Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews on Philosophy and Animal Life

Philosophy and Animal LifeIn a recent review for the online journal Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Gerald Bruns considers how two recent philosophy books explore novelist J. M. Coetzee’s philosophical views on animals.

One of the books discussed by Bruns is Philosophy and Animal Life, which includes a stellar group of co-authors: Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, John McDowell, Ian Hacking, Cary Wolfe.

The review highlights how these thinkers essays relate to Coetzee’s work, particularly Elizabeth Costello, and their own philosophical approaches to the question of animals and animal rights.

Here is a brief excerpt from the review:

Meanwhile Cary Wolfe’s useful introduction to Philosophy and Animal Life is balanced by Ian Hacking’s concluding remarks—a series of random but intriguing notes on the proceedings, including an observation that in breeding turkeys for food (using artificial insemination and force-feeding) we have produced a species of faux-turkeys who, being so fat, can neither walk nor copulate with turkey hens. To which he adds: “There is something wrong, morally lacking (I feel) with someone who is not . . . appalled by the way we have bred turkeys out of their turkeyness” (p. 151). Part of the difficulty of Elizabeth Costello is evidently the way she can get under a philosopher’s skin.

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