animals and the limits of postmodernism

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Animals And The Limits Of Postmodernism

Author : Gary Steiner
ISBN : 9780231527293
Genre : Nature
File Size : 55. 47 MB
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In Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, Gary Steiner illuminates postmodernism's inability to produce viable ethical and political principles. Ethics requires notions of self, agency, and value that are not available to postmodernists. Thus, much of what is published under the rubric of postmodernist theory lacks a proper basis for a systematic engagement with ethics. Steiner demonstrates this through a provocative critique of postmodernist approaches to the moral status of animals, set against the background of a broader indictment of postmodernism's failure to establish clear principles for action. He revisits the ideas of Derrida, Foucault, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, together with recent work by their American interpreters, and shows that the basic terms of postmodern thought are incompatible with definitive claims about the moral status of animals -- as well as humans. Steiner also identifies the failures of liberal humanist thought in regards to this same moral dilemma, and he encourages a rethinking of humanist ideas in a way that avoids the anthropocentric limitations of traditional humanist thought. Drawing on the achievements of the Stoics and Kant, he builds on his earlier ideas of cosmic holism and non-anthropocentric cosmopolitanism to arrive at a more concrete foundation for animal rights.

Anthropocentrism And Its Discontents

Author : Gary Steiner
ISBN : 9780822970989
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 72. 22 MB
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Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents is the first-ever comprehensive examination of views of animals in the history of Western philosophy, from Homeric Greece to the twentieth century. In recent decades, increased interest in this area has been accompanied by scholars' willingness to conceive of animal experience in terms of human mental capacities: consciousness, self-awareness, intention, deliberation, and in some instances, at least limited moral agency. This conception has been facilitated by a shift from behavioral to cognitive ethology (the science of animal behavior), and by attempts to affirm the essential similarities between the psychophysical makeup of human beings and animals. Gary Steiner sketches the terms of the current debates about animals and relates these to their historical antecedents, focusing on both the dominant anthropocentric voices and those recurring voices that instead assert a fundamental kinship relation between human beings and animals. He concludes with a discussion of the problem of balancing the need to recognize a human indebtedness to animals and the natural world with the need to preserve a sense of the uniqueness and dignity of the human individual.

Can Animals Be Moral

Author : Mark Rowlands
ISBN : 9780199986712
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 25. 75 MB
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From eye-witness accounts of elephants apparently mourning the death of family members to an experiment that showed that hungry rhesus monkeys would not take food if doing so gave another monkey an electric shock, there is much evidence of animals displaying what seem to be moral feelings. But despite such suggestive evidence, philosophers steadfastly deny that animals can act morally, and for reasons that virtually everyone has found convincing. In Can Animals be Moral?, philosopher Mark Rowlands examines the reasoning of philosophers and scientists on this question--ranging from Aristotle and Kant to Hume and Darwin--and reveals that their arguments fall far short of compelling. The basic argument against moral behavior in animals is that humans have capabilities that animals lack. We can reflect on our motivations, formulate abstract principles that allow that allow us to judge right from wrong. For an actor to be moral, he or she must be able scrutinize their motivations and actions. No animal can do these things--no animal is moral. Rowland naturally agrees that humans possess a moral consciousness that no animal can rival, but he argues that it is not necessary for an individual to have the ability to reflect on his or her motives to be moral. Animals can't do all that we can do, but they can act on the basis of some moral reasons--basic moral reasons involving concern for others. And when they do this, they are doing just what we do when we act on the basis of these reasons: They are acting morally.

Animals And The Moral Community

Author : Gary Steiner
ISBN : 9780231512602
Genre : Nature
File Size : 64. 22 MB
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Gary Steiner argues that ethologists and philosophers in the analytic and continental traditions have largely failed to advance an adequate explanation of animal behavior. Critically engaging the positions of Marc Hauser, Daniel Dennett, Donald Davidson, John Searle, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, among others, Steiner shows how the Western philosophical tradition has forced animals into human experiential categories in order to make sense of their cognitive abilities and moral status and how desperately we need a new approach to animal rights. Steiner rejects the trad.

Straw Dogs

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 9781466895751
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88. 35 MB
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The British bestseller Straw Dogs is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the New Statesman, called Straw Dogs his book of the year: "I read it once, I read it twice and took notes . . . I thought it that good." "Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book" (Sunday Telegraph).

Animal Vegetable Mineral

Author : Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
ISBN : 9780615625355
Genre : Agent (Philosophy)
File Size : 30. 48 MB
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"Animal, Mineral, Vegetable: Ethics and Objects" examines what happens when we cease to assume that only humans exert agency. Through a careful examination of medieval, early modern and contemporary lifeworlds, these essays collectively argue against ecological anthropocentricity. Sheep, wolves, camels, flowers, chairs, magnets, landscapes, refuse and gems are more than mere objects. They act; they withdraw; they make demands; they connect within lively networks that might foster a new humanism, or that might proceed with indifference towards human affairs. Through what ethics do we respond to these activities and forces? To what futures do these creatures and objects invite us, especially when they appear within the texts and cultures of the "distant" past? TABLE OF CONTENTS: Jeffrey J. Cohen: "Introduction: All Things" - Karl Steel: "With the World, or Bound to Face the Sky: The Postures of the Wolf-Child of Hesse" - Sharon Kinoshita: "Animals and the Medieval Culture of Empire" - Kellie Robertson: "Exemplary Rocks" - Valerie Allen: "Mineral Virtue" - Peggy McCracken (University of Michigan): "The Human and the Floral" - Eileen Joy: "You Are Here: A Manifesto" - Julian Yates: "Sheep Tracks: A Multi-Species Impression" - Julia Reinhard Lupton: "The Renaissance Res Publica of Things" - Jane Bennett: "Powers of the Hoard: Notes on Material Agency" Response Essays: Lowell Duckert, "Speaking Stones, John Muir, and A Slower (Non)humanities" - Nedda Mehdizadeh, "Ruinous Monument: Transporting Objects in Herbert's Persepolis" - Jonathan Gil Harris, "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Twenty Questions"

Animals Like Us

Author : Mark Rowlands
ISBN : 1859843867
Genre : Nature
File Size : 69. 73 MB
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Foot-and-mouth and mad-cow disease are but two of the results of treating animals as commodities, subject only to commercial constraints and ignoring all natural and moral considerations. Chickens hanging by their necks on conveyor belts, bloated dead sheep with their legs in the air, mutilated dogs waiting to die after undergoing horrendous experiments in the name of science or even just product-testing these are some of the images that illustrate the indifference of a consumerist society to the suffering of animals. Few are willing to recognize that the packaged, sanitized supermarket meat that materializes on their dinner tables every day is the result of an industrial process involving unimaginable pain and suffering. In this clearly argued book, Mark Rowlands claims that it is simply unjust to harm animals. As conscious, sentient beings, biologically continuous with humans, they have interests that cannot simply be disregarded. Using simple principles of justice, he argues that animals have moral rights, and examines the consequences of this claim in the contexts of vegetarianism, animal experimentation, zoos and hunting, as well as the animal rights activism that has resulted from the recognition by a relatively small group of political activists that animals cannot simply be considered in their relation to humans.

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