Summary Of Jacques Derrida's The Animal That Therefore I Am?

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We can not communicate with animals as Derrida talks about his little cat in his seminal essay The Animal That Therefore I Am and says there is no common language or a language we can understand animals. It is not like they say “mirr” to say no or “purr” to say yes. We differentiate animals and categorise them: dogs, cats, snakes, lions and many other. However we kind of categorise humans as well by their races, African, Asian and European, by their gender; male or female, by their preference of opposite sex; straight or gay and many other. So what is boundary we created between “animals and humans? The Animal That Therefore I Am was first delivered in speech to the 1997 Cerisy conference. The Animal That Therefore I Am is a part of a ten hour lecture and his lecture at the Cerisy has been collected and Jacques Derrida mainly focused on the philosophical and the logic aspects of a boundary between a human and “animal”. He mainly explored the areas of…show more content…
He defends that animals shouldn’t be categorised in such word. He often says when you say “animals” you start to cage some thoughts about animals. Each animals have different features and they shouldn’t be categorise together under the same word. Derrida uses these scare quotes to create an irony to word “the animal” and he often says “that men have instituted a name they have given themselves the right and the authority to give to the living other.” ( 23). Throughout the essay he keeps on coming back to what “animal” means and why they were called animals. The Animal That Therefore I Am is a complex text just like other texts of Derrida. Derrida strikes about what is it to follow an animal. He comes to this conclusion from the original title in french L’Animal que donc je suis, which the title has two different meanings. Je Suis means “ I am” and also “I follow”. Throughout the essay he questioned the title as interpreted as “I follow
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