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(2015) Deleuze and the non/human, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Nonhuman life

Ashley Woodward

pp. 25-41

It is a simultaneously well-known and typically repressed fact that philosophy has from its inception concerned itself with wisdom: it has understood itself as a practical activity — a way of life, defended by a theoretical discourse.1 The contemporary philosophical scene is one in which most of the terminology and concepts for thinking (and practicing) philosophy in this way have been vitiated: we can no longer talk of the human, of the subject, of existence, of life, of value, of meaning and so on, without encountering a whole history of critical reservations regarding the philosophical usage of such terms (Heidegger's critiques of value and of existentialism, structuralism's — and especially Foucault's — critique of the human, and so on). To some extent this is the result of scientific, theoretical, and cultural changes which have made the old categories through which we understand ourselves questionable. To some extent this is also the result of philosophy's proper work of examining its own presuppositions. In these respects the current state of affairs cannot be lamented. However, to the extent that substantive reasons and arguments have been forgotten and such terms have become simply unfashionable, this is a failure both of philosophical thought and its vocation as existential activity.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137453693_3

Full citation:

Woodward, A. (2015)., Nonhuman life, in J. Roffe & H. Stark (eds.), Deleuze and the non/human, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 25-41.

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