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Human Animals

Lecture by Will Kymlicka

Animal Rights: The End of Human Supremacy

Debate

Will Kymlicka believes that the change of paradigm that is necessary in our relationship with animals means putting an end to the hierarchy of species and expanding the framework of animal rights. What effects on humans would these changes have?

The debate on animal rights opens up far-reaching questions about the way we see ourselves as a species. If animals were endowed with rights which humans have hitherto claimed as exclusively theirs, would this put our rights in jeopardy? Why have we assumed that in both ontological and moral terms humans exist on a higher plane? Is a hierarchy of species necessary as a foundation for human rights? The philosopher Will Kymlicka, well known for his work on multiculturalism and animal ethics, challenges assumptions that are deep-rooted in our culture and present in our philosophical discussion of human rights: discontinuity among species and human supremacy over animals. In this lecture he will argue that this is a negative perspective, not only for animals but for humans as well. Highlighting the problematic nature of concepts like “dignity”, Kymlicka calls for a new vocabulary as a basis for both human and animal rights, one that will embrace concepts like “vulnerability”, “capacity”, and “care”.

Presenters: Marta Tafalla

Participants: Will Kymlicka

This activity is part of Human Animals, Thinking Biennale. Open City

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Will Kymlicka

Animal Rights: The End of Human Supremacy

The philosopher Will Kymlicka believes that the change of paradigm that is necessary in our relationship with animals means putting an end to the hierarchy of species and expanding the framework of animal rights. What effects on humans would these changes have? Will Kymlicka, well known for his work...

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