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Drawing the LineToward an Aesthetics of Transitional Justice$
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Carrol Clarkson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254156

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254156.001.0001

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Poets, Philosophers, and Other Animals

Poets, Philosophers, and Other Animals

(p.107) 5 Poets, Philosophers, and Other Animals
Drawing the Line

Carrol Clarkson

Fordham University Press

This chapter takes up a gauntlet thrown down by Lucy Lurie in J.M. Coetzee’s novel, Disgrace: it considers the plight of animals other than human even in the teeth of recognizing that South Africa’s political priorities lie elsewhere. The chapter contributes to a larger exploration of the boundary between literature and philosophy and a questioning of the certainty with which the line between these disciplines is often drawn. The poets and the philosophers, in their different ways, have the capacity to call out to fellow humans in ways that may have positive ethical consequences for non-human creatures. Art is one way of expressing our humanity, but in its troubling of a presumed dividing line between the “human” and the “animal”, so the argument of this chapter goes, it serves as a reminder that the poets and the philosophers, too, are animals.

Keywords:   J.M. Coetzee, Plato, Paola Cavalieri, Charles Darwin, Emmanuel Levinas, Philosophy and Literature

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