Zoographies

The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida

Matthew Calarco

Columbia University Press

Zoographies

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Pub Date: July 2008

ISBN: 9780231140232

184 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£24.00

Pub Date: July 2008

ISBN: 9780231140225

184 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£67.00

Pub Date: July 2008

ISBN: 9780231511575

184 Pages

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Zoographies

The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida

Matthew Calarco

Columbia University Press

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

Matthew Calarco's Zoographies is that rare breed of book that manages to provide both a critical overview and incisive intervention on the terrain of what is now called 'the question of the animal.' Lucidly written and judiciously argued, this book is required reading for those interested in exploring the most searching and innovative attempts in contemporary thought to confront our moral obligations to nonhuman beings. That confrontation, as Calarco demonstrates, cannot leave the very nature of 'humanity' itself unchanged.

Cary Wolfe, Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English, Rice University

A remarkable achievement. Matthew Calarco liberates Continental philosophy from its anthropocentrism and in doing so points both to the importance of Continental philosophy in thinking about animals and in eliminating the human-animal distinction for future philosophical investigations.

Carol J. Adams, author of The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics: A Reader

This important analysis is long overdue... Highly recommended.

Choice
Acknowledgments
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
Notes
Index
Web Features:

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2009

About the Author

Matthew Calarco is assistant professor of philosophy at California State University, Fullerton. His books include On Levinas; Animal Philosophy: Essential Readings in Continental Thought; and The Continental Ethics Reader.