The Struggle for Recognition : On Animal Rights — part seven

‘The universal type of the animal determined by the Notion, lies at the basis of the various forms and orders of animals. This type is exhibited by nature partly in the various stages of its development from the simplest organization to the most perfect, in which nature is the instrument of spirit, and partly in the various circumstances and conditions of elemental nature. Developed into singularity, the animal species distinguishes itself from others both in itself and by means of itself, and has being-for-self through the negation of that from which it has distinguished itself. In this hostile relation to others, in which they are reduced to inorganic nature, violent death constitutes the natural fate of individuals’.


‘The immediacy of the Idea of life consists of the Notion although it alone is that which is determined in and for itself as such failing to exist in life, submitting itself therefore to the manifold conditions and circumstances of external nature, and being able to appear in the most stunted of forms; the fruitfulness of the earth allows life to break forth everywhere, and in all kinds of ways. The animal world is perhaps even less able than the other spheres of nature to present an immanently independent and rational system of organization, to keep to the forms which would be determined by the Notion, and to proof them in the face of the imperfection and mixing of conditions, against mingling, stuntedness and intermediaries. The feebleness of the Notion in nature in general, not only subjects the formation of individuals to external accidents, which in the developed animal, and particularly in man, give rise to monstrosities, but also makes the genera themselves completely subservient to the changes of the external universal life of nature. The life of the animal shares in the vicissitudes of this universal life and consequently, it merely alternates between health and disease. The milieu of external contingency contains very little that is not alien, and as it is continually subjecting animal sensibility to violence and the threat of dangers, the animal cannot escape a feeling of insecurity, anxiety and misery’.

- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, (1770–1831), ‘Philosophy of Nature’

What are your views on the use of non-human animals in biomedical testing, scientific research seeking after ways of preventing and treating diseases causing illness and death in human beings and other animals?

What is the best approach to deciding upon the rightness or wrongness of testing on animals?

‘La Nourriture de l’ennemi’, 1926, René Magritte

From a moral perspective not to mention one of common humanity (if I may use that word although of course characteristics such as kindness, mercy and sympathy hardly belong uniquely to human animals) it is evident enough that the infliction of death or pain upon sentient creatures for scientific or medical research is just plain wrong and ought to be outlawed although of course with the way of the world always being messy and complicated there will be occasions whereupon non-human animals do have to be deliberately harmed or to become subjects of research. Possibly they might killed for the purpose of protecting the health of human and other animals if they are infected with a serious disease and cannot be quarantined, or they may be used in harmless and beneficent research, for instance coaching chimpanzees to comprehend and use sign language. And yet even when the purpose of research is to benefit the non-human animals themselves, inflicting pain or death in the process of research is unjustifiable, non-human animals cannot give consent and therefore unlike human animals they cannot be called upon to make a sacrifice even for the good of other animals, human or non-human.

Medical practitioners and scientific researchers will of course object that to prohibit animal research would amount to placing a severe hindrance in the way of medical and scientific progress but then we find that even with current assumptions upon this matter that the use of animals in biomedical research and practice is frequently just not necessary, a good deal of it is lacking in serious purpose, in the testing of cosmetics for instance, or is simply a regular course of procedure, for instance researchers testing upon animals for the purpose of advancing public relations in the sense of being able to declare that they have undertaken the appropriate testing, or it is altogether pointless as in tests designed to confirm what is evident enough or is known already, or it is cynical by any standards of honesty or morality for instance when calling for tests in order to exact government funding or for assistant professors hastily seeking tenure.

A good deal of animal testing has also been counter-productive, delivering up false negatives when the item in question would in point of fact be beneficial for human beings, for instance with polio vaccines, and furthermore animal testing can be positively injurious as in the negative results obtained in thalidomide and lung cancer tests and in the misleading results of many drug tests. There are other options that can take the place of animal testing were there a willingness to spend the extra funds necessary for their development, including electronic and computer modeling, animal tissue testing, epidemiological research, stem cell experimentation. The rates of human mortality and human sickness would be more speedily diminished if only a portion of the funds now spent upon unusual, bizarre and experimental animal research were re-channelled into public health measures. Doubtless assertions made either for or against the value of animal testing cannot be accurately measured and the benefits to science of most tests is difficult to establish and can seldom be quantified, or to put it another way, one cannot be certain whether or not biomedical knowledge would have progressed more quickly or more slowly, sooner or later, in the absence of tests upon animals. And likewise neither can we know whether or not biomedical science might not have been more advanced anyway without reliance upon animal testing and had taken different directions.

That the use of animal products is not without its importance in contemporary medical practice is a notion that persists, vaccines for instance, tests for the effects of drugs on individuals, and the like, it is said, require albeit agonizing and harrowing uses of animals, and further, parts of animals may be used as substitutes for human organs in life-saving operations. If a human animal has a bad heart and is on the brink of death then to save that human animal new valves or an entire heart has to be transplanted from a non-human animal such as a pig or a cow, or are animal rights more important and so the patient should be allowed to die? Well of course here we have difficult questions to answer, suppose a child of yours or someone else you love dearly has a heart that is about to fail and only animal transplants are available and the parts required are ready at hand in the hospital freezer and the loved one is too ill to be consulted, who in such a position would decide against the transplant?

‘Parrot watching a Boy holding a Monkey’, Jacob van Oost de Oudere, (1603–1671)

And here the uselessness of analytical moral philosophy becomes once more apparent. A consequentialist in morality would take the view that the morally correct answer is to decline the transplant, there is no escape route to be had through beseeching a conflict of rights between human animal and non-human animal. For it is not the case that both the loved human animal and the non-human animal have to die if you do not choose one or the other to be saved, for the fact of the animal already being dead makes no difference given that it was in robust health and would have carried on living were it not for coldly calculated human killing and were the decision taken to use the organ of this non-human animal another will be killed to restock the refrigerator. The torment being suffered by the person forced into making a decision serves to a degree to excuse his or her overriding their conscience in this particular case for it is overwhelmingly tempting upon confronting loss and bereavement to do what current public law allows and what medical science expects and supports.

But whoever yields to such a temptation, so the consequentialist moral argument proceeds, should recognise that he or she is committing a wrong and be ready to redress the issue now that they are morally accountable for urging changes in the law that would prohibit the practice of animal transplants in the future, such can be done without exposing oneself to a charge of inconsistency for the temptation in any given situation may be horribly brutal and ought not to be the kind of situation, where we have to make a choice, that we are placed in in the first place. And what if it is our ticker that is dodgy? And so we are having to decide whether or not to accept a non-human animal transplant for ourselves. The moralist would say that in such a situation there is even less excuse for agreeing to it and the moral obligation to press for the elimination of individual temptation by law even more earnest should that even be conceivable, and to campaign for such a public law would not necessarily cause medical science to relinquish transplants for such a law would re-channel more research work towards the production of artificial vital organs and one never knows may also lead to more lasting successes in the treatment. New hearts, new valves, and such like, ought to be, and increasingly are, made from non-sentient materials and science and medicine can progress without the need for the exploitation of animals even though the chosen pathways of development might be different, the rate of advance might be slower, the choice of drugs or modes of surgery might have to be tested human animals that have given their consent, and knowledge of effects may frequently depend upon sheer trial and error with human patients, so there may well be a human cost to pay although not as high as might be supposed and in any case that is of no matter what is important is what is thereby gained in human decency and general respect for life, that is what makes it all worth it.

‘Young Girl Holding a Monkey’, 1721, Rosalba Carriera

So much for the facts of the matter and a moral response to them, now for some proper philosophy. As I hope to make clear in what follows it is far more productive to move away from moral analytical philosophy in the addressing of such questions and to come at it from a completely different angle. What is at issue here is not speciesism (see part one of this series) but anthropocentrism, that human-centered point of view in particular the point of view that human beings are the only animals having moral status, or at least principally so. And in connection with this is the anthropological as well as the philosophical concept of alterity or otherness and throughout the history of philosophy the issue of the Other, albeit it has not had a particularly simple and absolute determination, has indeed seemingly been a particularly human concern and therefore to engage with the nature of alterity and thereby with the quality of the Other is a philosophical undertaking that starts off with an assumed and frequently implied anthropocentrism. Alterity features within a context limited from the very beginning by a presupposition concerning what it means to be a human being or at least the approach to being a human being usually begins with a posited centrality of human-to-human relations, but let us just imagine if we were to extend it further to human-to-animal relations.

