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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 24, Issue 1, 2014
The Experience of Animality

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Displaying: 1-10 of 23 documents

1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Szymon Wróbel Editorial — The Experience of Animality
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i. the animal ethics and philosophy
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Jan Hartman Animals Are Good People Too
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The idea of my article is to challenge traditional ways of confronting animality with humanity. Either in order to define human superiority over animals and construct “man” as an “animal and something much more,” or in order to launch the idea of an animal as being less stupid than it has always been supposed to be, the comparison between humans and animals is concentrated on suppressing animality (in humans as superiors as well as in animals—as wrongly conceived to be “stupid”) and affirming humanity. This is a dialectic interplay of two related concepts of “man” and “beast” petrifying a false vision of common fate of people and animals. This kind of false consciousness makes animals and people badly interdependent. I claim that this mental figure should be overcomeby applying the very category of “being human” to so (far) called “animals.”
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Piotr Laskowski Wegen dem Pferd. The Fear and the Animal Life
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It is, as Deleuze and Guattari observed, “an ordinary sight in those days,” an indispensable part of full modernity, an image that is always within the range of sight. “A horse falls down in the street!,” “a horse is going to die.” From the Auguries ... of William Blake, from Hogarth's second stage of cruelty, through laments of Dostoyevski, up to the madness of Nietzsche and Little Hans’ phobia—the image is always there. It becomes “a hieroglyph that condenses all fears, from unnamable to namable.” Taking famous Freudian Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy as a starting point, we shall try to revise it as well as its famous Lacanian and Deleuzian reinterpretations. We shall invoke Agamben’s concept of “bare life” to reconsider an animal life that is tormented and eventually destroyed
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Paweł Miech The Father Was a Gorilla. Psychoanalysis and the Animal Big Other
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When one closely reads Freud’s case studies one is tempted to say that the unconscious expresses itself through identification with animals. Animals are not just a pretext for symptoms but they seem to play a crucial role in the unconscious of Freud’s patients. A sample of this unconscious affinity with animals is provided by Ratman’s case, who, as Freud claims, “found a living likeness of himself in the rat". In the paper I consider general conditions of this curious difference between “being an animal” and “identifying with an animal” which seems to be disclosed in Ratman’s case. What exactly manifests itself in this curious identification with an animal? What makes the difference between “being an animal” and “identifying with an animal”? Is id an animal, or is id just an effect of id-entification with an animal?
ii. the human-animal relationship
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Mary Trachsel Reviving Biophilia: Feeling Our Academic Way to a Future with Other Animals
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The experience of animality, common denominator of human and nonhuman animal life, is the core concern of Animal Studies. An interdisciplinary project whose methodological spectrum embraces both experiential and observational ways of knowing, Animal Studies poses both moral and scientific questions and pursues both academic and activist goals. By training multiperspectival attention upon the experience of animality, Animal Studies can and does cultivate what environmental philosopher Arne Naess first theorized as “deep ecology.” Sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson hypothesizes a biological capacity for deep ecological thinking, an aesthetic and affective responsiveness to nature that he calls “biophilia.” By allying biophilia with biology, Animal Studies can focus the power of both naturalism and natural science upon today’s looming environmental threats to animality in its many earthly forms, including our own.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Tadeusz Sławek Unanimal Mankind. Man, Animal, and the “Organization” of Life
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The essay tries to approach the question of whether it is conceivable to bring the human and animal to the common existential denominator, to open the possibility of thinking in terms of the “humanimal.” Thus, what presents itself as the major problem is the issue of whether or not it is possible to, borrowing the phrase from e.e. cummings’s poem, “unanimal mankind.” Various paths which one may take inspecting this territory open yet another vital interrogation concerning the degree to which the societal dimension of human culture and “formalized humanity” (Herman Melville’s phrase) is enracinated in the presocietal, primeval world of which the animal is representative.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Jens Loenhoff On the Notion of the Boundary in the Philosophical Anthropology of Helmuth Plessner
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Within the philosophical anthropology of Helmuth Plessner the concept of the boundary plays a prominent role. As a basic idea to understand the existence of livingorganisms the key concept of the boundary allows to conceive the specifics of human extistence in the term of the eccentric positionality as a fundamental constitution ofman. The article tries to reconstruct the genesis and the systematic content of the concept of the boundary and to outline the consequences for Plessner’s social philosophy.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Krzysztof Skonieczny Becoming Animal in Michel de Montaigne’s Views. Toward an Animal Community
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It is a recent tendency to read certain pre- and early-modern thinkers as “anticipatory critics” of modernity; the name of Michel de Montaigne often comes up in this context. Most of the critical approaches treat Montaigne like a pre-Rousseau proto-romantic which is indeed is an important part of Montaigne’s thinking. However, as I show in this paper, his Essays also allow for a different interpretation. Namely, I demonstrate that 1) Montaigne’s appraisal of Nature is far from a romantic-idyllic one; 2) his understanding of the interspecies division is more subtle than it is often thought; 3) his thought thus interpreted includes an ethics of becoming-animal that is based on a radically anti-Platonic (and thus anti-Cartesian) body-mind economy.
iii. animals in art and culture
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Kathleen Perry Long Evil and the Human/Animal Divide: From Pliny to Paré
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One striking difference between humans and animals, at least in ancient and medieval thought, is the human capacity for evil. In his Natural History, Pliny portrays elephants and some other animals as superior to humans, arguing that they do not harm their own kind. Elephants are particularly ethical, refusing to harm other creatures, even at the peril of their own lives. The monstrous human races are described in neutral terms. Caesar, on the other hand, is portrayed as a destructive if admirable monster that has destroyed many millions of human lives. This representation of the animal and the half-human monster as morally admirable or at least neutral is modified by Saint Augustine and subsequent theologians who associate the animal and the monstrous with the divine, the human with imperfect knowledge and character.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Paweł Mościcki The Cloth of Man. Contribution to a Study on the Human-Animal Pathos
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The main question of my paper—inspired by Aby Warburg’s notion of Pathosformeln and his reading of Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal—is how animals can represent pathos of human experience in a way, which humanistic, purely anthropocentric forms of expression can no longer account for. In order to present my argument I would like to analyse three examples from literature. Rainer Maria Rilke’s Malte, Thomas Bernhard’s Distortion and W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. In all three cases animal are necessary to express human pathos but the intensity of this expression seems to go far beyond the limits of the traditional human-animal division.