Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

Kobo ebook | October 1, 2009

byKelly Oliver

not yet rated|write a review

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 teaches 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 in 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 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.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$25.49 online
$32.99 list price (save 22%)
Available for download
Not available in stores

From the Publisher

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 teaches us to be human. Through their sex, their habits, and our perception of their purpose, animals show us how not to be them.This kinshi...

Kelly Oliver is Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of more than fifty articles and fifteen books, including Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex, and the Media; The Colonization of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Theory of Oppression; and Family Values: Subjects Between Nature and Culture....

other books by Kelly Oliver

French Feminism Reader
French Feminism Reader

Kobo ebook|May 10 2000

$38.49 online$49.99list price(save 23%)
The Portable Kristeva
The Portable Kristeva

Kobo ebook|Jun 1 2010

$27.79 online$35.99list price(save 22%)
see all books by Kelly Oliver
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 1, 2009Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231520492

ISBN - 13:9780231520492

Customer Reviews of Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

Reviews

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

There is, indeed, a philosophical counter-tradition dawning in the contemporary posthuman zeitgeist, and Oliver's book clears the decks in preparation for a new enlightenment.