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Jacques Derrida And The Question Of "The Animal"

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Published on Dec 18, 2008

Here, Derrida explains his long-standing interest in the question of the 'animal' ... he regards it as a 'stupidity' to categorize different species under the abstract, reductive heading of 'animal' and even feels that such categorization is the historical root of violence toward these beings, culminating in today's massive industrial usage which in a late interview he deemed 'genocidal torture' ... in terms of (historical) philosophical attitudes toward animals, he regards his position as rather unique - even those who strongly challenge conventional philosophical thought (Heidegger, Levinas, Lacan) are guilty of this great prejudice - as he says: 'Wherever something like the animal is named, the gravest, most resistant, also the most naive and the most self-interested presuppositions dominate what is called human culture (and not only Western culture); in any case they dominate the philosophical discourse that has been prevalent for centuries' ...

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