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Conference of the Centre for Research in Public Ethics and Governance: Animal Ethics and The Question of the Modern Subject

Topic: Animal Ethics and the Question of the Modern Subject 

Speaker: Marc De Kesel - Professor, Faculty of Philosophy

Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Time: 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

Place: Saint Paul University, Room G101

Today’s attempts to give the animal a social and political place and to honour it with the status of ‘subject’ refers to the question of the human subject and more precisely the subject of modernity. It is because we are too sure (which is to say not sure at all) concerning what the ‘modern subject’ is that we invented the question of the animal.

In a way, with regard to the problem of the subject of modernity, the question of the animal fulfills a similar function as the question of God. This is why a reference to the Christian theological tradition is indispensable to the understanding of what is at stake with the contemporary fascination for the animal. Analyzed from the perspective of the paradigm of the gift (as developed by Marcel Mauss), the lecture offers a short genealogy of the human relationship to the animal and shows how religion (in all its shapes) is profoundly involved in it.

**The conference will be in English; the discussion will be conducted in both English and French.**

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