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 : 49. 4 MB
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While postmodern approaches to politics and ethics have offered some intriguing and influential insights in philosophy and theory, Gary Steiner illuminates the fundamental inability of these approaches to arrive at viable ethical and political principles. Ethics require notions of self, agency, and value that are not available to postmodernists. Therefore much of what is published under the rubric of theory lacks a proper basis for a systematic engagement with ethics. Steiner provocatively critiques postmodernist approaches to the moral status of animals against the background of a broader indictment of postmodern thought and its inability to establish clear principles for action. He revisits the work 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 any definitive claims about the moral status or rights of animals—and humans. Steiner acknowledges the failures of liberal humanist thought regarding the moral status of animals; but instead of following postmodern thinkers who reject humanist thought outright, he argues for the need to rethink humanist notions in a way that avoids the anthropocentric limitations of traditional humanist thought. Drawing on the achievements of the Stoics and Kant, Steiner builds on his earlier work, developing his ideas of cosmic holism and non-anthropocentric cosmopolitanism in order to arrive at a more concrete foundation for animal rights.

Eat This Book

Author : Dominique Lestel
ISBN : 9780231541152
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 51. 24 MB
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If we want to improve the treatment of animals, Dominique Lestel argues, we must acknowledge our evolutionary impulse to eat them, and we must expand our worldview to see how others consume meat ethically and sustainably. The position of vegans and vegetarians is unrealistic and exclusionary. Eat This Book calls at once for a renewed and vigorous defense of animal rights and a more open approach to meat eating that turns us into responsible carnivores. A leading French philosopher who has written extensively on animal agency and welfare, Lestel skillfully synthesizes Western philosophical views on the moral status of animals and holistic cosmologies that recognize human-animal reciprocity. Vegetarianism isolates humans from the world by refusing to accept that cruelty, violence, and conflicting interests are part of life. Lestel presents the carnivore’s position as more coherently ethical, describing how meat-eaters assume completely, which is to say metabolically, their animal status, appreciating fully the life-giving power of animal flesh. Lestel vehemently condemns factory farming and the terrible footprint of industrial meat eating. His goal is to promote a kinship between humans and animals that we can all support and that in practice reminds us what it means to be tied inextricably to the world.

Animals And The Moral Community

Author : Gary Steiner
ISBN : 9780231512602
Genre : Nature
File Size : 47. 74 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.

Animal Rights Without Liberation

Author : Alasdair Cochrane
ISBN : 9780231504430
Genre : Nature
File Size : 83. 66 MB
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Alasdair Cochrane provides an entirely new theory of animal rights grounded in their interests as sentient beings. He applies this theory to a whole range of different and under-explored policy areas, such as genetic engineering, pet-keeping, indigenous hunting, and religious slaughter. In contrast to other proponents of animal rights, Cochrane claims that the possession of rights by animals does not mean animals must never be owned or used by human beings. He claims that because most sentient animals are not autonomous agents, they have no intrinsic interest in liberty. As such, his book argues that our obligations to animals lie in ending practices that cause their suffering and death and do not require the liberation of animals. Cochrane’s “interest-based rights approach” weighs the moral rights of animals to determine which of their interests sufficiently imposes strict duties on humans. Sentient animals have a clear and discernable right not to suffer and have continued life, Cochrane acknowledges, but they do not have a prima facie right to liberty. Because most animals possess no interest in leading freely chosen lives, humans have no moral obligation to liberate them. Moving beyond theory to the practical aspects of applied ethics, this pragmatic volume provides much-needed perspective on the realities and responsibilities of the human-animal relationship.

Animal Oppression And Human Violence

Author : David Nibert
ISBN : 9780231525510
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 87. 2 MB
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Jared Diamond and other leading scholars have argued that the domestication of animals for food, labor, and tools of war has advanced the development of human society. But by comparing practices of animal exploitation for food and resources in different societies over time, David A. Nibert reaches a strikingly different conclusion. He finds in the domestication of animals, which he renames "domesecration," a perversion of human ethics, the development of large-scale acts of violence, disastrous patterns of destruction, and growth-curbing epidemics of infectious disease. Nibert centers his study on nomadic pastoralism and the development of commercial ranching, a practice that has been largely controlled by elite groups and expanded with the rise of capitalism. Beginning with the pastoral societies of the Eurasian steppe and continuing through to the exportation of Western, meat-centered eating habits throughout today's world, Nibert connects the domesecration of animals to violence, invasion, extermination, displacement, enslavement, repression, pandemic chronic disease, and hunger. In his view, conquest and subjugation were the results of the need to appropriate land and water to maintain large groups of animals, and the gross amassing of military power has its roots in the economic benefits of the exploitation, exchange, and sale of animals. Deadly zoonotic diseases, Nibert shows, have accompanied violent developments throughout history, laying waste to whole cities, societies, and civilizations. His most powerful insight situates the domesecration of animals as a precondition for the oppression of human populations, particularly indigenous peoples, an injustice impossible to rectify while the material interests of the elite are inextricably linked to the exploitation of animals. Nibert links domesecration to some of the most critical issues facing the world today, including the depletion of fresh water, topsoil, and oil reserves; global warming; and world hunger, and he reviews the U.S. government's military response to the inevitable crises of an overheated, hungry, resource-depleted world. Most animal-advocacy campaigns reinforce current oppressive practices, Nibert argues. Instead, he suggests reforms that challenge the legitimacy of both domesecration and capitalism.

Straw Dogs

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 9781466895751
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 41. 33 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).

Gorgeous Beasts

Author : Joan B. Landes
ISBN : 9780271054018
Genre : History
File Size : 79. 36 MB
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"A collection of essays examining the place of animals in history and culture and their influence on life and art, from the Renaissance to the present"--Provided by publisher.

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