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Power, Knowledge, Animals Published

7th January 2013

Centre Fellow Professor Lisa Johnson has published a pioneering new book on the legal, philosophical, and moral status of animals.

Amid the debates about the status of animals in western civilization, one “truth” about them remains relatively unchanging in contemporary legal thought: animals are merely personal property that legal persons (i.e., human beings, corporations) own. But, in other times and places, animals have been understood differently. They have been understood variously as ensouled, rational, or existing for reasons quite apart from their “use” to humans.

Professor Johnson’s book, provides a critique springing from a Foucaultian perspective, which examines this contemporary “truth” about animals. Might a new truth about animals emerge, so that they could be understood as something other than property? The work provides a theoretical context for understanding the politics of the question of the animal and the discourses surrounding it.

The book is part of the Animal Ethics Series published by Palgrave Macmillan in partnership with the Centre. More information about the book can be obtained here.

Professor Lisa Johnson, PhD, JD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Puget Sound. She teaches courses in environmental law and animal law.