Sunday, June 15, 2008


It seems to me that any discussion of critical animal studies needs to include some engagement with vitalism.

It is, first of all, not that surprising that Heidegger included in his discussions of animals a strong rejection of all vitalistic philosophy (and for more on Heidegger's notion of Life philosophy, you should read Krell's Daimon Life ).

Any vitalism has to begin at least with an understanding of what Robert J. Richards terms the romantic conception of life, especially focusing on the work of Schelling. (Two key works here are Jason Wirth's The Conspiracy of Life and Iain H. Grant's Philosophies of Nature After Schelling . If you want something tying this with Heidegger's reading of Schelling, I might suggest Clark's essay "Heidegger's Craving Being-On-Schelling ).

From Schelling, we move to Bergson. (Matter and Memory "The Metaphysics of Life." SubStance 36.3 (2007): 25-32. Also necessary is Bergson's Creative Evolution. Also check out J. Alexander Gunn - Bergson and His Philosophy

Perhaps though, what would be most useful is the post-bergsonian Deleuze.
And with him, the particularly feminist appropriation of Deleuze and Bergson by the likes of Grosz and Bradotti.

btw, thanks to the people from the critique forum from cross-x for most of those texts.

I'll try to make a real post of ideas rather than citations later on.