The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida
Zoographies challenges the anthropocentrism of the Continental philosophical tradition and advances the position that, while some distinctions are valid, humans and animals are best viewed as part of an ontological whole. Matthew Calarco draws on ethological and evolutionary evidence and the work of Heidegger, who called for a radicalized responsibility toward all forms of life. He also turns to Levinas, who raised questions about the nature and scope of ethics; Agamben, who held the "anthropological machine" responsible for the horrors of the twentieth century; and Derrida, who initiated a nonanthropocentric ethics. Calarco concludes with a call for the abolition of classical versions of the human-animal distinction and asks that we devise new ways of thinking about and living with animals.
Matthew Calarco's book combines a passion for his subject matter with a keenly penetrating grasp of the complex issues which 'the question of the animal' raises at this juncture of Western history.
Edward Casey, Distinguished Professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook
This important analysis is long overdue... Highly recommended.
Introduction: The Question of the Animal
1. Metaphysical Anthropocentrism: Heidegger
2. Facing the Other Animal: Levinas
3. Jamming the Anthropological Machine: Agamben
4. The Passion of the Animal: Derrida
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2009