Such a position is quite evident in the thinking of Emmanuel Levinas, (1906–1995), whereby the presence of the Other is recognised and maintained through a mode of address, as he explains:

‘Every meeting begins with a benediction contained in the word hello. This hello that every cogito, that every reflection on self already presupposes and which could be the first transcendence. This greeting addressed to the other man is an invocation. I insist therefore on the primacy of the welcoming relation in regard to otherness’.

- ‘The Proximity of the Other’, in ‘Otherness and Transcendence’

There is in first order of importance a relation between human beings that is given through the word, and were it feasible to define the absence of the word then that absence would describe the animal’s presence and absence or deprivation would win out and yet most assuredly it is this prevailing sense of deprivation that leaves open the possibility of thinking a form of animal presence that was situated beyond both a grounding without relation and at the same time a form of animal presence beyond all endeavour to supersede it. Such a complex state of affairs is already suggested with the with not being understood as the negation of the without relation but rather as that which initiates another thinking of the relation, which is to say, what this leaves open is the possibility of re-considering the issue of the Other that was no longer put forth in terms of an established absence where absence is defined in relation to the spoken word, and what such an undertaking would necessitate is starting out with a different question, albeit such a starting out in continual operation for if there is another issue then the departure point requires location elsewhere and along with that principle concern having been continually encountered both philosophically and theologically is in addition the infeasibility of the animal occupying the position of the Other and hence of the related impossibility that there be an established relation to animals as a locus of plurality incorporating human animal-ness and it is precisely this state of affairs that opens up the possibility of a different issue and thus an alternative starting point. The issue is evident enough, the issue is to do with the non-human animal as Other, and in the history of philosophy the non-human animal already features of course, but the constraint within which the non-human animal is placed is in terms of a constituting without relation. We find in René Descartes, (1596–1650), and Martin Heidegger, (1889–1976), such positioning being linked to a radical separation of thought or existence on the one hand and from life on the other.

The diremption or splitting is such that thought even in its various modifications will be forever allowed a position wherein it is positioned as independent in relation to life, hence in this context Levinas employs the term cogito. Hence correctness or decorum for instance is defined therefore in terms of being without life, and without life is without animal-ness, this is the without relation of which I speak, not the non-human animal as such but that which is the non-human animal’s figured presence and thus the continual presence of a grounding without a relation. Upon recognising that this sense of correctness is inextricably bound up with the without relation it is then feasible to question the complex relationship between the without relation and its posited contrary, which is to say, the with relation, a term arising in the context of the manner with which the without relation featured in Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’ whereby in the work of Jacques Derrida, (1930–2004), insofar as I can ever figure out what he is up to but I will get to that if I must, its contrary was enabled to be developed. Speaking generally the with relation is an indicator of a generalised procedural method of inclusion hence the with is the moment whereby absence is understood to have been overcome by presence and in such a context presence identifies a form of shared and imposed inclusion.

Such an inclusion has manifested different forms within the history of philosophy and while it is not the case that in each sense the term designates an identical state of affairs it is the case that Aristotle, (384–322 BC), employed cognate terms such as partnership (koinonian) and the common interest (to koiné) in his ‘Politics’ (1278b23),

‘… man is by nature a political animal; and so even when men have no need of assistance from each other they none the less desire to live together. At the same time they are also brought together by common interest, so far as each achieves a share of the good life.The good life then is the chief aim of society, both collectively for all its members and individually; but they also come together and maintain the political partnership for the sake of life merely, for doubtless there is some element of value contained even in the mere state of being alive, provided that there is not too great an excess on the side of the hardships of life, and it is clear that the mass of mankind cling to life at the cost of enduring much suffering, which shows that life contains some measure of well-being and of sweetness in its essential nature’.

- ‘Politics’

Descartes, use of the term shared (partagée) in the ‘Discourse on Method’:

‘Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partagée; car chacun pense en être si bien pourvu, que ceux même qui sont les plus difficiles à contenter en toute autre chose n’ont point coutume d’en désirer plus qu’ils en ont’.

‘Good sense is the best distributed thing in the world, for everyone thinks himself to be so well endowed with it that even those who are the most difficult to please in everything else are not at all wont to desire more of it than they have’.

- ‘Le Discours de la méthode’

And of course there is Heidegger’s use of being-with (mitsein) in ‘Being and Time’:

‘Dasein understands itself proximally and for the most part in terms of its world ; and the Dasein-with of Others is often encountered in terms of what is ready-to-hand within-the-world. But even if Others become themes for study, as it were, in their own Dasein, they are not encountered as person-Things present-at-hand : we meet them ‘at work’, that is, primarilyin their Being-in-the-world. Even if we see the Other ‘just standing around’, he is never apprehended as a human-Thing present-at-hand, but his ‘standing-around’ is an existential mode of Being-an unconcerned, uncircumspective tarrying alongside everything and nothing [Verweilen bei Allem und Keinem] . The Other is encountered in his Dasein-with in the world’.

‘The expression ‘Dasein’, however, shows plainly that ‘in the first instance’ this entity is unrelated to Others, and that of course it can still be ‘with’ Others afterwards. Yet one must not fail to notice that we use the term ‘Dasein-with’ to designate that Being for which the Others who are [die seienden Anderen] are freed within-the-world. This Dasein-with of die Others is disclosed within-the-world for a Dasein, and so too for those who are Daseins with us [die Mitdaseienden], only because Dasein in itself is essentially Being-with. The phenomenological assertion that ‘Dasein is essentially Being-with’ has an existential-ontological meaning. It does not seek to establish ontically that factically I am not present-at-hand alone, and that Others of my kind occur. If this were what is meant by the proposition that Dasein’s Being-in-the-world is essentially constituted by Being-with, then Being-with would not be an existential attribute which Dasein, of its own accord, has coming to it from its own kind of Being. It would rather be something which turns up in every case by reason of the occurrence of Others. Being-with is an existential characteristic of Dasein even when factically no Other is present-at-hand or perceived’.

- ‘Sein und Zeit’

Derrida (as if we care) has interrogated the conception of commonality in ‘Politics and Friendship’ and Jean- Luc Nancy, (1940–2021), made the questions of the with and the share central to a number of his politico- philosophical texts.

All of these terms considered together indicate a definition of commonality defined by a form of sharing, a sharing hence a commonality designated by the with, and furthermore the common and the shared define both the internality and the correctness of human being and one must guard against countering the without relation with a mere assertion of the with for such an assertion may well declare assimilation as an already present possibility in this case it is one that will be held at bay, which is to say, one must guard against the move whereby exclusion is taken to have been countered by the simple act of inclusion, and this is particularly so when the relation of without is understood as constituting and maintaining that which is proper to the being of being human, the correctness as I have referred to it for want of a better term. The movement between the relation of without and the with defines the mise-en-scène within which a possibility emerges whereby identity claims including those regarding race can be taken up as indeed they very much are in this current age (see what I have to say about race in the first part of this series). Furthermore it permits them to be taken up in a context wherein they are not reduced to the insistent grip of a residual anthropocentrism for insofar as that goes the animal, a prevailing setting that brings animal-ness with it, shows the way, hence the supposition is that what the intrusion of the animal brings into play is the complication of the with.

Such will take place for what is then held to one side is the grounded anthropocentrism upon which the with traditionally depends and reciprocally the without relation maintains and as such the occurrence of the animal means that it is no longer an issue of the mere negation of the relation of without such that the animal will be with us once we have introduced them either by an act of humility or the extension of human qualities to them, for instance the animal becoming the bearer of rights and hence another subject of right. Such acts of extension not only subsume the differences between human and non- human animals in addition they also expunge the differences that are unavoidably at work within whatever it is that the universal term animal is taken to designate. The animal, allowing the term to name at the same time a wayward animal-ness, impels another thinking, one whereby what is occasioned is the recognition that differences cannot be thought, which is to say, thought if those differences are also to be sustained, in terms of the movement between the relation of without and with, a movement in which the latter is either the negation of the relation of without or a complement to it.

