A summons to the consuming animal

Business Ethics 19 (3):238-252 (2010)
Abstract
This paper considers Derrida's principal works on the animal as comprising a summons to the consuming animal, the human subject. It summarizes, firstly, Derrida's accusation that the entire Western philosophic tradition is guilty of a particularly pernicious disavowal of its repudiation of the animal. This disavowal underpins what he calls the 'carnophallogocentric order' that privileges the virile male adult as a transcendental subject. The paper shows how he calls this line of argument into question by challenging the purity of the predicates that are presumed to secure human self-presence, such as capacity of response. This questioning is extended to consider marketing discourse in relation to the animal. In the second part of the paper, Derrida's arguments from the points of view of 'animalséance' (which here is referred to as 'animalmalaise') and 'limitography' are compared and contrasted with those of animal ethicists, Peter Singer and Tom Regan, and with Emmanuel Levinas. Finally, some implications are discussed for what it might mean to eat well.
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