In The Shadow of Wittgenstein's Lion

Cary Wolfe

in Animal Rites

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780226905136
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226905129 | DOI:
In The Shadow of Wittgenstein's Lion

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  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


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This chapter examines Ludwig Wittgenstein's aphorism “If a lion could talk, we could not understand him” to reevaluate how distinctly different figures in contemporary philosophy and theory have thought about the question of language in relation to the difference between humans and animals. It aims to determines the theoretical conditions of possibility under which claims about the difference between human and animal might matter. This chapter also analyzes the relevant views of Stanley Cavell, Vicki Hearne, Jean-François Lyotard and Emmanuel Lévinas about language and ethics.

Keywords: humans; animals; Ludwig Wittgenstein; philosophy; language; ethics; Stanley Cavell; Vicki Hearne; Jean-François Lyotard; Emmanuel Lévinas

Chapter.  23387 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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