‘Diana under the tree’, 1878, Hans Thoma

This is particularly so were the terms with and without relation understood to do nothing else than designate a mere opposition, a setting of this sort can be taken further by focussing upon a specific moment extracted from a range of possibilities whereby a particular conception of the philosophical can be situated in relation to the problems associated with the with/without relation, an instance which can be informed by consulting Hegel’s discussion of disease in his ‘Philosophy of Nature’, for disease it transpires is as implicitly bound up with demographic identity as it is with animal-ness, indeed it may become one of the ways by which both the figure of the animal and the figure of certain demographics in the context of Otherness operate within a with/without relation and as such disease delivers a way into the issue of animal as Other and its vital significance in the dismal issue of animal experimentation. Thus a possibility opens of deploying various elements in analysing the work of the figure of certain demographics and the taking up disease in relation to Otherness, an analytical method with established limits and that resists a grounded anthropocentrism for it no longer is strictly curtailed by the opposition of the relation of without and the with.

Disease and the animal disease for Hegel involves the movement whereby one system or organ isolates itself and persists in its activity against the activity of the whole, the fluidity and all-pervading process of which is thereby obstructed:

‘ … the self-mediation of the genus with itself is the process of its diremption into individuals and the sublation of its differences. However, as the genus also assumes the shape of an inorganic nature which is opposed to the individual, it brings forth its existence within it in an abstract and negative manner. The determinate being of the individual organism is therefore involved in a relationship of externality, and while the organism preserves itself by returning into itself in its genus, it may also, and with equal facility, fail to correspond to it.-The organism is in a diseased state when one of its systems or organs is stimulated into conflict with the inorganic potency of the organism. Through this conflict, the system or organ establishes itself in isolation, and by persisting in its particular activity in opposition to the activity of the whole, obstructs the fluidity of this activity, as well as the process by which it pervades all the moments of the whole’.

- ‘The disease of the individual’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

Health, in contrast, is the fluidity of the totality working in unison, while disease, albeit it is linked to the particular, is such that it can take over and dominate the whole, and the effect of this form of particularity is its universalisation through the whole. What this means is that disease then becomes the domination of particularity positioned on the level of the organic:

‘In common life the terms truth and correctness are often treated as synonymous: we speak of the truth of a content, when we are only thinking of its correctness. Correctness, generally speaking, concerns only the formal coincidence between our conception and its content, whatever the constitution of this content may be. Truth, on the contrary, lies in the coincidence of the object with itself, that is, with its notion. That a person is sick, or that some one has committed a theft, may certainly be correct. But the content is untrue. A sick body is not in harmony with the notion of body, and there is a want of congruity between theft and the notion of human conduct’.

- ‘Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences: Logic’

And so therapy is to be understood fin terms whereby the medicine provokes the organism to put an end to the particular irritation in which the formal activity of the whole is fixed to restore the fluidity of the particular organ or system within the whole:

‘It is by means of the healing agent that the organism is excited in to annulling the particular excitement in which the formal activity of the whole is fixed, and restoring the fluidity of the particular organ or system within the whole. This is effected by the agent by reason of its being a stimulus which is however difficult to assimilate and overcome, and which therefore presents the organism with an externality against which it is compelled to exert its force. By acting in opposition to an externality, the organism breaks out of the limitation which had become identical with it, by which it was indisposed, and against which it is unable to react so long as the limitation is not an object for it’.

‘Remarks: Medicaments have mainly to be regarded as something which is indigestible. Indigestibility is a relative property however, although not in the vague sense that only that which can be tolerated by weaker constitutions is easily digestible, for the s stronger the individuality, the more difficulty it will find in digesting such substances. The immanent relativity of the Notion, which has its actuality in life, is of a qualitative nature; expressed in its quantitative aspect, in so far as this aspect is valid at this juncture, it consists in the intrinsic independence of the opposed moments increasing in accordance with increased homogeneity. The lower forms of animal life, which have not reached the stage of internal differentiation, resemble the plants in that they are only able to digest the unindividualized neutrality of water’.

- ‘Healing: Therapy’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

‘An Unknown French Lady holding Flowers and a Red Squirrel’, c. 1730 and c.1740, unknown artist.

This discussion both of disease and therapy brings with it an inevitable philosophical determination, and in the course of developing a philosophical understanding of disease and in order to establish a connection between disease thus understood and geography but also and just as importantly to account for the evident variation in the specificity and location of diseases, Hegel quotes from ‘Reise in Brasilien in den Jahren 1817 bis 1820’ by Johann Baptist Ritter von Spix, (1781–1826), and Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, (1794–1868):

‘In their ‘Journey to Brazil’ (vol. I p. 299), Spix and Martius also speak of the gum which forms between the bark and the wood of the Hymenaea Courbaril L., a tree which is called the Jatoba or Jatai by the natives. ‘By far the greatest part of the resin occurs under the tap-roots of the tree, when the earth has been cleared away from them. Usually, this clearing away can only be carried out once the tree has been felled. Round cakes of resin, pale yellow in colour, and weighing from six to eight pounds, are sometimes found under old trees. They are formed by the liquid resin having trickled together gradually. This formation of resinous masses between the roots seems to throw some light on the origin of amber, which had been accumulated in the same way before it was picked up by the sea. Insects, and particularly ants, are found in pieces of jatai-resin, just as they are in amber’.’

- ‘The Vegetable Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

Here the relationship between disease and civilisation whereby the latter is understood as a state of development is identified and the physician who compares some of the diseases in Brazil such as smallpox and syphilis with those in other parts of the word is led to the observation that just as each individual is subject to particular diseases in each phase of his development so too whole nations according to their state of culture and civilization are more susceptible to and develop certain diseases:

‘When syphilis or venereal disease first occurred for example, there was certainly contact between European and American organisms. It has merely been presumed that the disease was brought from America however, this has not been proved. The French call it ‘mal de Naples’ because it broke out when they took that city, but no one knew where it came from. Herodotus gives an account of a nation which caught a disease after migrating from the Caspian to Media; the disease being brought forth merely by the change of place. The same thing occurred recently when cattle were brought into southern Germany from the Ukraine; although they were all healthy animals, the mere change of place gave rise to a murrain. The mephitic exhalations which were encountered in Russia by Germans and the animals they took with them, gave rise to various nervous diseases; similar circumstances set off a frightful outbreak of typhus among a thousand otherwise healthy Russian prisoners. Yellow fever occurs endemically in America, and in certain Spanish maritime districts for example: it will not spread from these districts, and the local inhabitants guard against it by going a few miles inland. As changes such as these also take place within the human organism, it cannot be said that this organism is infected when it participates in these dispositions of elemental nature, although infection is then also present of course. Consequently, it is pointless to dispute whether these diseases break out of their own accord, or occur through infection. Both factors play a part, for if such a disease breaks out of its own accord, after it has penetrated into the lymphatic system, it also occurs through infection’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

In William Shakespeare’s, (1564–1616), ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ the players are jesting (well you need to be able to jest about such things) upon the loss of hair which occurs in syphilis and is frequently associated with corona Veneris (there have been worse coronas in history than corona virus):

BOTTOM: Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?

QUINCE: Why, what you will.

BOTTOM: I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow.

QUINCE: Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced.

- Act 1, Scene 2

Note: ‘French crown’, to the English of the time syphilis was the French disease, Shakespeare refers to it as the pox, the malady of France, the infinite malady, the incurable bone-ache, the hoar leprosy, and the good-year, a corruption of the French term goujere from gouge meaning prostitute.

