This book re-examines the concept of the animal on a new plane of immanence, as opposed to the traditional viewpoint founded on the plane of transcendence.
Following Deleuze and Guattari’s notion that philosophy is a discipline of creating concepts, this book traces how the concept of the animal was created in the history of philosophy through re-reading the works of Descartes, Kant, Heidegger, Derrida and Levinas. Their theories show that the concept of the animal was constructed on the "plane of transcendence" as subservient to the self-serving human, who represents the animal as a negative entity devoid of reason, ethics, the ability to enter into political alliances or even die. With this perspective and a range of theories from thinkers such as Spinoza, Nancy, Haraway and Braidotti as the groundwork, a new positive concept of the animal, operating on the plane of immanence, is sketched out which compels reappraisal of the relationships between body and thought, ethics and politics, or life and death.
With comprehensive interpretations of the views of several key philosophers from Kant and Heidegger to Deleuze, Derrida and Agamben, this book will be valuable for scholars of theoretical animal studies and continental philosophy interested in the philosophical significance of the animal question.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Philosophical Zoology. Why philosophers still believe in the human-animal caesura; 2. Polemology. The animal as a philosophical concept and how that influences infra- and interdisciplinary discussion; 3. Anatomy. What is the concept of man made of?; 4. Anthropology. Several instances of how the concept of the human has been established on a plane of transcendence; 5. False Immanence. Why philosophy presents a negative vision of the animal; 6. Radical Immanence. Recreating the concept of the animal; 7. Uses of Immanence. Conclusions and remarks on practice; Bibliography; Index
The last fifteen years or so have seen an extraordinary growth in new and original social science research into human-animal relations. The ‘animal turn’ as some have referred to it is driven by a strong sense that though essential partners in human worlds, animals have long been ignored by a predominantly humanist social science. Although there is a growing literature on human-animal studies, particularly within the humanities but increasingly including geography, sociology, anthropology, the crucial interdisciplinary cross-overs that have so animated animal studies research have not been easily served in the publication strategies of either major journals or book publishers.
The new Routledge Human-Animal Studies Series offers a much-needed forum for original, innovative and cutting edge research and analysis to explore human animal relations across the social sciences and humanities. Titles within the series are empirically and/or theoretically informed and explore a range of dynamic, captivating and highly relevant topics, drawing across the humanities and social sciences in an avowedly interdisciplinary perspective. This series will encourage new theoretical perspectives and highlight ground-breaking research that reflects the dynamism and vibrancy of current animal studies. The series is aimed at upper-level undergraduates, researchers and research students as well as academics and policy-makers across a wide range of social science and humanities disciplines.