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The Death of the Animal: A Dialogue with Commentaries

By: Paola Cavalieri

Columbia University Press

Hardback | Feb 2009 | #178259 | ISBN-13: 9780231145527
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About this book

Cavalieri begins with a Socratic dialogue on the status of animals between two imagined philosophers, representing the analytical and continental traditions. They discuss the history and defenses of moral perfectionism and debate whether the view represents an archaic approach to ethics. Cavalieri then follows with a roundtable "multilogue" in which Coetzee, Miller, Cary Wolfe, and Matthew Calarco expand on the relationship between philosophy and animals, the boundaries of moral status, the role of reason in ethics, the psychology of speciesism, conflicts of interest between human and nonhuman life, literature and fellow-feeling, and the practical consequences of an antiperfectionist stance.

Coetzee (author of the novels The Lives of Animals and Elizabeth Costello) emphasizes the animality of human beings; Miller (a prominent analytic philosopher at Virginia Tech) dismantles the rationalizations of human bias; Wolfe (professor of English at Rice University) advocates an exposure to other worlds and beings; and Calarco (author of Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida) extends moral status to entities that traditionally have little or no moral standing, such as plants and animals.

An imaginatively structured and thought-provoking addition to the growing Columbia University Press series in animal studies. -- Clare Palmer Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 7/9/09 This stimulating, unique book could have many uses in academic contexts... Recommended. Choice 8/1/09


AcknowledgmentsForeword, by Peter SingerThe Death of the Animal: A Dialogue on Perfectionism, by Paola CavalieriRoundtableIHumanist and Posthumanist Antispeciesism, by Cary WolfeNo Escape, by Harlan B. MillerToward an Agnostic Animal Ethics, by Matthew CalarcoComments on Paola Cavalieri, "A Dialogue on Perfectionism", by John M. CoetzeeIINotes on Issues Raised by Matthew Calarco, by John M. CoetzeePushing Things Forward, by Paola CavalieriDistracting Difficulties, by Harlan B. MillerOn Appetite, the Right to Life, and Rational Ethics, by John M. Coetzee"On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings", by Cary WolfeBetween Life and Rights, by Matthew CalarcoNotes

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Paola Cavalieri lives in Milan and is the editor of the international philosophy journal Etica & Animali. She is the author of The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights and, with Peter Singer, edited the award-winning book, The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity.

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