That which permits a connection between the individual and the state of civilisation to be established is the philosophical position that underpins t he connection between particular and universal that is played out in the discussion of disease, and the passage that Hegel cites is deployed with the purpose of identifying the various determining factors of the complex interrelationship between disease, place and the movement of historical time. There is an indication in the passage of an analogy is between on the one hand the history of the individual and hence the individual’s development, and the history of culture and civilisation on the other. And where are we to locate this generalised sense of development within the logic of disease? For within the operation of that logic disease registers the moment in which particularity dominates a conception of possible universality and hence development is the overcoming of susceptibility to diseases in which susceptibility is defined both geographically as well as demographically (I avoid speaking in terms of race, see part one of this series for my reasons). Taken altogether this implicates not the impossibility of the actual occurrence of disease but the gradual expunging of the circumstance of its occurrence by the movement of history and the continual link between thought and place.

Death is thereby resituated as a consequence of such a move, instead of being pathological in the sense that it is bound by the specific outcome of the generalisation of an abnormal particular there is a distinction to be made between a given individual disease which has immediate actuality and an abstract power that brings about the cessation of activity within the organism, therefore disease in this latter sense is there as an abstract possibility that occurs in the very nature of the organism and it is that situating that explains death’s necessity.:

‘Universality, in the face of which the animal as a singularity is a finite existence, shows itself in the animal as the abstract power in the passing out of that which, in its preceding process, is itself abstract. The original disease of the animal, and the inborn germ of death, is its being inadequate to universality. The annulment of this inadequacy is in itself the full maturing of this germ, and it is by imagining the universality of its singularity, that the individual effects this annulment. By this however, and in so far as the universality is abstract and immediate, the individual only achieves an abstract objectivity. Within this objectivity, the activity of the individual has blunted and ossified itself, and life has become a habitude devoid of process, the individual having therefore put an end to itself of its own accord’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

Death is essential and disease is abnormal particularity and animal-ness can be located within the opening that the difference between death and disease produces, and yet there is nothing arbitrary in such a concern with the relationship between disease and the animal.

‘Even perhaps less than the other spheres of nature, therefore, can the animal world present in itself an independent, rational system of organization, or retain a hold on forms determined by the concept and preserve them against the imperfection and mixture of conditions, from confusion, degeneration, and transitional forms. This weakness of the concept, which exists in the animal though not in its fixed, independent freedom, entirely subjects even the genus to the changes that are shared by the life of the animal. And the environment of external contingency in which the animal must live exercises perpetual violence against the individual. Hence the life of the animal seems in general to be sick, and the animal’s feeling seems to be insecure, anxious, and unhappy. [Das Thierleben zeigt sich daher überhaupt als ein krankes; so wie sein Gefühll, als ein unsicheres, angstvolles, und unglückliches.]’

- ‘Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences: Philosophy of Mind’

Hence the non-human animal while designating an organic entity that forms part of the natural world is at the same time situated in relation to a form of singularity, and this differs from the presentation of the human. In the ‘Philosophy of Right’ for instance the specifically human is articulated in terms of a power that is necessarily intrinsic to the human animal, a power that facilitates an act of self-constitution:

‘It is inherent in this element of the will that I am able to free myself from everything, to renounce all ends, and to abstract from everything. The human being alone is able to abandon all things, even his own life: he can commit suicide. The animal cannot do this; it always remains only negative, in a determination which is alien to it and to which it merely grows accustomed. The human being is pure thinking of himself, and only in thinking is he this power to give himself universality, that is, to extinguish all particularity, all determinacy’.

- ‘Philosophy of Right’

The impossibility of self-constitution within the animal, a situating that locates the animal’s singularity and defines it as perpetually sick can be explained various ways one particular significant one in this context being an explanation in terms of Hegel’s distinction between impulse (Instinkt) and drive (Trieb) on the one hand and the will on the other. This is central to the manner whereby the figure of the non-human animal features in Hegel’s philosophical system. The will is that which facilitates the human being in standing above impulses and drives, and furthermore it is the will that allows the human animal to be equated with the wholly undetermined while the animal is always already determined, the animal has an inherent separateness, but it is not a separateness that involves the simple separation and thereby relation of part to whole, and this will be so irrespective of whether the relation is posited or not.The animal is a singularity whose separation is given by its existing for itself:

‘In so far as need is a connectedness with the universal mechanism and abstract powers of nature, instinct is merely an internal stimulation which is not even sympathetic. It is this in sleeping and waking, climatic and other migrations etc. As a relationship of the animal to its own inorganic and individualized nature however, instinct is generally determined, and in its further particularity, is restricted to no more than a limited range of universal inorganic nature. Instinct maintains a practical relation in the face of inorganic nature; its inner stimulation is accompanied by the show of an external stimulation, and its activity is partly formal, and partly a real assimilation of inorganic nature.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

The animal is the self which is for the self:

‘Organic individuality exists as subjectivity in so far as the externality proper to shape is idealized into members, and in its process outwards, the organism preserves within itself the unity of selfhood. This constitutes the nature of the animal, in which the actuality and externality of immediate singularity is countered by the intra-reflected self of singularity or the subjective universality which is within itself’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

The reason why it is possible to move between the animal and animal-ness is that both the animal as such and human animal-ness can be defined in terms of that which is not aware of itself in thought but only in feeling and intuition:

‘In the animal, light has found itself, for the animal checks its relationship with an other. The animal is the self which is for the self, it is the existent unity of differences, and pervades their distinctness. The plant’s tendency towards being-for-self gives rise to the plant and the bud, which are two independent individuals, and are not of an ideal nature. Animal being consists of these two posited in unity. The animal organism is therefore this duplication of subjectivity, in which difference no longer exists as it does in the plant, but in which only the unity of this duplication attains existence. True subjective unity exists in the animal therefore; it is an incomposite soul, which contains infinity of form, and is deployed into the externality of the body; what is more, it has a further relation with an inorganic nature, an external world. Nevertheless, animal subjectivity consists of bodily self-preservation in the face of contact with an external world, and of remaining with itself as the universal. As this supreme point of nature, animal life is therefore absolute idealism’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

In both instances there is a situating in which the self can become an object to itself but the self is only present as self- feeling and not only is this a position that cannot be overcome directly but more significantly it can be situated historically. That location is not the moment within a simple evolutionary or teleological development but rather it is one in which the undeveloped organism can only appear as such, that is, appear as undeveloped, due to the already present actualisation of the perfect organism:

‘As that which develops the Notion, the animal organism is the Idea which merely manifests the Notion’s differences. It is in this way that each moment of the Notion contains the others, and is itself a system and a whole. Each system is implicitly the whole, and the unity and subjectivity of the whole is brought forth in the transition of these determinate totalities. The first process is that of the self-relating, self-embodying organism, which contains its other. The second process is directed against inorganic nature however, against the otherness of its implicit being, and is the basic division and active Notion of living existence. The third process is higher, for it is the process of singularity and individuality, or of the individual opposed to itself as the genus with which it is implicitly identical. These processes are developed in the fullest and clearest way in the human organism, which is the perfect animal. In general therefore, a universal type is present in this supreme organism, and it is in and from this type that the significance of the undeveloped organism may first be ascertained and assessed’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

(Note:Anatomy and physiology deal with the Notion of this type, zoology with its reality, and medicine with the contest between these two aspects).

