Re: [OPE-L] Inter-species slavery

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Wed Nov 22 2006 - 20:06:57 EST

On Wed, 22 Nov 2006, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> But the point has shifted. Allin and Paul wanted to establish a
> general model of animal slavery with the human practice as just one
> example.

Speaking for Allin, he wanted to problematize the assumption that
the "enslavement" (with scare quotes) of one species of ant by
another _must_ be totally different from the enslavement of one
set of humans by another.  Rakesh responded with talk of
"enslavement" of iron filings, as a putative reductio ad absurdum.
This shows that he didn't bother to look at the grounds for talk
of "enslavement" among ants in the scientific work I cited. Nobody
is suggesting the "X causes Y to behave in manner M" translates
into "X has enslaved Y", for arbitrary X and Y.

Insofar as the retort was that this is an intra-species matter in
the case of human slavery, Paul's thought experiment concering the
enslavement of Neanderthals by Sapiens (which didn't happen so far
as we kow, but might have happened if things had gone a bit
differently), seems apposite to me.  To repeat Paul's question:
Would that have made a difference of principle, versus the
enslavement of Africans by other Sapiens?

Allin Cottrell

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