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English Brutes, Eastern Enlightenment

Landry, Donna (2011) English Brutes, Eastern Enlightenment. The Eighteenth Century Theory and Interpretation, 52 (1). pp. 11-30. (doi:10.1353/ecy.2011.0000) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/ecy.2011.0000

Abstract

What is Enlightenment? The concept of fellow and companion species, of creaturely life, opens up new possibilities for re-asking Kant's question, and for revisiting historical definitions of the Enlightenment. These historical definitions and the genealogies they presuppose in turn raise questions about ethics and emancipation. How have relations between humans and animals been configured with regard to ethics, given gross disparities of power between species? How might alternatives to the Euroamerican ideal of political equality as the necessary ground for any ethical relation be found? A non-Eurocentric genealogy of the Enlightenment derived from European exchanges with the Ottoman empire reveals possible Eastern precedents for European Enlightenment ideas about kindness rather than cruelty in human-animal relations. The particular case of English people and imported Eastern horses during the long eighteenth century richly reveals Ottoman precedents at work. If horsemanship might be understood to mirror political governance and society at large, Ottoman horsemanship and forms of governance and sociality potentially have much to teach us since the ethics they instantiate does not presuppose political equality as a necessary ground.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1353/ecy.2011.0000
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Kate Smith
Date Deposited: 18 May 2016 09:32 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:21 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/55497 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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