In the perfect animal, in the human organism, these process, those pertaining to the genus, are developed in the fullest and clearest way, this highest organism therefore presents us in general with a universal type, and it is only in and from this type that we can ascertain and explain the meaning of the undeveloped organism. And what this entails is that the potentiality within the human animal, the power of a self- actualisation, has to be presupposed in the identification of the undeveloped as undeveloped. This situation does of course reflect the mode of historical development that is operative as much within the ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ as in the treatment of the ‘Idea of Philosophy’ in the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences:Logic’. The non-human animal and the sensual human, the latter being a situation that can be re-formulated in terms of human animal-ness have a similar status, neither can transcend their determined and delimited state in order to see themselves in thought as universal:

‘The soul is incomposite and finer than any point, but incongruously enough, attempts have been made to locate it. There are millions of points in which the soul is omnipresent, yet it is precisely because the extrinsicality of space has no significance for it, that the soul is not present in any of them. This point of subjectivity is to be firmly adhered to; the other points are merely predicates of life. This is not yet the pure and universal subjectivity which is for itself however, for it is only aware of itself through feeling and intuition, not through 25 thought. This means that it is only in that singularity which is posited as of an ideal nature when it is reduced to simple determinateness, that this subjectivity is conjointly reflected into itself It is only objective to itself in a determinate and particular manner, and is the negation of any such determinateness, without transcending it. It therefore resembles sensual man, who can indulge in every appetite without rising above this indulgence and grasping the thought of his universality’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

‘A Playful Moment’, 1848, Gustave Léonard de Jonghe

In non-human animals this is because of the dominance of instincts and drives, in the sensual human animal it is because of the failure of the will, the latter being a victory for the instincts and the drives and therefore a victory for animal-ness. All of which points towards a lack of compliance on the part of animal-ness and gives a nearly direct link to the logic of disease:

‘The state is an organism, i.e. the development of the Idea in its differences. These different aspects are accordingly the various powers with their corresponding tasks and functions, through which the universal continually produces itself in a necessary way and thereby preserves itself, because it is itself the presupposition of its own production. This organism is the political constitution; it proceeds perpetually from the state, just as it is the means by which the state preserves itself. If the two diverge and the different aspects break free, the unity which the constitution produces is no longer established. The fable of the belly and the other members is relevant here. It is in the nature of an organism that all its parts must perish if they do not achieve identity and if one of them seeks independence. Predicates, principles, and the like get us nowhere in assessing the state, which must be apprehended as an organism, just as predicates are of no help in comprehending the nature of God, whose life must instead be intuited as it is in itself’.

- ‘Ethical Life’, in ‘Philosophy of Right’

Note: for the fable of the belly consult Plutarch’s. (46–119 AD), ‘Life of Coriolanus’:

‘’It once happened’, Menenius Agrippa said, ‘that all the other members of a man mutinied against the stomach, which they accused as the only idle, uncontributing part the whole body, while the rest were put to hardships and the expense of much labour to supply and minister to its appetites. The stomach, however, merely ridiculed the silliness of the members, who appeared not to be aware that the stomach certainly does receive the general nourishment, but only to return it again, and redistribute it amongst the rest. Such is the case’, he said, ‘ye citizens, between you and the senate. The counsels and plans that are there duly digested, convey and secure to all of you your proper benefit and support’.’

- ‘Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans’

So the nature of an organism is such that unless each of its parts is brought into identity with the other, unless each of them is prevented from achieving autonomy, the whole must perish. The threat thereby posed is not just by the presence of disease but also by a logic in which disease and particularity as well as the singularity of animal-ness play a similar role. In the ‘Philosophy of Right’ Hegel joins the state and body together and they are not the same and nevertheless both are held back from complete realisation as themselves by divergent manners of realisation of the logic of disease:

‘The state is actual, and its actuality consists in the fact that the interest of the whole realizes itself through the particular ends. Actuality is always the unity of universality and particularity, the resolution of universality into particularity, the latter then appears to be self-sufficient, although it is sustained and supported only by the whole. If this unity is not present, nothing can be actual, even if it may be assumed to have existence [Existenz]. A bad state is one which merely exists; a sick body also exists, but it has no true reality. A hand which has been cut off still looks like a hand and exists, but it has no actuality. True actuality is necessity: what is actual is necessary in itself. Necessity consists [besteht] in the division of the whole into the distinctions within the concept, and in the fact that this divided whole exhibits a fixed and enduring determinacy which is not dead and unchanging but continues to produce itself in its dissolution. An essential part of the fully developed state is consciousness or thought; the state accordingly knows what it wills and knows this as an object of thought [ein Gedachtes]’.

A bad state is one that merely exists [der bloß existiert], a sick body exists too but it has no genuine reality [keine wahrhafte Realitat]. The bad state and the sick body are in different ways imperfect and incomplete, but both have the potentiality for their own self- overcoming and thus self-realisation, and disease is a limitation involving a singularity that can be overcome, its having been overcome occurring because of a return to the fluidity of the whole. Fluidity is the consistent interrelatedness of the organic whole, a situation that will have its corollary not in the presence of the state or the subject as a self-completing finality defined in terms of self-perpetuating sameness but one in which both are present as differing points of location of continual activity. Yet such activity is of an organic totality or unity in which particularity is subsumed and ordered by the operation of that totality and the limitation imposed by the logic of disease can be overcome when it is defined either by climate, historical or organic development. The overcoming involves moving beyond restrictions of region but the non-human animal will always be limited, animal-ness has no cure, and the equally sick political organisation or manner of existence of the human animal exists as such because it can be recognised as not being in accord with the Notion.

Such recognition itself demands the movement within historical time in which the actualisation of the state can be said to have become real and prior to that actualisation in which the system is present both as the image [Bild] and the actuality of reason there is the complex of particulars within which the link between disease, demographic situating, a situating given by the interplay of climate, geography and historical development, and the non-human animal is not given by identifying one element with the other, rather the link between them is established by the description of the animal in the ‘Philosophy of Nature’ mentioned above where the animal is the self which is for the self.

‘As the animal is a true self, which is for itself and has attained to individuality, it establishes its separateness and particularity. It detaches itself from the universal substance of the Earth, which has an external determinate being for it. For the animal, the externality which has not come under the domination of its self, is a negative and indifferent being. The immediate implication of this for the animal is that its inorganic nature has individualized itself, for it does not withdraw from its element. This relationship with inorganic nature constitutes the general Notion of the animal. The animal is an individual subject, which relates itself to individual being as such. It does not, like the plant, relate itself only to elementary being, and it only relates itself to subjective being in the generic process’.

- ‘The Animal Organism’, in ‘Philosophy of Nature’

As such the animal is ensnared within a singularity in which self-understanding, an understanding whereby that self is only ever part of the universal, can only endure within particularity. More emphatically, what this means is that were there to be pure particularity, that is to say, were there to be a more generalised sense of particularity, then the animal provides that possibility, hence what the animal offers is an opening once the human is to be thought beyond the strictures given by the relation of without as the animal introduces not just the centrality of a different sense of relation but the need to situate the already present connection that is emerging with the putting into abeyance any form of strict opposition between the relation of without and the with in terms of a grounded sense of relationality. What the animal allows is a return to a sense of relationality that is not defined by that which is internal to the human, that is, not defined in terms of a grounded anthropocentrism, but in terms of a response to the question of what the coming into relation with that which has already been situated as the relation of without.

What is identified by this being a question is the centrality of both process and an undoing of the hold of already existent ways of being of relationality, hence a relation to the relation of without albeit will necessitate both activity and invention in addition will demands a radical transformation of what exists already. In the ‘Philosophy of Right’, and this needs emphasising, Hegel advances an decidedly liberal position promomoting tolerance he specifically describes the enactment of tolerance within governmental actions in relation to outsiders or anomalies in the state ‘as prudent and wise’, [als das Weise und Würdige], indeed the alternative is indicative of a weak state, whereas a strong state because of the presence of both the ‘strength of custom’ (die Macht der Sitten) and ‘the inner rationality’ of the State’s own institutions diminishes and closes the ‘differences’ between the rights of the State and those that otherwise in a weak state are excluded as Other:

‘It is in the nature of the case [Sache] that the state fulfils a duty by giving the [religious] community every assistance and protection in the pursuit of its religious end. Indeed, since religion is that moment which integrates the state at the deepest level of the disposition [of its citizens], the state ought even to require all its citizens to belong to such a community — but to any community they please, for the state can have no say in the content [of religious belief] in so far as this relates to the internal dimension of representational thought. A state which is strong because its organization is fully developed can adopt a more liberal attitude in this respect, and may completely overlook individual matters [Einzelheiten] which might affect it, or even tolerate communities whose religion does not recognize even their direct duties towards the state (although this naturally depends on the numbers concerned). It is able to do this by entrusting the members of such communities to civil society and its laws, and is content if they fulfil their direct duties towards it passively, for example by commutation or substitution [of an alternative service]’.

