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The Animal That Therefore I Am

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Animal That Therefore I Am is the long-awaited translation of the complete text of Jacques Derrida's ten-hour address to the 1997 Cérisy conference entitled "The Autobiographical Animal," the third of four such colloquia on his work. The book was assembled posthumously on the basis of two published sections, one written and recorded session, and one informal recorded s ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Fordham University Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Karl Steel
Jun 11, 2008 Karl Steel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ethicists, Posthumanists
Recommended to Karl by: Susan Crane got me started down all of this
Shelves: theory, animals
Of course I'm going to use my review to promote my own work on animals and posthumanism. See my "How to Make a Human," Exemplaria 20.1 (2008): 3-27 (available here): my own work would have been impossible without Derrida. Non-medievalists will be most interested in the first 10 pages or so.

Anyone following Derrida's work on animals (in translation) is already familiar with the title essay and his takedown of Lacan (where Derrida puts under question the distinctions between reaction and response
I had to read some of the essays in here for school. but I'd recommend it to anyone who loves animals and knows how much smarter they are than people. It makes you think hard about the what we consider to be the difference between humans and animals, and whether or not you should feel embarrassed to be naked in front of your pet.
It's Derrida. So, super confusing, very wordy, but the ideas are, of course, present and thriving. Completely awesome analysis of the animal within, or, the animal that we are. Lack of non-male and non-whiteness present in text, however.
Best line ... "Politics supposes livestock."

A thought-provoking book deconstructing our rationalizations of the human/subject/I alienation from 'animot'/'nature'
Wythe Marschall
The man's my hero, but his later work is falling flat...

No offense to other Derrida-heads out there who love this particular text, but I mostly took away from it: "I am no old man who sure does wuv his kittywitty!!1!" Which is endearing but kind of, you know, a let-down, coming from the man who reinvented how we view language, politics, truth, the gift, death, and ourselves.

Still, I feel better writing about monsters (esp. chimerae, a la Asma; esp.-esp. werewolves) having read this. We are anima
Mark Ciesluk
Ultimately the title of this book proved to be the most memorable aspect, but the thoughts contained within dovetail nicely with my own musings on the issue of man consciously and categorically alienating himself from the natural world in order to assert an untenable superiority over the rest of existence.
Ricardo Silva
Philosophy, linguistics and the idea of racism and "speciesism". An interesting book to explore the field of posthuman studies and to reflect on the way we see the "non-human animal" as well as how animals see the "human animal".
Emily Thompson
Overall, I thought this book had very interesting philosophical ideas. While presented in a way that was sometimes difficult to understand, Derrida usually summed up his thoughts in a clear way.
As Derrida goes, an enjoyable, only partly maddening read. Warning, you will hear a lot about Derrida walking around naked. If you can handle the mental image of that, you will be fine.
Antony Haws
This is a life changing book. It'll change the way you feel about animals. Don't read it if you don't want to become a vegan.
Excellent! Jacques Derrida is the ONLY philosopher thus far to look and publish on the topic.
wow! put's a new perspective of on speciesism...
Terrence Cort
I love Derrida and Deconstructionism.
This was a very interesting proofread.
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Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was the founder of “deconstruction,” a way of criticizing not only both literary and philosophical texts but also political institutions. Although Derrida at times expressed regret concerning the fate of the word “deconstruction,” its popularity indicates the wide-ranging influence of his thought, in philosophy, in literary criticism and theory, in art and, in particula ...more
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