La construction de l'altérité en contexte marchand : le cas de l'animal

Authors: Lebouc, Marie-France
Advisor: Audet, Michel
Abstract: This dissertation explores the fact that, depending on circumstances, the moral status of he who faces me may vary from that of an Other, in the ethical sense of the term, to that of an object. For a human being, to live is to be linked to others by a particular link, an ethical one. The distance that lies between me and the other may be better understood as “good distanciation” or the process of deciding how long the link should be, thus making what faces me either an Other or an object. Good distanciation takes place mainly in the sphere of practical consciousness rather than discursive consciousness. Furthermore, we tend to limit otherness to humans. New philosophies are emerging that study value in nature. These works fall into four broad categories, anthropocentrism, zoocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism, which content I re-examine through the notion of good distanciation. It appears that animals represent the most problematic category of environmental elements as regards good distanciation. I have therefore centered my research on animals. The empirical part of the study focuses on the ethical link relating pet shop clerks to animals sold in pet shops. What is the moral status a pet shop clerk ascribes to the animal he takes care of and sells, that of a mere good or that of a companion? During five months of participant observation in 5 pet shops, I observed and assisted a total of 15 clerks. I have studied both codified technical skills that an animal caregiver must demonstrate and other movements, looks, words and sounds the caregiver makes or utters while taking care of an animal. Together, they reveal the work of practical consciousness in good distanciation. Results show that two logics of action, one of market and one of care, prevail in the daily work of a pet shop clerk. Good distanciation amounts to constant arbitration between these two logics and that it occurs mainly in the sphere of practical consciousness rather than in discursive consciousness.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2004
Open Access Date: 11 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/17905
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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