Philosophy & Animal Life

Philosophy & Animal Life
Library Shelf Location 5a.CAVE
Publication Date 2009

This book is part of the reading list supplied by Heather Phillipson in her exhibition at BALTIC Heather Phillipson: The Age of Love (19 October 2018 – 31 March 2019)

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 explores the animal question as it is bound up with the more general problem of philosophical skepticism. Focusing specifically on J. M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals, she considers the failure of language to capture the vulnerability of humans and animals.

Stanley Cavell responds to Diamond's argument with his own close reading of Coetzee's work, connecting the human-animal relation to further themes of morality and philosophy. John McDowell follows with a critique of both Diamond and Cavell, and Ian Hacking explains why Cora Diamond's essay is so deeply perturbing and, paradoxically for a philosopher, he favors poetry over philosophy as a way of overcoming some of her difficulties. Cary Wolfe's introduction situates these arguments within the broader context of contemporary continental philosophy and theory, particularly Jacques Derrida's work on deconstruction and the question of the animal. Philosophy and Animal Life is a crucial collection for those interested in animal rights, ethics, and the development of philosophical inquiry. It also offers a unique exploration of the role of ethics in Coetzee's fiction.

This is the full reading list (NB. Not all of these are available in BALTIC Library)


Butler, Octavia: Blood Child

Cavell, Stanley; Diamond, Cora;, McDowell, John; Hacking, Ian; Wolfe, Cary: Philosophy and Animal Life

Carrington, Leonora: The Debutante & Other Stories

Carrington, Leonora: Jezzamathatics or introduction to the wonderful process of painting (artist's statement)

Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring

Derrida, Jacques: The Animal that Therefore I Am

Easterling, Keller: Enduring Innocence

Eshun, Kodwo: More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction

Haraway, Donna: Staying with the Trouble

Hildyard, Daisy - Second Body

Hooks, Bell: All About Love

Howard, Len: Birds as Individuals

Myles, Eileen: Afterglow

Pasarello, Elena: Animals Strike Curious Poses

Rich, Adrienne: Arts of the Possible

Ruocco, Joanna: Multi-Course Small Plates, Craft Lofts, Prix Fixe  

Steyerl, Hito: The Terror of Total Dasein

Two Fingers & Kirk, James T.: Junglist (Backstreet)


Juliette of the Herbs, Dir. Trish Streeten

Heart of a Dog, Dir. Laurie Anderson​

ISBN 9780231145152
Quantity 1
Pages 184
Authors Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, John McDowell, Ian Hacking, Cary Wolfe
Format Paperback
Publisher Columbia University Press
Category Philosophy
Keyword Animals
Language English

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