Life beyond biologism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a move that has puzzled commentators, Derrida's The Animal that Therefore I Am rejects claims for continuity between the human and the animal, aligning such claims with the ideology of "biologistic continuism." This problematization of the logic of the human-animal limit holds implications for how we are to understand life in relation to auto-affection, immanence in relation to transcendence, and naturalism in relation to phenomenology. Derrida's abyssal logic parallels the "strange kinship" described by Merleau-Ponty, though only if this strangeness is intensified as "hetero-affection" by incorporating death into life. Following Merleau-Ponty and Elizabeth Grosz, we locate the creative moment of this abyssal intimacy in the transformative productions of sexual difference. This positive account of the excess of hetero-affection reconciles phenomenology with evolution and offers a figure for thinking the thickening and multiplying of the differences between human and non-human, living and nonliving, corporeal and cosmic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-266
Number of pages24
JournalResearch in Phenomenology
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

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Biologism
Affection
Animals
Jacques Derrida
Phenomenology
Logic
Strangeness
Kinship
Ideology
Continuity
Immanence
Nonhuman
Excess
Transcendence
Problematization
Naturalism
Sexual Differences
Commentators
Intimacy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy

Cite this

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Life beyond biologism. / Toadvine, Jr., Theodore A.

In: Research in Phenomenology, Vol. 40, No. 2, 01.06.2010, p. 243-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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