Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231147279
ISBN-10: 0231147279
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.39
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$25.36
Buy new
$30.26
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, October 9, 2009
"Please retry"
$30.26
$15.00 $14.95
More Buying Choices
21 New from $15.00 17 Used from $14.95
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$30.26 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human + The Animal That Therefore I Am (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)
Price for both: $51.06

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

A valuable resource within continental philosophy and animal studies.

(Brett Buchanan Environmental Philosophy 1900-01-00)

Oliver has made a convincing argument that the animal/human divide is much more complex than a simple dichotomy, and that our relationship with animals should be based on commonality, rather than what divides us.

(Anthony J. Dellureficio Quarterly Review of Biology 1900-01-00)

There is, indeed, a philosophical counter-tradition dawning in the contemporary posthuman zeitgeist, and Oliver's book clears the decks in preparation for a new enlightenment.

(Randy Malamud Journal of Animal Ethics 1900-01-00)

Review

Animal Lessons is the most comprehensive overview of the 'continental' discourse on animals, and it is very original. The urgency of the ideas propels the reader from chapter to chapter. This is truly a philosophy book worthy of its name.

(Leonard Lawlor, author of This Is Not Sufficient: An Essay on Animality and Human Nature in Derrida)|

Analytic philosophers have been discussing animals and their rights for decades. However, it is a relatively new theme for continental philosophers. Oliver's book will be the gold standard for this work to which subsequent efforts will have to refer.

(Fred Evans, author of The Multivoiced Body: Society and Communication in the Age of Diversity)|

While there is a vibrant and important scholarship on this fundamental question of philosophy and human life, for after all we are the animal that most needs to be educated, Oliver's book is neither a duplicate nor supplementary. It is written in a most playful way, without betraying or sacrificing philosophical rigor and depth. This is clearly an outstanding work, which will win a wide and immediate readership.

(Eduardo Mendieta, SUNY-Stony Brook)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (October 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231147279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231147279
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly Oliver was born on July 28, 1958 in Spokane Washington. She graduated from Gonzaga University with honors in 1979 with a double major in philosophy and communications. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in philosophy in 1987. She has held teaching positions at various Universities, including George Washington University, University of Texas at Austin, and Stony Brook University. Currently, she is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

She has published books on topics ranging from family, love, war, and violence to affirmative action, Hollywood films, and animal rights.

She is the author of THE COWGIRL PHILOSOPHER MYSTERY novels, including ROPED INTO MURDER and FRACKING MURDER.

Her scholarly work includes over 100 articles and over twenty books, including: Earth and World: Philosophy After the Apollo Missions; Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment; Knock me up, Knock me down: Images of Pregnancy in Hollywood Film; Animal Lessons: How They Teach us to be Human; Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex and the Media; The Colonization of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Theory of Oppression; Noir Anxiety: Race, Sex, and Maternity in Film Noir; Witnessing: Beyond Recognition; Subjectivity Without Subjects: From Abject Fathers to Desiring Mothers; Family Values: Subjects Between Nature and Culture; Womanizing Nietzsche: Philosophy's Relation to "the Feminine"; and Reading Kristeva: Unraveling the Double-Bind. She has edited or co-edited several books.

Customer Reviews

5 star
80%
4 star
20%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A customer on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in animal ethics. Like many, I became interested in topics of animal rights and animal ethics after reading Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. Although I agree with Singer that our exploitation of animals is unwarranted, I am not a utilitarian, and I don't think pain/pleasure should be the primary measure for our ethical relationship with other creatures. To me, Kelly Oliver's Animal Lessons is interesting and refreshing because, unlike other books on animal ethics, the author does not rely on the language of "interests," "rights," or "speciesism" in her arguments. (In fact, Part I of the book is devoted to the problems and limitations of the rights discourse. I believe every animal rights activist should read Part I--perhaps it's time to reconsider the rhetoric and strategy of the animal "rights" movement!)
I will not rehearse the arguments of the book here. But the main thesis the author is advancing is that animals are our teachers. She demonstrates her thesis by examining the philosophical work of various thinkers (including Rousseau, Freud, Heidegger, Kristeva, and Derrida), and she shows both that animals figure prominently in their work and that, in an important sense, philosophers rely on animals to learn what it means to be human. I think her thesis is instructive to those of us who want to challenge the structure of animal exploitation in our society. Specifically, it's not enough to focus on what "rights" animals have against us humans, as if we could relate to animals only in a competitive way.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ruthy McG on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't know a lot about philosophy, but I am interested in animals and I learned a lot from this book. It made me think about vegetarianism and animal rights in new ways. And, is was funny!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christian Montegut on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oliver follows Derrida in a critique of philosophy's use of animals to create the idea of being human. It is a must read for all of us who recognize that humans are animals, and an educational experience for anyone who likes to pretend otherwise.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ROROTOKO on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Animal Lessons" is on the ROROTOKO list of cutting-edge intellectual nonfiction. Professor Oliver's book interview ran here as the cover feature on January 20, 2010.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I still had my book so I could look up hyenas in the index. I don't expect to find anything that would support the image of society as a hyena collective with ludicrous entertainment values facing a bisexual monetary suicide. I picture Animal Lessons as a sentimental journey through philosophy like a cat watching the naked Jacques Derrida emerge from his shower. Kelly Oliver is the main reason I started reading Derrida's The Beast and the Sovereign. The idea of being above or below the law is not quite as powerful for me as an electronic communication network which attacks computers that try to pry into forbidden territories. My intellectual death wish sweepstakes episode was like an American way to discover how curiosity killed the cat, but when I was asked if I had already reviewed Animal Lessons, I said: Oh, it is not for my people.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human
This item: Animal Lessons: How They Teach Us to Be Human
Price: $30.26
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: the animal that therefore i am