Thursday, December 9, 2010

"But wait, I'm an abolitionist too!"

I have already commented elsewhere on how it is philosophically and grammatically nonsensical for Gary Francione and the Francionists to deny that people such as me are abolitionists. My philosophy aims for the abolition of speciesism, animals as property or slaves. Philosophically, anyone who aims for abolition is an abolitionist. Grammatically, it is unintelligible because the same rule holds for accurate grammarians. On the definition of the suffix "-ist" is as follows:
a suffix of nouns, often corresponding to verbs ending in -ize or nouns ending in -ism, that denote a person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.: apologist; dramatist; machinist; novelist; realist; socialist; Thomist.
Now we are dealing with abolitionism. Abolitionist in my case and those who are likeminded denotes being concerned with something, and indeed adhering to a principle, namely abolition, making the -ist label not only permissible but grammatically inevitable.

I would like to point out on this occasion a standard fallacy which has not been noted before in relation to this question. It is the fallacy of persuasive definition. What this refers to is an illogical move to define a term in such a way as to try to persuade someone of a conclusion. An example would be defining abortion as the murder of the unborn. Built into that definition is the idea that abortion is morally wrong, since murder means wrongful killing. Well, the case is no different with Francione exclusively trying to herd all the abolitionists of the world into his arms, like a kid trying to shoo out other kids from his sandbox. A typical animal rights person might say, "I support the abolition of the property status of animals, so I am an abolitionist. So I must agree with the abolitionists then." If the illogical definition or elitist restriction is accepted, then this charletan move will tend to funnel people into the Francionist camp. Well, I am an abolitionist with respect to this outright abuse of the term "abolition" and its grammatical variants.


A Selection of Related Articles

Sztybel, David. "Animal Rights Law: Fundamentalism versus Pragmatism". Journal for Critical Animal Studies 5 (1) (2007): 1-37.

go there

Short version of "Animal Rights Law".

go there

Sztybel, David. "Incrementalist Animal Law: Welcome to the Real World".

go there

Sztybel, David. "Sztybelian Pragmatism versus Francionist Pseudo-Pragmatism".

go there

A Selection of Related Blog Entries

Anti-Cruelty Laws and Non-Violent Approximation

Use Not Treatment: Francione’s Cracked Nutshell

Francione Flees Debate with Me Again, Runs into the “Animal Jury”

The False Dilemma: Veganizing versus Legalizing

Veganism as a Baseline for Animal Rights: Two Different Senses

Francione's Three Feeble Critiques of My Views

Startling Decline in Meat Consumption Proves Francionists Are Wrong Once Again!

The Greatness of the Great Ape Project under Attack!

Francione Totally Misinterprets Singer

Francione's Animal Rights Theory

Francione on Unnecessary Suffering

My Appearance on AR Zone

D-Day for Francionists

Sztybel versus Francione on Animals' Property Status

The Red Carpet

Playing into the Hands of Animal Exploiters

The Abolitionist ApproachES

Francione's Mighty Boomerang

Dr. David Sztybel Home Page