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Where to Cut: Boucherie and Delikatessen

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image of Research in Phenomenology

Matthew Calarco refers to Derrida’s apparently dogmatic “insistence on maintaining the human-animal distinction.” What would it mean to “overcome” this distinction? Can we simply let it go? Derrida’s stance is compared with a certain dogma of Heidegger’s and the bêtise of frontal endorsement or denial of it. Perhaps the distinction between mention and use makes possible a relocation of Derrida’s apparent dogmatism. His reservations over the distinction between mention and use do not prevent his mentioning animals (animaux) in the neologism animot. What does it mean to say that the human-animal distinction is abyssal? United by a common concern, the parties to the debate focused on in this essay (Derrida, Calarco, Har-away, Smuts, Llewelyn) follow different procedures that, however, complement one another.

Affiliations: 1: University of Edinburgh


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