TIERethik - Zeitschrift zur Mensch-Tier-Beziehung


“Negative integrity”: The concept of corporeality in the ethics of human-animal relationships
Martin Huth



This text should show that the ethics of human-animal-relation must recur to the bodily existence as a whole. Every criterion of morality which abstracts certain traits out of this existence is in danger to come to counterintuitive conclusions – this will be illustrated based on the “classical” approaches by Peter Singer and Tom Regan. As alternative I describe the approach of the Negative Integrity: It is about the immediate perception of the (nonhuman) Other. Vulnerability is an immanent part of any perception of the Other, so this cannot be ethically neutral. Of special importance is the fact that embodiment unites all existential dimensions, beginning with the psychophysical integrity and ending with a latitude of behavior as interaction with the world.


Keywords: human-animal-relation, bodily existence, Negative Integrity, animal ethics