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This engaging volume explores and defends the claim that misanthropy is a justified attitude towards humankind in the light of how human beings both compare with and treat animals. Reflection on differences between humans and animals helps to confirm the misanthropic verdict, while reflection on the moral and other failings manifest in our treatment of animals illuminates what is wrong with this treatment. Human failings, it is argued, are too entrenched to permit optimism about the future of animals, but ways are proposed in which individual people may accommodate to the truth of misanthropy through cultivating mindful, humble and compassionate relationships to animals. Drawing on both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions David E. Cooper offers an original and challenging approach to the complex field of animal ethics.
The newly expanded and revised edition of Cooper’s popular anthology featuring classic writings on aesthetics, both historical and contemporary The second edition of this bestselling anthology collects essays of canonical significance in aesthetics and the philosophy of art, featuring a wide range of topics from the nature of beauty and the criteria for aesthetic judgement to the value of art and the appreciation of nature. Includes texts by classical philosophers like Plato and Kant alongside essays from art critics like Clive Bell, with new readings from Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, Ronald W. Hepburn, and Arthur C. Danto among others Intersperses philosophical scholarship with diverse contributions from artists, poets, novelists, and critics Broadens the scope of aesthetics beyond the Western tradition, including important texts by Asian philosophers from Mo Tzu to Tanizaki Includes a fully-updated introduction to the discipline written by the editor, as well as prefaces to each text and chapter-specific lists of further reading
This book is the first major study of the theme of misanthropy, its history, arguments both for and against it, and its significance for us today. Misanthropy is not strictly a philosophy. It is an inconsistent thought, and so has often been mocked. But from Timon of Athens to Motörhead it has had a very long life, vast historical purchase and is seemingly indomitable and unignorable. Human beings have always nursed a profound distrust of who and what they are. This book does not seek to rationalize that distrust, but asks how far misanthropy might have a reason on its side, if a confused reason. There are obvious arguments against misanthropy. It is often born of a hatred of physical being. It can be historically explained. It particularly appears in undemocratic cultures. But what of the misanthropy of terminally defeated and disempowered peoples? Or born of progressivisms? Or the misanthropy that quarrels with specious or easy positivities (from Pelagius to Leibniz to the corporate cheer of contemporary `total capital`)? From the Greek Cynics to Roman satire, St Augustine to Jacobean drama, the misanthropy of the French Ancien Regime to Swift, Smollett and Johnson, Hobbes, Schopenhauer and Rousseau, from the Irish and American misanthropic traditions to modern women`s misanthropy, the book explores such questions. It ends with a debate about contemporary culture that ranges from the `dark radicalisms`, queer misanthropy, posthumanism and eco-misanthropy to Houellebecq, punk rock and gangsta rap.
These essays, originally comprising an issue of Representations, explore the relation between gender, eroticism, and violence through close analysis of a range of both high and popular cultural forms, from R. Howard Bloch on medieval theology to Carol Clover on contemporary slasher films. Does misogyny differ from misandry? Can author intention be separated from social context? Do good women counterbalance or reenforce the misogyny of negative examples? Is an obsession with women itself misogynistic? These questions are approached from various angles by Joel Fineman, Charles Bernheimer, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Frances Ferguson, Naomi Schor and Gillian Brown. In sum, the authors detail not only the ways in which gender is represented, but also the changes to which representation subjects questions of sexual difference. These essays, originally comprising an issue of Representations, explore the relation between gender, eroticism, and violence through close analysis of a range of both high and popular cultural forms, from R. Howard Bloch on medieval theology to Carol Clover on contemporary slasher films. Does misogyny differ from misandry? Can author intention be separated from social context? Do good women counterbalance or reenforce the misogyny of negative examples? Is an obsession with women itself misogynistic? These questions are approached from various angles by Joel Fineman, Charles Bernheimer, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Frances Ferguson, Naomi Schor and Gillian Brown. In sum, the authors detail not only the ways in which gender is represented, but also the changes to which representation subjects questions of sexual difference.
This comprehensive and diverse anthology, the only one of its kind, illuminates the complex evolution of moral thought regarding animals and includes writings from ancient Greece to the present. Animal Rights reveals the ways in which a variety of thinkers have addressed such issues as our ethical responsibilities for the welfare of animals, whether animals have rights, and what it means to be human.
Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human–animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization. The first book to provide a full overview of human–animal studies, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. Essays also cover speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human–animal relations.

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