Jacques Derrida's final seminars were devoted to animal life and political sovereignty – the connection being that animals slavishly adhere to the law while kings and gods tower above it and that this relationship reveals much about humanity in the West. David Farrell Krell attended these seminars and offers a detailed account of them, placing them in the context of Derrida's late work and his critique of Heidegger. Krell focuses his discussion on questions such as death, language, and animality. He concludes that Heidegger and Derrida share a commitment to finding new ways of speaking and thinking about human and animal life.
"David Farrell Krell offers Derrida's last seminar the response for which it calls. He invites readers to consider a number of questions that have not yet been adequately broached, either in continental philosophy or in critical animal studies, that may well move both fields forward. It would be difficult to overestimate the book's importance here."
– Dawne McCance, University of Manitoba
"David Farrell Krell presents Derrida's work on animality in an interesting and precise way. His major contribution, however, is in response to Derrida's criticisms of Heidegger. Krell gives us new insights into how to understand Heidegger. That Krell is able to do this is no surprise, since he is one of the world's leading scholars on Heidegger's thought."
– Leonard Lawlor, The Pennsylvania State University
List of Abbreviations
1. The Beast and the Sovereign I
2. The Beast and the Sovereign II
3. How Follow the Animal . . . That I Am?
4. Is There a Touchstone for All Philosophy?
5. Is Apophantic Discourse the Touchstone?
6. Conclusions and Directions for Future Research
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David Farrell Krell is currently Brauer Visiting Professor of German Studies at Brown University and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University. He writes fiction and is author of numerous scholarly books, including Contagion (IUP, 1998) and The Tragic Absolute: German Idealism and the Languishing of God (IUP, 2008).