F. Albersmeier, « The ambivalence of speciesism » | Enregistrement en ligne

L’enregistrement de la conférence de Frauke Albersmeier (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), « The ambivalence of speciesism », est maintenant disponible en ligne :


Speciesism is a type of discrimination, viz., a necessarily unjustified way of treating or considering disadvantageously individuals who are classified as belonging to a certain species. Definitions such as this one have been difficult to accept for some defenders of the actual views and practices that have been criticized as being speciesist – such as the practice of animal experimentation or the view that humans may prioritize other humans due to a relation of solidarity. Based on the evaluation of such views and practices as possibly justifiable – and thus not necessarily discriminatory – the equation of speciesism with a kind of discrimination has often been rejected in favor of neutral accounts that just define speciesism as a legitimate position or a view (rather than an unjustified view). This move from a perceived misapplication of a concept to its redefinition in more neutral terms is relatively peculiar in the case of speciesism. Only few of those who think that some practice X is wrongly suspected of being racist, for instance, go so far as to redefine racism as a neutral concept that may, after all, apply to the practice in question but not condemn it as unjustified anymore. In this talk, I show how ambivalence towards certain applications of it has led to ambiguity in the very term “speciesism.” I defend a normative account that characterizes speciesism as necessarily unjustified and discuss how controversy over this definition and the practices it may apply to has hindered understanding of the real ambivalence that attaches to speciesism: like other types of discrimination, we should expect speciesism to be expressed in benign as well as hostile ways and seek to better understand and counteract both.