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Anthropocentrism And Reason In Dialectic Of Enlightenment: Environmental Crisis And Animal Subject

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes that the environmental crisis challenges the human subject of the European mechanistic Enlightenment in its claims for superiority and mastery of nature. Relinquishing these claims would require a letting-go of what today's post-Enlightenment cultures consider constituting human dignity. The aim of the chapter is to explore how solving the ecological crisis of the present leads through the human-animal relationship. The author hereby challenges anthropocentrism by encouraging the spirit of humility towards animals to promote a human culture that accepts being different from nature without subjugating nature. According to Dialectic of Enlightenment, the big change of the Enlightenment was the move from a cultural relationship with nature based on mimetic technique to one based on the use and modification of material nature through scientific enquiry. The thesis of Dialectic of Enlightenment describes human history as a continuous anthropocentric struggle for the mastery of nature.

Keywords: anthropocentrism; Dialectic of Enlightenment; environmental crisis; human-animal relationship; spirit of humility



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