And Say the Animal Resisted? Derrida, Biopolitics, and the Problem with Species

Environmental Philosophy 16 (1):115-140 (2019)

Abstract
My article does two things: 1) tracks Derrida’s claim that biopolitical and sovereign power use species taxonomies to performatively depoliticize and ignore the reciprocity of creaturely perspectives; and 2) argues Derrida makes possible a deconstruction of species, and demonstrates its necessity for better political futures. To do this, I follow Derrida’s criticism of autopsic logics and the circularity of metaphysics and zoology, and his affirmation of embodied singularity. Finally, I start and end with analyses of cetacean suicide: by privileging how others see themselves and us over our perspective of them, Derrida challenges what counts as political and who decides.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Social and Political Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1718-0198
DOI 10.5840/envirophil201851471
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