Turning to animals between love and law

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 2012 Number 76

Turning to animals between love and law
Anat Pick pages -


As an alternative to Utilitarianism, animal ethics turned to the Continental philosophies of Levinas and Derrida that welcome and revere Otherness. While Utilitarianism relies on a ‘closed’ system of ethical calculations, the Levinasian model remains open-ended. This essay argues for a revised approach to animal ethics that combines Levinasian immeasurability, what Matthew Calarco called ‘ethical agnosticism’, with a closed approach that sees ethics as issuing from particular modes of practice. Highlighting some of the problems inherent in the Levinasian ethics of love as well as Agamben’s biopolitical critique of law, I propose a corrective, ‘between love and law’, that avoids predetermining the limits of moral consideration yet insists on the social and normative dimensions of ethical responsiveness. I take the practice of veganism - broadly conceived beyond the strictly dietary - as the heart of animal ethics and consider some of the philosophical and theological dimensions of veganism as neither naïve nor as utopian but on the contrary, as a worldly mode of engagement that acknowledges the realities of violence.

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To cite this article
Anat Pick (2012) Turning to animals between love and law, New Formations, 2012(76), -

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