Précis Without Offending Humans

Précis Without Offending Humans

    Élisabeth De Fontenay, in Without Offending Humans, extends continental philosophy’s exploration of the animal question in a manner both difficult and rewarding. First, De Fontenay orientates her own work and that Jacques Derrida’s as she argues that the they have a shared deconstructive perspective on philosophical humanism. Then, in the stunning chapter “The Improper,” the author demonstrates the powerful deconstructive force “the animal” possesses in the work of philosophers such as Levinas, Heidegger, and Marx.  Next, De Fontenay will explore the unique position within the law animals are forced to hold—as neither possessions nor persons. As a result and often by power’s use of analogy, “the animals” position open up a pathway for the dehumanization of others humans. Finally, De Fontenay dismantles contemporary “bio-art” before a conclusion that radically alters the dreaded comparison of human and animal “holocausts.”  Élisabeth De Fontenay writes this work philosophy and animal studies in order to further the deconstructive power of the animal question, to more rigorously establish the political and bodily stakes at play.

Works Cited: Fontenay, E. D. (2012). Without Offending Humans: A Critique of Animal Rights (Posthumanities) (French Edition). Univ Of Minnesota Press.