Via the Inhumanities blog, what looks to be a good event, not least because it maps well onto some things I’ve noted here, namely a divergence of interests in critiquing anthropocentrism in animal ethics and speculative realism—and, though not mentioned here, environmentalism:
While speculative realism has critiqued anthropocentrism in ontology, and critical animal studies has critiqued anthropocentrism in ethics, there has yet to be many productive connections made between the two. With each offering the other important insights, the question to be asked is, what is the relation between ethics and ontology? Does a realist ontology require the suspension of any ethical imperatives? Can ethics and norms be grounded in something real? Are nonhuman actors capable of ethical relations?
I think he’s right about the normative side of reductionist accounts. (Or otherwise put, when the reductionists, such as the Churchlands, begin going normative and talking about imprisoning people deemed to have certain types of brain functioning, be afraid, be very afraid.) Besides, as a reader of the Greeks, various types of African philosophy, and Heidegger—well, what’s so bad about so-called “folk ontology”? Or is that a cudgel used to short circuit questions about what role narrative plays even in reductionist ontology?