"Taming the wild profusion of existing things"? A study of Foucault, power, and human/animal relationships Academic Article uri icon


  • I explore how some aspects of Foucoult's work on power can be applied to human/animal power relations. First, I argue that because animals behave as "beings that react" and can respond in different ways to human actions, in principle at least, Foucoult's work can offer insights into human/animal power relations. However, many of these relations fall into the category of "domination," in which animals are unable to respond. Second, I examine different kinds of human power practices, in particular, ways in which humans construct animal constitutions and animal subjectivities. Finally, I use a case study of a pet cat to show how such power practices may come together in a single instance.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Palmer, C.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Palmer, C

publication date

  • January 2001