Language, Ethics and Animal Life: Wittgenstein and Beyond — New Book (Forsberg, Burley & Hämäläinen, Eds.)


This seems an appropriate time to announce the recent publication of Language, Ethics and Animal Life: Wittgenstein and Beyondedited by Niklas Forsberg, Mikel Burley, and Nora Hämäläinen from Bloomsbury.  (Congratulations, all!)  Please see the blurb below, as well as a Table of Contents. The text is available for purchase here.

About Language, Ethics and Animal Life

New research into human and animal consciousness, a heightened awareness of the methods and consequences of intensive farming, and modern concerns about animal welfare and ecology are among the factors that have made our relationship to animals an area of burning interest in contemporary philosophy. Utilizing methods inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein, the contributors to this volume explore this area in a variety of ways. Topics discussed include: scientific vs. non-scientific ways of describing human and animal behaviour; the ethics of eating particular animal species; human nature, emotions, and instinctive reactions; responses of wonder towards the natural world; the moral relevance of literature; the concept of dignity; and the question whether non-human animals can use language. This book will be of great value to anyone interested in philosophical and interdisciplinary issues concerning language, ethics and humanity’s relation to animals and the natural world.

Table Of Contents


Notes on Contributors

Introduction Niklas Forsberg

1. Humanizing Nonhumans: Ape Language Research as Critique of Metaphysics Pär Segerdahl

2. Ethics and Language: What We Owe to Speakers David Cockburn

3. The Difficulty of Language: Wittgenstein on Animals and Humans Nancy E. Baker

4. Rape among the Panorpidae, Spouse Abuse among the Mantis Religiosa, and Other ‘Reproductive Strategies’ in the Animal and Human World Olli Lagerspetz

5. Three Perspectives on Altruism Ylva Gustafsson

6. Talking about Emotion Camilla Kronqvist 

7. Man as a Moral Animal: Moral Language-Games, Certainty, and the Emotions Julia Hermann

8. Living with Animals, Living as an Animal Anne Le Goff

9. What’s Wrong with a Bite of Dog? Rami Gudovitch

10. Second Nature and Animal Life Stefano Di Brisco

11. Wittgenstein, Wonder and Attention to Animals Mikel Burley

12. Honour, Dignity and the Realm of Meaning Nora Hämäläinen 

13. W. G. Sebald and the Ethics of Narrative Alice Crary



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