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dates de séjour

01/10/2021 - 30/06/2022


Histoire des idées

Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

Université de Waseda

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

From bees to cattle: social animals in the history of Western thought

Human societies are often compared to animal groups in many cultures, and in the West, bees, admired for their altruistic behaviour, have played a privileged role as a representation of such a society. In modern times, however, this type of animal representation is declining. A strict separation has been established between humans and animals, the latter placed on the side of "things" by individuals, equal to one another in their status of owners. The ideal of society ceases to be professed in animal vocabulary. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, discussions of social Darwinism or genetics rediscover animal groups as the origin of human society. By repositioning these discussions in the genealogy of social animals like bees, this study shows the decisive shift in the representation of society at the end of the nineteenth century: it is no longer "individuals" but "livestock" that make up human society.


Kazumichi Hashimoto was born in 1974 in Tokyo, Japan. After completing his DEA thesis at the François Viète Center for Epistemology and History of Science and Technology at the University of Nantes, he submitted his doctoral thesis on the history of the system of human identification by fingerprints, at the University of Tokyo in 2010. This thesis resulted in his first publication, also in 2010, entitled Shimon-ron (Treatise on fingerprints). He currently teaches at the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences of Waseda University, Tokyo, first as a lecturer since 2012, then as a professor since 2017. He has translated numerous French works into Japanese, including Homo Juridicus by Alain Supiot (co-translated with Sayaka Dake) and Images in Spite of All by Georges Didi-Huberman.