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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 17, 2017

Phenomenology of Animality

Orietta Ombrosi
Pages 249-264

“Stealthy as a wolf ” toward the wolves

By drawing on Jacques Derrida’s analysis of the animal question in his last seminars entitled The Beast and the Sovereign, I approach the possibilities of fraternity not only among beasts, between “the wolf and the lamb,” but also between them and humans, in terms of their differences. More precisely, while illustrating certain limits of his analysis, I look at his decisive inquiry concerning “the animal,” which goes hand in hand with political inquiry. Yet we take this path in the company of the wolf, the metaphorical wolf, and following the French expression “a pas de loup” (“stealthy as a wolf ”) as used by Derrida, in order to deconstruct the very concept of sovereignty (symbolized also by the wolf ) and thus to think of politics beyond politics or otherwise than politics. However, I also bring in Levinas, almost a “wolf ” waiting along the way, to demonstrate how, despite Derrida’s vast work on these questions, he remains imprisoned in what he wishes to deconstruct, as if he were not completely able to extract himself from it.