‘Of Quakers, Anabaptists, etc., it may be said that they are active members only of civil society and that, as private persons, they have purely private relations with other people: Even in this context, they have been exempted from taking oaths; they fulfil their direct duties towards the state in a passive manner, and although they reject outright one of the most important of these, namely the defence of the state against its enemies, they may even be allowed to fulfil this duty by substituting another service instead. Towards such sects, the state practises toleration in the proper sense of the word; for since they do not recognize their duties towards it, they cannot claim the right to belong to it … Only if the state is strong in other respects can it overlook and tolerate such anomalies, relying above all on the power of custom and the inner rationality of its institutions to reduce and overcome the discrepancy if the state does not strictly enforce its rights in this respect’.

- ‘Ethical Right’, in ‘Philosophy of Right’

However much it might have been claimed to be contrary to formal right to grant even civil rights to anomalies in the state on the grounds that the latter are considered as a particular religious group or as members of a foreign nation [Volk] or both but they are first and foremost and above all else human beings and this is not merely a neutral and abstract quality for its consequence is that the granting of civil rights gives those who receive them a self-awareness as recognized legal [rechtliche] persons in civil society, and it is from this root, infinite and free from all other influences, that the desired assimilation in terms of attitude and disposition arises. Without civil rights being granted excluded demographics and religious groups would remain in isolation which would rightly have brought blame [Schuld] and reproach upon the state that excluded them for the state would thereby have failed to recognize its own principle as an objective institution with a power of its own and in excluding particular demographics, which may be misguidedly thought of as grounded upon the highest right, in practice it proves to be the height of folly, whereas the way in which strong governments have acted to grant civil rights to all has shown them to be wise and honourable. However it may be contended (as sadly it often is) that there is a formal right to exclude certain groups from the position of bearers of rights since they are not only a different religion but also are a foreign people (einem fremden Volke) such an act would neglect the fact that they are above all human beings (zuallererst Menschen) and so that which prevails is the feeling of humanhood and the definition of the feeling and its effect is of central importance for:

‘… what civil rights rouse in their possessor is the feeling of oneself [Selbstgefühl] as counting in civil society as a person with rights, and this feeling of self- hood infinite [unendlichen] and free from all restrictions is the root from which the desired similarity in disposition and ways of thinking comes into being’.

- ‘Ethical Right’, in ‘Philosophy of Right’

The importance of this situating is that the feeling for and of self is already an overcoming of particularity or restrictions and the latter is displaced by the emergence of the self of this feeling. Not only is this self rendered impossible for an excluded demographic operating with the assumption that maintaining the identity of the excluded demographic is to maintain both finitude and restriction and therefore particularity is situated by the relation of without it is also the case that once articulated within the logic of disease what becomes clear is that the figure of the excluded demographic takes the form of an ailment that can be superseded. The work of the figure constructs an excluded demographic such that they are present as an exception in relation to a form of universality and further that in which they are an exception, the particular demographic in the human being, the ailment in the organic body, incorporates within it as a potentiality that is enacted through an already present power a capacity to overcome by expunging this form of particularity.

Unlike animal-ness this sense of particularity harbours a potential that will allow for the incorporation of a demographic as humanity but only to the extent that the demographic in question in the capacity of being that demographic is effaced in the process and for a demographic as anomaly is a claim of history, the figured presence of the anomaly therefore figures in various ways, astray perhaps, destined for endless sorrow, well, whatever, it is always an historical, and geographical) situating that can be superseded, overcome, such supersession presented in the logic of Hegel’s system in terms of the movement of Mind [Geist] that occurs in this situation. The movement of Geist may be outlined as follows:

‘Having suffered this loss of itself and its world and the infinite pain which this entails … the spirit is pressed back upon itself at the extreme of its absolute negativity. This is the turning point which has being in and for itself. The spirit now grasps the infinite positivity of its own inwardness, the principle of the unity of divine and human nature and the reconciliation of the objective truth and freedom which have appeared within self-consciousness and subjectivity. The task of accomplishing this reconciliation is assigned to the Nordic principle of the Germanic peoples’.

- ‘Ethical Right’, in ‘Philosophy of Right’

‘Femmes nues aux chats, 1897/98, Félix Vallotton

The charge is sometimes made by people who have never read him that Hegel was a lackey of the Prussian Monarchy, which is absurd, perhaps I should devote an article to debunking it but it is hardly worth it, that is how absurd it is. One wonders though whether or not he threw in the odd sweetener. How seriously are we to take that last remark? Well, let us, for the sake of argument take it seriously and interpret it along these lines. Pivotal to the argument as it applies to the specific sense of self that is envisaged within this situation is an implied conception of power operating in a context of an interplay of history and geography, for albeit abstract conception of particularity will have been superseded by the recognition of a form of universality such an acting out is the consequence of a portentous recognition of that which relates to another conception of the particular, that is to say, the Germanic peoples. As for the operation of power not only is humanity presented in terms of a potentiality for self- feeling and thus a return to self that arises from within, such a formulation needs to be connected to the one that thinking is the power to present universality, and the presentation in question, thus the power as operative, expunges particularity. Hegel’s take on power and potentiality supersede the restrictions given by the logic of disease and albeit the reference to power and the possibility of its actualisation in terms of the presentation of universality is not a chance occurrence, what has been identified ed by power also unfolds within the passage of historical time.

While disease as a recurrent particular will necessitate the continuity of therapy diverse ways of beings of disease cannot be sundered from specific geographical, demographic and historical determinations. Such is the nature of the organic that disease as an abstract possibility cannot be superseded but particular modalities of disease can be, and historical development on the one hand and the enactment of specific strategies in relation to geography on the other will work to undo the persistence of individual diseases, but once this set-up is presented in terms of the logic of disease, what then transpires is the identification of that which will always labour to supersede particularity and furthermore such supersession has its own necessity, for the viability of the whole, universality in general, be it body or state, depends upon the eventual expunging of particularity, or in its more benevolent form it depends upon rendering particularity an irrelevant offshoot of the universal, and that which endures is the animal as the mark of an insistent particularity and within such context upon the animal being brought to bear upon the logic of the disease and the construction of the figure of the excluded and anomalous in relation to it an alternative external form of identity emerges.

The avouchment of an implied animal-ness is one pathway opening up the possibility for a declared presence of the excluded and anomalous as opposed to identifying anomaly with figure but the critical point here is the relationship between the animal and the logic of disease which delivers a context within which an avouchment of animal-ness can occur albeit the manner by which it works itself out has significant divergences given that the animal is the particular it may be maintained cannot be incorporated in virtue of the fact that the animal and animal-ness are not so susceptible to therapy (not my area of expertise but perhaps that depends on the animal) hence the animal delivers that which were it to be sustained would have to work itself out in terms of the animal’s particularity just as were the anomalous to be continually kept in the character of an anomaly the underlying grounding for such would be an interminable rejection of the moment whereby the anomalous is permitted to be first of all and above all else a human being and so the structure wherein this takes place rejects not only the merging of anomaly and animal but abandons the moment of philosophical thinking whereby particularity is extirpated for the sake of the universal.

For such an eventuality to be borne would be subsequent upon the introduction of the animal, the latter presenting such a set- up as a potentiality and thereby is staged a relation that is configured neither by absence nor by privation that will be on-going as Otherness is defined in terms of relationality whereupon the recognition of anomaly in the character of anomaly is simple particularity and the with relation is subjected to a re-working and thus relation in general. Avouching particularity at its most radical sets the bar for the relation to animal-ness as that which is taken up is the distinction or opposition between the with and the without relation and the situating of being human and if the human occurs with the concurrent exclusion or subordination of the anomaly the figure is thereby in operation hence the relation of the relation of without and Hegel focusses upon disease in a manner drawing our attention to particularity regarded as psychologically abnormal in order that it attains universality, in this instance the total control over an organism by disease or its separateness thereby precluding the avouchment of the identity of the anomaly, and the condition of the boundary is the animal.

