Domesticating animal theory

Philosophy and Rhetoric 44 (1):95-100 (2011)

For Descartes, animals are automata like machines that merely react to stimuli, but do not have any true responses. … They are the opposite of humans who are free, rational, and have souls. … The automatic actions of animals assure us of the freedom of our own— we are not animals; therefore we are not automata. I must confess that when, a few years ago, I first began to notice the emergence of theoretical interest in “animality”—especially in literary studies and philosophy—I instinctively responded with skepticism. I say that my reaction was “instinctive” in order to emphasize that my skepticism was not a reasoned position that I had arrived at through some kind of deliberation. Indeed, I had not yet ..
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DOI 10.5325/philrhet.44.1.0095
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