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Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England Hardcover – October 5, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0801444548 ISBN-10: 0801444543 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"At the heart of Brutal Reasoning is a contention that modern historiography has ignored how instrumental animals have been in forming humanity's ideas of itself. Fudge argues that scholars have imposed on the Early modern world an anachronistic concept of humanity separated from animals by an unbridgeable chasm."―Tristram Stuart, Times Literary Supplement, 4 May 2007

"Brutal Reasoning presents a powerful alternative to a critique of speciesism elaborated on the ground of a posthumanist theory of the subject, which typically pays little attention to particular animals and forms a bloodless abstraction out of the 'nonhuman.' Fudge's commitment to historical specificity serves as a corrective to the recent tendency to treat animals as a way station en route to an analysis of sexism and racism. As a historical argument it presents a view of modernity far more nuanced than studies that locate the decisive break between humans and animals in the alienation of nineteenth-century capitalism, or that reduce the polyphonic voices of early modern Europe to simple monody. A fundamental reassessment of the human-animal relation in early modern history, the book succeeds in adjusting our sense of the period's philosophy and literature by restoring animals to a central place in the project of constructing the human self."―Alvin Snider, H-Animal, H-Net Reviews, January 2008

"In Brutal Reasoning, Erica Fudge makes a closely reasoned, tightly focused, and erudite argument that brings back into the forefront of contemporary studies of England's, and Europe's, early modern 'others' what Fudge rightly points out is or was the most fundamental 'other' of all, the animal. This book takes a new approach to abiding and profound ethical problems in both historiography and contemporary law and belief."―Mary Baine Campbell, Brandeis University, author of Wonder and Science: Imagining Worlds in Early Modern Europe

"Erica Fudge has emerged as one of the most compelling and innovative voices in the historical profession today. Through her own 'brutal reasoning,' she explores early modern English ideas about the capacities of animals and humans and, in the process, asks us to reexamine the place of real animals in history."―Nigel Rothfels, author of Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo

From the Back Cover

"In Brutal Reasoning, Erica Fudge makes a closely reasoned, tightly focused, and erudite argument that brings back into the forefront of contemporary studies of England's, and Europe's, early modern 'others' what Fudge rightly points out is or was the most fundamental 'other' of all, the animal. This book takes a new approach to abiding and profound ethical problems in both historiography and contemporary law and belief."-Mary Baine Campbell, Brandeis University, author of Wonder and Science: Imagining Worlds in Early Modern Europe
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Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England
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