‘The Cat at the Window’, c. 1857/58, Jean-François Millet

That which maintains singularity and thereby perpetually situated by the relation of without is animal-ness and therefore the condition for permitting the presence of any form of particularity where the condition of being-particular is sustained develops into the situating of animal-ness but the sickness of the animal that is to say its insecurities and anxieties (I understand it so well) anxiety) bear it in a relation of without, without a place but upon the animal becoming animal-ness as opposed to a rigid either/or what then transpires is an alternative sense of place, what transpires is another situating whereby the conditions of demarcation and hence of relationality are determined in an alternative way. Animal-ness opens up the way to the animal and to its alterity or otherness, an opening that situates the Other as no longer demarcated by the extremes of the Other as same on the one hand and the Other as adversary on the other. Alterity does not signal the absence of relation, on the contrary, alterity applies to pre-existing relations whereby neither anomaly nor animal nor animal-ness nor the endlessness of potentiality that particularity holds open would be in a privileged situation.

Those of you who have studied Hegel will know that he has much to say concerning mediation and of course the relation of the human animal’s to non-human animals must be mediated by the infeasibility of assigning a unique quality to either side of the relation, but the interplay of animal and animal-ness thereby granting the animal-ness of the human animal its place will set in motion alternative ways of being of the relation in play within which ways of being it becomes possible to open up the situation whereby the avouchment of the identity of the anomaly becomes possible albeit this avouchment would have been made impossible by the necessity that the figure’s identity as anomaly be undone by the eventual identification of anomaly with humanity for within the context of avouchment relationality has a radically alternative quality. And one of the factors that comes to define it is recollection (Erinnerung occupies a crucial place in the Hegelian system) whereupon the anomaly becoming a human would recollect being an anomaly so recollection is hence one of the defining indicators of relation. The engendered Menschen who is no longer an anomaly and thereby constituted by the relation of without will nevertheless have been signalled out in advance and a trace lingers, for in a relation of reciprocity the anomaly no longer defined by the logic of disease retains the stamp of being above all a Menschen albeit such a stamp defines identity no more. Such situatings recall each other and recalling is a kind of tracing and the consequence is that the space that would have been revealed by the rigid opposition between the with and the without relation the presence of which is held in play by the logic of disease will have been transmogrified.

Rather than becoming characterised by a uniformity there is on of the space there is the incursion into the locus of an alternative sense of fluidity whereby any form of situating happens merely as an offshoot, a situating that is now to be understood in terms of finitude is the effect of a process, the only thing at work all this time an on-going negotiating between the will and sensuality, not the mastery of one by the other, as though the will or consciousness could ever master instincts and drives but the on-going interplay of the two. Instinct and drives would be re-situated as the emotive or non-cognitive such that inveterate to the human animal was the continuousness of living with an endless and self-constituting relation to an emotive and non-cognitive quality that can only ever be a locus of negotiation rather than a locus of exclusion for exclusion as the relation of without. Hegel contends that the will regulates and to modify regulation is not to argue for its supposed opposite, that is to say, de-regulation, rather the modification presupposes the attribution of a power to the regulated. Or to put it another way, there must needs be a licence granted for the acting out of the distributing of activity. The distribution of power forever assumes forms of regulation, hence discrimination against demographics all too real potential structural presence, having the facility to subvert any regulation, which does not thereby open up a concern with otherness as if the situating of the Other is already a given but on the contrary the Other is re-situated within relations that are defined as much by continuity, relationality defined by the continuity of becoming, as they are by otherness always having particularity, for relationality situates and licences identities.

The quality of a dynamic relation is not to be presupposed from the beginning for in virtue of its dynamism the peripheries rather than having been given in advance that is to say given within a structuring process akin to the opposition between the relation of without and with as a mere opposition or the interaction of the logic of disease with the figure of the anomaly are forever subject to osmosis. Their continuousness and hence what follows from the avouchment of otherness, the placing of otherness within the continuousness of particularity, is not dependent upon assigning fixed and already determined qualities that would then engender moral positions, and furthermore if there were such a thing as a politics of otherness then it would be grounded upon relations and hence their continuousness. It is evident enough that what follows is that a politics of otherness is expressed through the medium of cultural and political practices that sustain particularities within the process of their own continuous transmogrification, and furthermore, granting relation to ground a sense of practice is to connect the political broadly conceived to the ontological and the identity of self and Other is no longer dependent upon a structure of recognition in virtue of the relationality necessitating the continuousness of a process. Identities would henceforth be in a state of becoming and within such a setting the relation between human animal and non-human animals would persist in being posed and equally the diverse responses thereupon worked out, and the ontological condition of Becoming, and the osmosity of the peripheries determine the limits of the spacing in which relations are continuously acted out and worked out. The anomaly and the animal, and relationality, but what of the possibility of a constituting without a relation? Could not we get by without anomalies?

Well, we must consider historical specificity and a more generalised take on the relation of without. We can recall a particular historical moments, For instance, the banning of fox hunting by the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales.

Finnegan Fox, he confirms everything I have been saying in this article. I rest my case.

‘Not unintoxicated, fair witness? Drunk as a fishup. Askt to whether she minded whither he smuked? Not if he barkst into phlegms. Anent his ajaciulations to his Crosscann Lorne, cossa? It was corso in cursu on coarser again. The gracious miss was we not doubt sensible how yellowatty on the forx was altered? That she esually was, O’Dowd me not!’

- James Joyce, (1882–1941), ‘Finnegans Wake’

Note: how yellowatty on the forx was altered?: ‘Oh! Doubt Me Not’ [air: ‘Yellow Wat and the Fox’]

In the UK the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) determines which animals are vermin, and as it happens foxes are not on the list but there shouldn’t be such a list in the first place, and just watch Finnegan Fox how could all that cuteness by verminous? And what a gorgeous name. And yet such is the language employed to influence policy, language seeking to put a guard around particularity as it happens and there is plenty of alternative terminology at hand to constitute the relation of without which is to say the issue operates in two inter-related ways, first in sustaining historical specificity and thus is present within contemporary endeavours to take up issues applicable to the identity of an anomaly such identity requiring subjection to an equal level of analysis and inquiry as any identity claim, and furthermore it is implied from a structural perspective in other emphasised moments of exclusion, for exclusion here is not some kind of excommunication so to speak such as happened to Baruch Spinoza, (1632–1677), that is something else entirely, although he was something of an anomaly, it is rather a part of the work of the figure whereby it involves the constructing and maintaining of an identity where the identity at issue is predicated upon the relation of without. And within such a movement the identity of the we is maintained by the incorporation of the anomaly within the being of its figure however that shows itself and therefore the way into the issue is not through the act in which the anomaly as the indicator of particularity in addition to being a more generalised Other was incorporated into the we. Au contraire, Incorporation would implicate the vanishing of the anomaly within the sphere of the figure and to the extent that the anomaly is maintained as Other, as a way of being of particularity the limits of which are not determined by the figure, its effect, the consequence of an emphatic holding to particularity within the primacy of relation, is that it has a transmogrifying effect upon how the we is comprehended as it assumes an alternative quality were the anomaly in question maintained and the grip of the figure loosens.

