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De-speciesizing the all too human mind:

Understanding Animality as a compass towards the further deconstruction of the Anthropocene.

José De Giorgio-Schoorl

Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

19:00–20:30 CET

HS 7, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck

For participation please register with reingard.spannring@uibk.ac.at until May 27th 2022.


José De Giorgio-Schoorl

This lecture is an introduction based on the work of evolutionary-biologist and cognitive ethologist Francesco De Giorgio and his socio-cognitive approach to understanding animals as owners of their own experiences – subjects within life. His socio-cognitive approach lays out the framework to be able to recognize and emphasize what all animals (humans included) have in common; the need and pleasure to nourish and nurture themselves with cognitive experiences – to be informed by life, instead of reacting to situations. Further referred to as ‘the Animality perspective’. 

Within the field of animal studies, over time, the dynamics of nonhuman-animals have been used - either to contribute to the distinctiveness of humans, or to emphasize and analyse the competitive side of interactions; ignoring the fact that the latter reactive situations do not represent quality of life, and are only the exceptional moments in life dynamics. In more recent years, with growing interest in our human coexistence with other animals, more emphasis has been placed on the affiliative and cognitive side of other animals, and the understanding of animal otherness.
However, the ability in research and in daily life to embrace these topics is hindered by the vastness of literature feeding the distinction between humans and other animals, anthropocentrism, and an amputated presence of animal subjectivity within society.

The work of De Giorgio highlights social dynamics from a cognitive point of view. This change of perspective creates radical new insight into the possibility to:

  • deconstruct speciesism (and the human/animal distinction) within the field of animal studies, or any other knowledge field
  • find a new perspective on cross-cultural understanding and a deeper understanding of (human and others’) inclusion within a given culture/society

  • change the understanding of social dynamics in general, taking cognition into account as the foundation for experiencing social interaction.

‘Animality is universal. An innate call to cognitively experience the world in one’s own, subjective way’. [De Giorgio, 2019]


Kontakt und Anmeldung

Universität Innsbruck
Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft
Dr. Reingard Spannring
E-Mail: reingard.spannring@uibk.ac.at

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Kommen!


This lecture is financially supported by the FWF (project number I 4342-G)


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