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    • June 2010
    • 9780231148412
  • 408 Pages

  • Paperback
  • $29.00
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    • June 2010
    • 9780231148405
  • 408 Pages

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    • June 2010
    • 9780231520249
  • 408 Pages

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J. M. Coetzee and Ethics

Philosophical Perspectives on Literature

Edited by Anton Leist and Peter Singer

In 2003, South African writer J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his riveting portrayals of racial repression, sexual politics, the guises of reason, and the hypocrisy of human beings toward animals and nature. Coetzee was credited with being "a scrupulous doubter, ruthless in his criticism of the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of western civilization." The film of his novel Disgrace, starring John Malkovich, brought his challenging ideas to a new audience.

Anton Leist and Peter Singer have assembled an outstanding group of contributors who probe deeply into Coetzee's extensive and extraordinary corpus. They explore his approach to ethical theory and philosophy and pay particular attention to his representation of the human-animal relationship. They also confront Coetzee's depiction of the elementary conditions of life, the origins of morality, the recognition of value in others, the sexual dynamics between men and women, the normality of suppression, and the possibility of equality in postcolonial society. With its wide-ranging consideration of philosophical issues, especially in relation to fiction, this volume stands alone in its extraordinary exchange of ethical and literary inquiry.

About the Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context.

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.

"Scholarly readers with an interest in Coetzee's novels or philosophy's relationship to literature will find this work highly rewarding." — Library Journal

"This collection takes stock of J. M. Coetzee's impact from a number of interesting angles, including animals, sexuality, race, and reason. The time is truly ripe for such a volume. Philosophers who are interested in Coetzee's work will find these essays useful for their own research, and readers of Coetzee who share an interest in philosophy will be able to further explore those interests." — Matthew Calarco, California State University at Fullerton, and author of Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida

About the Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context.

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.

Introduction: Coetzee and Philosophy, by Anton Leist and Peter Singer
Part I. People, Human Relationships, and Politics
1. The Paradoxes of Power in the Early Novels of J. M. Coetzee, by Robert Pippin
2. Disgrace, Desire, and the Dark Side of the New South Africa, by Adriaan van Heerden
3. Ethical Thought and the Problem of Communication: A Strategy for Reading Diary of a Bad Year, by Jonathan Lear
4. Torture and Collective Shame, by Jeff McMahan
Part II. Humans, Animals, and Morality
5. Converging Convictions: Coetzee and His Characters on Animals, by Karen Dawn and Peter Singer
6. Coetzee and Alternative Animal Ethics, by Elisa Aaltola
7. Writing the Lives of Animals, by Ido Geiger
8. Sympathy and Scapegoating in J. M. Coetzee, by Andy Lamey
Part III. Rationality and Human Lives
9. Against Society, Against History, Against Reason: Coetzee's Archaic Postmodernism, by Anton Leist
10. Coetzee's Critique of Reason, by Martin Woessner
11. J. M. Coetzee, Moral Thinker, by Alice Crary
12. Being True to Fact: Coetzee's Prose of the World, by Pieter Vermeulen
Part IV. Literature, Literary Style, and Philosophy
13. Truth and Love Together at Last: Style, Form, and Moral Vision in Age of Iron, by Samantha Vice
14. The Lives of Animals and the Form-Content Connection, by Jennifer Flynn
15. Irony and Belief in Elizabeth Costello, by Michael Funk Deckard and Ralph Palm
16. Coetzee's Hidden Polemic with Nietzsche, by Alena Dvorakova
List of Contributors
Index

About the Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context.

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.

About the Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context.

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.

About the Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context.

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.

About the Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context.

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.