“Who speaks for Nature?”: Political representation and the challenge of non-human entities
“Animals should be represented in human parliaments”, “political representation should not exclude nonhumans”. Here are some of the claims we might hear from ecologist activists, environmental thinkers, or just people who consider indeed that non-human entities should be granted the possibility to be represented. But what does representation mean here? What is political representation? How could it be applied to nonhumans? In other words, “who speaks for nature” (1) , and how can they do it?
Speech and politics
Politics is speech
The idea that politics is speaking is present since Aristotle, who wrote in his Book 1 of his Politics that “Man is a political animal, in a sense in which a bee is not”. The core difference between men and animals lies in the fact that the latter cannot speak…
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