J.M. Coetzee’s Tanner Lectures, published as The Lives of Animals (and later incorporated into the novel, Elizabeth Costello), have provoked much philosophical reflection — on the relationship between humans and animals, ethics and rationality, and philosophy and literature — by some of the most distinguished philosophers of our day (like Cora Diamond, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, Ian Hacking, and Stephen Mulhall). Because much of this writing (discussed in an earlier NDPR review) has been of interest to scholars who work on ordinary language philosophy and literary studies, I thought readers of this blog would like to know of an NDPR review of a new book — The Death of the Animal: A Dialogue — that traverses some of the same conceptual ground (and which even includes a new piece by Coetzee himself). Here is the first paragraph (click here to read the whole review):
The Death of the Animal is an imaginatively structured and thought-provoking addition to the growing Columbia University Press series in animal studies. It brings together — and into dialogue — a number of prominent scholars in the field: the book is introduced by Peter Singer; the anchoring chapter is by Paola Cavalieri; while Cary Wolfe, Matthew Calarco, John Coetzee and Harlan Miller contribute the other essays. The volume continues the trend in animal studies toward the publication of edited collections — for instance Killing Animals (Illinois UP, 2006) and Philosophy and Animal Life (Columbia UP, 2007) — in which the authors explicitly respond to one another’s contributions, creating an ongoing conversation rather than a series of stand-alone papers.
(Click here to read the rest.)