collection as a whole should serve as a course text for classes in intellectual history or the history of philosophy, as well as being pertinent to animal studies, environmental studies, theology and philosophy.
Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words, with an accompanying CV, by May 15th 2009, to Rob Boddice, firstname.lastname@example.org
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