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Non-Human Life and the Boundaries of Community

  • H. Peter Steeves
Chapter
  • 93 Downloads
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 143)

Abstract

Once upon a time a young man was walking through the woods on his way home from the market. In his pack he carried vegetables, fruits, and bread for his family. Wandering down the path and approaching a clearing, he happened to smell smoke. A quick investigation uncovered a bush overcome by low flames that were growing higher, and from the middle of the bush an adder called out for assistance. Tying one of the bread sacks to his staff and reaching it into the flames, the young man called to the adder to slip inside the sack and be lifted to safety. The adder complied and was saved. Away from danger the adder expressed his happiness and explained that some travelers had kindled the fire a few minutes before. The young man, pleased with himself after saving the adder and then putting out the fire, prepared to go on his way and suggested that the adder go in peace now and no longer harm men since he owed his life to a man’s kindness. The adder, though, turned to strike him.

Keywords

Human Community Animal Community Moral Standing Infinite Regress Whooping Crane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Taken from a Persian fable as recounted by Alexander Pope, “Of Cruelty to Animals” (1713) in Clarke (1990), 75–76.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Cf. my The Possibility of a Feminist Phenomenology (1993).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Hart(1992), 196.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Nagel (1974), 435–50.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Bekoff and Jamieson (1990), 414.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Bekoff and Jamieson (1990), 424.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Husserl’s “sympathetic understanding” of men in alien cultures might be expanded here to include animals (Cf. Cartesian Meditations, 133).Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Clarke(1990),41.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    Masson(1995), 89.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Masson (1995), 89. Masson goes on to remark that if “Tex had been raised by cranes, she would have fallen in love with one, as most cranes do. If George Archibald had been raised by cranes, with whom would he have fallen in love?”Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    Hearne (1994), 7–8.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    Cf. Buytendijk (1943), 70, and “Toucher et être touché” (as referenced by Rollin (1981), 225.)Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    Chase (1991),115–16.Google Scholar
  14. 22.
    Cf. John Mohawk’s, “The Great Law of Peace,” in Daly (1994).Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    Lingis (1994), p. 157.Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    Carr (1986), 163.Google Scholar
  17. 29.
    Clarke (1990), 152. In other words, there is no sphere of human-ownness.Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    Dreyfus (1992), 267.Google Scholar
  19. 34.
    Sokolowski (1985), 218–19.Google Scholar
  20. 35.
    Clarke(1990), 105.Google Scholar
  21. 37.
    Masson (1995), 65.Google Scholar
  22. 38.
    Masson(1995), 166.Google Scholar
  23. 39.
    Masson(1995), 168.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Peter Steeves
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State UniversityFresnoUSA

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