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Humanities 2016, 5(3), 69; doi:10.3390/h5030069

Posthuman Ethics, Violence, Creaturely Suffering and the (Other) Animal: Schnurre’s Postwar Animal Stories

College of Arts and Sciences, Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, Texas Tech University, Box 42071, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Academic Editor: Myra Mendible
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 13 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
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Abstract

The othering of whole groups of people in a biopolitical discourse during the Third Reich has caused many to re-assess ethics that is based on specific categories. Adorno and Horkheimer reckoned with both Enlightenment as well as classical “humanist” discourses to question whether they imply structures that lead to fascism. In the wake of these arguments, classical humanist (or sometimes also called anthropocentric) ethics have also been criticized by philosophers such as Agamben, Derrida, and Wolfe. It is thus time to work on posthuman(ist) ethics that avoids the traps of a narrow human ethics and that is inclusive rather than exclusive. The short stories by postwar German author Wolfdietrich Schnurre, written in the wake of the Holocaust, reckon with a purely human-centered worldview and draw a bleak picture of an anthropocentrically structured and valued world. Under the surface that portrays a speciesist world, Schnurre employs a network of sub-discourses to “cave out” carno-phallogocentric discourses and point towards a different, post-human ethics. This paper examines how anthropocentric discourses of power lead to inhumane violence and how a different approach to the Other, based on empathy and shared vulnerability, might just move us beyond it. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal studies; posthuman ethics; postwar German Literature; violence animal studies; posthuman ethics; postwar German Literature; violence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kleinhans, B. Posthuman Ethics, Violence, Creaturely Suffering and the (Other) Animal: Schnurre’s Postwar Animal Stories. Humanities 2016, 5, 69.

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