And furthermore what constitutes the practices of demographic exclusion is precisely the denial of such a potential, that is to say, a denial of the avouchment as a continuous opening to shape the things to come and the undoing of the figure, for discrimination directed towards anomalies is not merely a belief or an attitudinizing stance but it is acted out, we all know that institutional practices as well as those of individuals can be discriminatory and a direct outcome of licencing particularity, of licencing thought within the structure of the animal’s own permitted allowed presence, implicates already having given ground to a particular construction of the we and the presence of the animal is the presence of an already present Other defined by particularity rather than by universality. Particularity is given within relation, and the change in definition albeit a philosophical response is nevertheless implied in activity and hence forms of practice. Hegel in the ‘Aesthetics’, subsequent upon inquiring into the relationship between material presence and the spiritual, raises the issue of the relativity of facial beauty in sculpture whereby he posits the possibility that is actually held by others that in virtue , that because different cultures considered other, indeed opposite, formations just as beautiful there is no justification for the view that the Greek profile is the model of genuine beauty, and this for Hegel is superficial chatter’ [‘ein oberflächliches Gered’], not a man to mince his words, and he goes on to add that the Greek profile ‘belongs to the ideal of beauty [dem Ideal des Schönheit] in its own independent nature’. Previously he had described the role of the animal body in sculpture in this manner: ‘The animal body serves purely natural purposes and acquires by this dependence on the merely material aspect of nourishment an expression of spiritual absence. [‘den Ausdruck der Geistlosigkeit]’

No matter how ‘unsurpassable’ [unübertreffl ichen] the sculpture of an animal may be it is limited to the presentation of life, a life which is situated by the absence of the spiritual and the sculpture of other cultures is distanced from the ideal of beauty and hence from the connection that sculpture may have had to the spiritual. One might conclude from this that in the end the history of sculpture in its development can do without animals and can have surpassed works that are not the expression of the spiritual, their presence being limited to a moment within history, a moment whose presence is there to be superseded. But such a conclusion would rub against the logic of everything I have been saying in the context of the anomalous Other, for there is an evident correlation between a conception of the we now as the expression and therefore actualisation of universal subjectivity and the necessity to do without sculptures defined by the relation to animality on the one hand and on the other by a refusal of the Greek profile suggests that what is continually at issue is the possibility of allowing for particularity, and what this implicates is a sense of licencing that operates beyond the interplay of exclusion and incorporation. permitting in this instance brings the anomalous animal into a grouping wherein that which will forever require working through is the inexpungable and hence grounding presence of a complex of relations.

‘The Green Dress’, 1896, John White Alexander

The application of all that we have just gone through to the issue of animal experimentation should be evident enough. Conceding is to make possible action, and such concession is a consequence emerging from the singular notion of animal as anomalous Other. What has been outlined is the logic of disease grounded upon, in the case of the anomalous, the animal and animal-ness, an anthropocentrism maintaining the opposition of the relation of without and the with. And considered in such a way the state that allows for animal experimentation can be seen to be a diseased state. Let us run through some instances, (well ok fictional ones in with a real one, hopefully I won’t be compared with Jordan Peterson, (1962 — ), who when asked what he thought a true atheist (he doesn’t believe atheists exist) would be like, he said Raskolnikov, a fictional character, and axe murdering socio-path), in the light of the above discussion.

Kurt Vonnegut, (1922–2007), in ‘Welcome to the Monkey House’, envisages a future in which a faux moralism is imposed by a world government, much like where we appear to be heading now, highlighting how grim the notion of egalitarianism such a threat to individuality whereby everything is so levelled out including human beings and so bland and boring and the more bland and boring it is the more authoritarian governments like it, weak and diseased as they are, and in Vonnegut’s story one single system forms and controls all the people in the world (the dream of the World Economic Forum) and everything has been made equal, all the Suicide Parlors, (run by the world government, people are urged to commit suicide to help keep the population of 17 billion stable, how the WEF would love that idea), have purple roofs, all the television programs are egalitarian, (a bit like Netflix and Disney+), everyone’s youthful appearance is egalitarian, and they have stopped with the coital goings-on.

A sustained condemnation of the self-righteousness that imposes controls on the individual human rights of others, for in the story pharmacist J. Edgar Nation had taken his family to the zoo on Easter Sunday and while passing by the monkey house a monkey was playing with his genitals, and of a mind that such behaviour shattered the spirit of Easter Nation (the animal as anomalous Other) decided to invent pills numbing animals from the waist down and suppressing their sexual desire and later, upon people staying young and good-looking because of the invention of the anti-aging shots, the pills were also imposed on humans. Ethical birth control, the pills do not render human beings infertile, that would be unethical and in violation of the religious principles of many and we can’t have that. (J. Edgar Nation, a name deriving J. Edgar Hoover, (1895–1972), F.B.I. director at the time the story was written and vigorous in his moral judgments, and cross-dresser, allegedly, not that it matters if I say so, under English law at least the dead cannot be defamed. And Carrie Nation, (1846–1911), temperance movement radical, fought against alcohol. In the story Nancy McLuhan is a hostess working at the Federal Ethical Suicide Parlor who is convinced that alcohol, or more precisely gin, is the worst drug of all. Well I am more of a vodka person myself).

A satire sharply reflecting the world we now live in as it follows through the logic of disease

Welcome to the monkey house.


Lift it, Hosty, lift it, ye devil ye! up with the rann, the rhyming rann!

It was during some fresh water garden pumping

Or, according to the Nursing Mirror, while admiring the mon keys

That our heavyweight heathen Humpharey

Made bold a maid to woo

(Chorus) Woohoo, what’ll she doo!

The general lost her maidenloo!

- James Joyce, (1882–1941), ‘Finnegans Wake’

Enrico Caruso, (1873–1921), was accused in 1906 of pinching a woman’s bottom at the monkey house of the New York City Central Park Zoo and was fined ten dollars in a well-publicised trial but his guilt or innocence were never firmly established.

‘BLOOM: (Desperately.) Wait. Stop. Gulls. Good heart. I saw. Innocence. Girl in the monkeyhouse. Zoo. Lewd chimpanzee. (Breathlessly.) Pelvic basin. Her artless blush unmanned me. (Overcome with emotion.) I left the precincts. (He turns to a figure in the crowd, appealing.)’

- James Joyce, (1882–1941), ‘Ulysses’

There is an incident most likely apocryphal, although as it occurred in the region I grew up in I can believe it, in which a monkey was hanged in the town of Hartlepol, England. During the Napoleonic Wars a French chasse-marée was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Hartlepool the only survivor being a monkey,allegedly dressed in a French Army uniform to provide amusement for the crew, and upon discovering the monkey on the beach a group of locals decided to hold an impromptu trial and given that the monkey was unable to answer their questions and because they had seen neither a monkey nor a Frenchman before they concluded that the monkey must be a French spy (the anomalous identified with figure) and finding the animal guilty it was duly sentenced to death and summarily hanged on the beach (the strict opposition between the relation of without and the with is maintained).

‘The Monkey Song’.

by Ned Corvan (c. 1830–1865)

In former times, mid war an’ strife,

The French invasion threatened life,

An’ all was armed to the knife,

The Fishermen hung the Monkey O!

The Fishermen wi’ courage high,

Seized on the Monkey for a spy,

‘Hang him’ says yen, says another, ‘He’ll die!’

They did, and they hung the Monkey O!.

They tried every move to make him speak,

They tortor’d the Monkey till loud he did squeak

Says yen, ‘That’s French’, says another ‘it’s Greek’

For the Fishermen had got drunky, O!

‘He’s all ower hair!’ sum chap did cry,

E’en up te summic cute an’ sly

Wiv a cod’s head then they closed an eye,

Afore they hung the Monkey O!

Now I wonder if where love’s involved

Did we improve as we evolved

Perhaps we’d fix a big mistake

By going wild, going ape

Here we go ‘round the dry thistle

Monkey can climb but I can whistle

He can’t sing and I can’t dance

And the monkey don’t have to wear no pants

Here we go ‘round the dry thistle

Monkey can climb but I can whistle

He can’t sing and I can’t dance

And the monkey don’t have to wear no pants

Here we go ‘round the dry thistle

Monkey can climb but I can whistle

He can’t sing and I can’t dance

And the monkey don’t have to wear no pants

Here we go ‘round the dry thistle

Monkey can climb but I can whistle

He can’t sing and I can’t dance

And the monkey don’t have to wear no pants

‘Portrait of a lady with a dog and a monkey’, Nicolas de Largillière, (1656–1746)

In ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau’ by H.G Wells, (1866–1946), the mad doctor creates human-like hybrid-beings from animals via vivisection.

The leader of the half-human/half-animal creatures is a large grey unspecified creature named the Sayer of the Law has them recite a following litany called the Law that involves prohibitions against bestial behavior and praise for Moreau:

Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not men?

Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law. Are we not men?

Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law. Are we not men?

Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not men?

Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not men?

To be continued …



David Proud is a British philosopher currently pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, on Hegel and James Joyce.

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David Proud

David Proud is a British philosopher currently pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, on Hegel and James Joyce.