Ethics and Natural History

Environmental Philosophy 3 (2):34-43 (2006)
Abstract
This essay questions the place of other-than-human animals in Levinas’s thought. After detailing how animals and animality figure in Levinas’s work, it is claimed that his ethical exclusion of animals is due to a conception of animals as wholly accountable for in terms of species-being, wholly within “naturalhistory.” It is then suggested that Levinas’s position is ill-founded, and at odds with his claims about the importance of suffering and the vulnerable body in the encounter with the other. The essay concludes by arguing that speaking of other-than-human animal “faces” is not necessarily an unduly anthropocentricextension of thinking-of-the-other
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