Toward a levinasian politics of the animal
This work develops meta-political account of our relationships to animals that is informed by the thought of Emmanuel Levinas. While previous scholarship on Levinas and animals has underscored his ethics, I give closer attention to his political theory in this context. Chapter I shows that Levinas's discussion of our responsibilities to animals in "The Paradox of Morality" trades on a political vocabulary in a paradoxical way. I explore this paradox in logical and temporal terms in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3 I explore a third, historical permutation of this paradox, and show how it can be implemented in a radical interpretation of our own history. This reinterpretation is explored through Levinas's "The Name of a Dog, or Natural Rights," and shows that our narrations of ourselves, and our human identities, necessarily conceal more primordial political and historical relationships with animals.