Philosophy and Animal Life
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Philosophy and Animal Life

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  5 reviews
This groundbreaking collection of contributions by leading philosophers offers a new way of thinking about animal rights, our obligation to animals, and the nature of philosophy itself.
Paperback, 172 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Columbia University Press (first published May 19th 2008)
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I've only read Cora Diamond's essay and Cary Wolfe's "introduction" ('I like your ideas here, but I'm feeling like, maybe, ... Derrida?'), but Diamond's essay is amazing. She puts the rest of the scholarship on Coetzee's "The Lives of Animals" to shame, and provides some incredibly troubling challenges to the theoretical study of ethics. In particular, she shows how our attempts to theorize ethical problems in our lives often results in a kind of deflection where, in a slight of hand, we replace...more
Martin Rowe
Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, John McDowell, Ian Hacking, and Cary Wolfe (all but the last being professors of philosophy) examine a range of issues surrounding animals—with particular attention being given to J.M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals. I was struck in reading the book how much writing style matters in framing an argument: Cavell and Diamond are discursive (sometimes annoyingly so) whereas Wolfe is dense and allusive (sometimes bafflingly so). Both Hacking and McDowell bring in their o...more
Karl Steel
Jul 04, 2008 Karl Steel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal theorists
Shelves: animals, theory
"Is there any difficulty in seeing why we should not prefer to return to moral debate, in which the livingness and death of animals enter as facts that we treat as relevant in this or that way, not as presences that may unseat our reason?" (Diamond, 74)

"Singer starts with the claim that animals have interests because they are sentient, capable of pain and pleasure. When I reflect on my own actions and responses, I see that I occasionally do something good for some other people who are far from m...more
Five stars to Cora Diamond's essay, 4 to Cary Wolfe's and John McDowell's essays, but the others, even Cavell's are not as good.
A mixed bag. Some of the essays are quite good, some I found almost unreadable.
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