Download Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human by Kelly Oliver PDF

By Kelly Oliver

ISBN-10: 0231520492

ISBN-13: 9780231520492

Philosophy reads humanity opposed to animality, arguing that "man" is guy simply because he's break away beast. Deftly tough this place, Kelly Oliver proves that, actually, it's the animal that teaches us to be human. via their intercourse, their conduct, and our belief in their function, animals convey us how to not be them.

This kinship performs out in a couple of methods. We sacrifice animals to set up human kinship, yet with no the animal, the bonds of "brotherhood" crumble. both kinship with animals is feasible or kinship with people is most unlikely. Philosophy holds that people and animals are unique, yet in protecting this place, the self-discipline depends upon a discourse that depends on the animal for its very definition of the human. via those and different examples, Oliver does greater than simply identify an animal ethics. She transforms ethics via displaying how its very starting place will depend on the animal. studying for the 1st time the remedy of the animal within the paintings of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Agamben, Freud, Lacan, and Kristeva, between others, Animal Lessons argues that the animal bites again, thereby reopening the query of the animal for philosophy.

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Additional resources for Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

Example text

In other words, it does not change or revalue the meaning of these categories or stereotypes associated with them. For example, even as legal rights expand, we continue to use names associated with these groups as insults, especially when it comes to animals. We insult people by calling them animals: pigs, cows, asses, vipers, snakes, vermin, rats, and so on. However identity is defined in order to overcome oppression and exploitation, at the same time it excludes others who may be even more disadvantaged by patriarchal, racist, or, in the case of animals, speciesist, institutions.

They address neither the material nor the conceptual inequities that are part of the history of exploitative practices. As legal theorist Duncan Kennedy points out, “Rights were usually defined in terms of equality, but equality in a special sense. They did not involve the demand for equality in the distribution of income or wealth between social classes, regions, or communities, but rather ‘equal protection’ for individual members of previously subordinated social groups” (2002, 82). Equal protections, then, do nothing to redress the material or cultural inequities in the distribution of resources.

It is not just that the animal and animality remain the constitutive outside 20 introduction of the concepts human and humanity or that the animal and animality are the abjected other against which what is properly human and humanity are defined and maintained. Certainly this is the case. What is as striking in these texts is the various ways in which they rely on examples, illustrations, metaphors, and studies of animals that belie their central theses about the human subject and humanity. It seems that the more adamantly these authors insist on an absolute distinction between man and animal, the more their arguments depend on animal pedagogy.

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