Comment: Between Human and Animal

H. van den Belt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


As in the other parts of the book, in this part culturally entrenched boundaries and demarcations are also critically re-examined in light of the arrival of the Anthropocene as a new geological era. Here the focus is on rethinking the received distinction between humans and non-human animals. In a long series of discourses making up our cultural heritage, we humans have persistently tried to define the essence of our own humanity and to distinguish ourselves from other animals by laying claim to supposedly unique capacities and achievements like reason, language, morality, religion, technology, law and politics. By now, however, human exceptionalism in its cruder forms has definitely gone out of fashion. None of the contributors to this part of the book subscribes to such versions, but each has different views on how far the critique of human supremacy should be pursued and where the new boundaries should be redrawn, if at all. The issues raised in these contributions are of central importance for the reorientation of animal ethics and environmental ethics in the Age of the Anthropocene.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimal Ethics in the Age of Humans
Subtitle of host publicationBlurring boundaries in human-animal relationships
EditorsBernice Bovenkerk, Jozef Keulartz
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783319442068
ISBN (Print)9783319442051
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameThe International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics
ISSN (Print)1570-3010
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1737


  • Perceptual Apparatus
  • Political Agency
  • Proper Sense
  • Synthetic Biologist
  • Willow Warbler


Dive into the research topics of 'Comment: Between Human and Animal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this