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Philosophy and Animal Life

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  49 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
"Philosophy and Animal Life" offers a new way of thinking about animal rights, our obligation to animals, and the nature of philosophy itself. Cora Diamond begins with "The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy," in which she accuses analytical philosophy of evading, or deflecting, the responsibility of human beings toward nonhuman animals. Diamond then ex ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Columbia University Press (first published May 19th 2008)
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Blake
Philosophy and Animal Life is a volume of essays which, along with Stephen Mulhall's The Wounded Animal, continues the rich critical reflection on J. M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals and on the peculiar depths and surface of its protagonist, Elizabeth Costello.

The core of this volume is Cora Diamond's studied and abundant The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy. Diamond begins with a descriptive account of a poem by Ted Hughes, "Six Young Men", wherein the speaker describes a
...more
A.
Jan 11, 2014 A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal theorists
Shelves: theory, animals
"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
Peter
Aug 14, 2008 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Simon
Jul 17, 2008 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy-read
A mixed bag. Some of the essays are quite good, some I found almost unreadable.
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