Beyond Biosecurity

Environmental Philosophy 15 (1):7-19 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
As boundaries between domesticity and the undomesticated increasingly blur for cohabitants of Vancouver Island, home to North America’s densest cougar population, predatorial problems become more and more pressing. Rosemary-Claire Collard responds on a pragmatic plane, arguing that the encounter between human and cougar is only ever destructive, that contact results in death and almost always for the cougar. Advocating for vigilance in policing boundaries separating cougar from civilization, therefore, she looks to Foucault’s analysis of modern biopower in the first volume of his History of Sexuality for support in favor of a more contemporary notion of biosecurity. In response to Collard’s arguments, concerned with ethical conclusions drawn on the basis of her policy-based proposal, I challenge the prohibition she places on encounter. In the first section, “Becoming Killable,” I address her use of Donna Haraway’s phraseology, and in the second section, “Biological Dangers,” I scrutinize her reading of Foucault, arguing that the appeals she makes distort the mode of argumentation at work for each thinker. The final section, “Facing Cougar, Facing Death,” advocates further ethical possibilities generated on the basis of Foucault’s correlation between overcoming the fear of death and resisting abuses of power with respect to others. My contention is that our transgressing boundaries constructed to separate humanity from the inhumane curtails tendencies toward the marginalization and subjugation of those animal others whose very existence brings us face to face with the fact of our own mortality.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Reprint years
2018
ISBN(s)
1718-0198
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ROGBB
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-02-20
View other versions
Added to PP index
2017-12-14

Total views
19 ( #56,125 of 56,851 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #52,637 of 56,851 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.