Integrationism and the Self: Reflections on the Legal Personhood of Animals, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Integrationism and the Self

Reflections on the Legal Personhood of Animals, 1st Edition

By Christopher Hutton


180 pages

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Hardback: 9781138308794
pub: 2019-04-17
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In recent years a set of challenging questions have arisen in relation to the status of animals; their treatment by human beings; their cognitive abilities; and the nature of their feelings, emotions, and capacity for suffering. This ground-breaking book draws from integrational semiology to investigate arguments around the rights of certain animals to be recognized as legal persons, thereby granting them many of the protections enjoyed by humans.

In parallel with these debates, the question of the legal personality of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has moved to the forefront of legal debate, with entities such as robots, cyborgs, self-driving cars, and genetically engineered beings under consideration. Integrationism offers a framework within which the wider theoretical and practical issues can be understood. Law requires closure and categorical answers; integrationism is an open-ended form of inquiry that is seen as removed from particular controversies. This book argues that the two domains can be brought together in a challenging and productive synthesis. A much-needed resource to examine the heart of this fascinating debate and a must-read for anyone interested in semiology, linguistics, philosophy, ethics, and law.

Table of Contents


1. Bedrock Concepts

2. The Analysis of Bedrock Concepts within Language Studies

3. Integrationism and Systems Theory

4. Animals, Personhood and Law

5. Litigating Animal Personhood

Conclusion: A Personalist Perspective

About the Author

Christopher Hutton is Professor in the School of English at the University of Hong Kong.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory

Routledge Advances in Communication and Linguistic Theory presents an integrationist approach to problems of language and communication. Integrationism has emerged in recent years as a radically innovative theoretical position. It challenges the most basic assumptions underlying orthodox twentieth-century linguistics, including those taken for granted by leading structuralists, post-structuralists and generativists. According to integrationists, human communication is an essentially creative enterprise: it relies very little on the 'codes', 'systems', 'habits' and 'rules' postulated by orthodox theorists. Instead, integrationists see the communicative life of each individual as part of a continuous attempt to integrate the present with the past and the future. The success of this attempt depends crucially on the ability to contextualise on-going events rather than on any mastery of established conventions.
The books in this series are aimed at a multidisciplinary readership comprising those engaged in study, teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences, including anthropology, the arts, education, linguistics, literary studies, philosophy and psychology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LAW / Civil Rights
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy