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Nature, Norms, and Beasts

Nature, Norms, and Beasts

(p.185) 6 Nature, Norms, and Beasts
Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization
Hasana Sharp
University of Chicago Press

This chapter goes beyond man and presents the argument that man should not be humiliated. If Spinoza is to be linked to the cause of finding in the beast a more natural idea of man stripped of social distortion, one must be wary of the affects driving the critique of anthropocentrism. The politics of renaturalization must avoid enshrining nature as a new idol. A rejection of humanism does not entail an ennoblement of the cosmos or animal instinct. A posthumanist politics sensitizes us to our permeability and involvement with nonhuman powers, without requiring us to subordinate ourselves to them. A liberating framework for thinking about who and what we are cannot emerge from self-hatred and a desire to repent, by virtue of which we are only “twice wretched.”

Keywords:   man, social distortion, anthropocentrism, renaturalization, humanism, posthumanist politics

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