Addressing animals

Philosophy and Rhetoric 44 (1):79-80 (2011)
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Abstract

In identifying himself with language, the speaking man places his own muteness outside of himself, as already and not yet human. There is, perhaps, something barbarous in the assumption of the word. In the ontological equation that aligns the speaking being with the human being there may abide a gesture that can be neither heard nor interpreted. With the logos that we inherit “by nature” and then “by right,” according to Agamben, the cut between the human and the animal is made without a sound and undertaken in the name of excising that silence in which it is possible to ask after the ethical violence that attends the constitution of “humanity’s” language and the promise of language’s ..

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Erik Doxtader
University of South Carolina

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