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Environmental Philosophy

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published on March 21, 2017

Emily Thew
DOI: 10.5840/envirophil201732047

Narcissistic Attachments
A Melancholic Reading of De-Extinction Projects

This essay examines the relationship between human and non­human animals in the context of de-extinction projects. Following van Dooren and Rose’s (2015) suggestion that de-extinction projects are reluctant to engage with mourning work, I argue that these scientific endeavours can be understood as inherently melancholic. In reading them as such, I focus on the concepts of identification and ambivalence central to Freud’s theorisation of melancholia, and argue that looking at these key ideas in relation to de-extinction reveals the way that notions of human exceptionalism can be problematized by a psychoanalytic reading of these projects.

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