Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

by Kelly Oliver
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231147260

ISBN-13: 9780231147262

Pub. Date: 10/08/2009

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Philosophy reads humanity against animality, arguing that "man" is man because he is separate from beast. Deftly challenging this position, Kelly Oliver proves that, in fact, it is the animal that reaches us to be human. Through their sex, their habits, and our perception of their purpose, animals show us how not to be them.

This kinship plays out a number of

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Overview

Philosophy reads humanity against animality, arguing that "man" is man because he is separate from beast. Deftly challenging this position, Kelly Oliver proves that, in fact, it is the animal that reaches us to be human. Through their sex, their habits, and our perception of their purpose, animals show us how not to be them.

This kinship plays out a number of ways. We sacrifice animals to establish human kinship, but without the animal, the bonds of "brotherhood" fall apart. Either kinship with animals is possible or kinship with humans is impossible. Philosophy holds that humans is impossible. Philosophy holds that humans and animals are distinct, but in defending this position, the discipline depends on a discourse that relies on the animal for its very definition of the human. Through these and other examples, Oliver does more than just establish an animal ethics. She transforms ethics by showing how its very origin is dependent upon the animal. Examining for the first time the treatment of the animal in the work of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Agamben, Freud, Lacan, and Kristeva, among others, Animal Lessons argues that the animal bites back, thereby reopening the question of the animal for philosophy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231147262
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
10/08/2009
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Biting the Hand That Feeds You: The role of Animals in Philosophies of Man 1

Part 1 What's wrong with Animal Rights?

1 The Right to remain Silent 25

Part 2 Animal Pedagogy

2 You Are What You Eat: Rousseau's Cat 51

3 Say the Human Responded: Herder's Sheep 79

Part 3 Difference "Worthy of Its Name"

4 "Hair of the Dog": Derrida's and Rousseau's Good Taste 97

5 Sexual Difference, Animal Difference: Derrida's Sexy Silkworm 131

Part 4 It's Our Fault

6 The Beaver's Struggle with Species-Being: De Beauvoir and the Praying Mantis 155

7 Answering the Call of Nature: Lacan Walking the Dog 175

Part 5 Estranged Kinship

8 The Abyss Between Humans and Animals: Heidegger Puts the Bee in Being 193

9 "Strange Kinship": Merleau-Ponty's Sensuous Strickleback 208

10 Stopping the Anthropological Machine: Agamben's Ticktocking Tick 229

11 Psychoanalysis as Animal By-product: Freud's Zoophilia 247

12 Animal Abjects, Maternal Abjects: Kristeva's Strays 227

Conclusion: Sustainable Ethics 303

Notes 307

Bibliography 339

Index 355

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