Different beasts : humans and animals in Spinoza and the Zhuangzi / Sonia N. Özbey.

Ozbey, Sonia Nihan [Browse]
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2024.
1 online resource (345 pages)


Oxford scholarship online. [More in this series]
Summary note
'Different Beasts' explores conceptions of animality and humanity as they emerge in the writings of Spinoza and in the ancient Chinese text known as the Zhuangzi. The project thus brings together works from distant and different pasts to bear on debates regarding the human-animal binary in its many constructions. It also investigates what is at stake in the formation of responsible comparison - one that is contextually grounded and refined in detail - to understand how the complex machinery behind the human-animal binary operates in different philosophical systems.
Also issued in print: 2024.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Source of description
Description based on online resource and publisher information; title from PDF title page (viewed on November 15, 2023).
  • Cover
  • Different Beasts
  • Copyright
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction: Cross-​Cultural Philosophy and Critical Animality Studies
  • A. Intersectional Critiques of Dualistic Thinking
  • B. Seeking a Savior in "Monistic" Philosophies
  • C. Why Compare? Critical Mimesis and New Areas of Inquiry
  • D. Roadmap
  • 1. Contexts and Means for Interpreting the Zhuangzi
  • 1.1 Inching Out of Animality: Early Chinese Recipes for Power and Teachings for Humanity
  • 1.2 Loitering Idly with Zhuangzi's Big but "Useless" Words
  • 2. Contexts and Means for Interpreting Spinoza
  • 2.1 Lifting Up and Placing Down the Man into the Machine-​World: Contested Routes to Knowledge and Salvation
  • 2.2 Seeking True Philosophy, in the Proper Order, with Spinoza
  • Conclusion: Strange Companions-​Thinking about Animals with Spinoza and the Zhuangzi
  • A. Form, Context, and Function
  • B. Hermeneutical Challenges and Opportunities
  • 3. Rich in Complexity: Human Distinctiveness in Spinoza
  • 3.1 "That Eternal and Infinite Being We Call God, or Nature"
  • 3.2 Eliminating the Anthropomorphic God and the Theomorphic Man
  • 3.3 What Distinguishes a Man from an Ass
  • 3.4 A Ladder of Complexity: From Worm to Man
  • 4. Pinnacles of Versatility: Human Distinctiveness in the Zhuangzi
  • 4.1 The Ten Thousand Things under Heaven
  • 4.2 Dethroning the Heart
  • 4.3 Finding the Pivot of All Daos
  • 4.4 What Distinguishes People from Turtles and Fish
  • Conclusion: Admiring and Humbling Humanity
  • A. Like a Worm, Like a Tree
  • B. Finding Empowerment in a Univocal versus Polyvocal World
  • C. Certainty with a Bias, Humility without an Agenda
  • 5. Zhuangzi and the Happy Fish: Animal Affects in the Zhuangzi
  • 5.1 Wandering with the Fish, Zhuangzi, and Huizi
  • 5.2 Effective and Affective Communication in the Zhuangzi.
  • 5.3 Bonding through Banter and Laughter
  • 6. Spinoza's Serpentine Worries: Animal Affects in Spinoza
  • 6.1 Making Use of Beasts as We Please
  • 6.2 Choosing Eve over the Serpent
  • 6.3 On Misanthropic Melancholy and Fraternal Cheer
  • Conclusion: Affects, Solidarity, and Power
  • A. The Cementing and Loosening of Human Bonds
  • B. The Power to Include and Exclude
  • 7. From Nature's Order to Civil Order: Onto-​Political Formations in Spinoza
  • 7.1 Individuation and Identity in an Orderly World
  • 7.2 Uniting as One Mind and Body
  • 7.3 Big Fish Eat Small Fish
  • 8. Unmanaging the Personal and the Political Body in the Zhuangzi
  • 8.1 From Unity to Fragmentation: Undermining the Heart of the Personal and Political Body
  • 8.2 Transforming into a Rat's Liver or a Butterfly's Dream
  • 8.3 Muddying the Waters: Reimagining Hundun and Antiquity
  • Conclusion: The State of the World: The Topsy-​Turvy and the Ship-​Shape
  • A. Tales of Identity and Disintegration
  • B. In the Absence of Civil Order
  • 9. Rethinking Animal Imagery in the Zhuangzi
  • 9.1 The Zhuangzi on Distant Lands, Humble Professions, and Unruly Minds
  • 9.2 Women in the Zhuangzi
  • 10. Animalized Others in Spinoza's "Imagination"
  • 10.1 On "Turks" and Common People
  • 10.2 On Women, the Infantile, and the Sub-​rational
  • Conclusion: Our Kind
  • A. Those "We" Uplift or Leave Behind
  • B. The Limits of What "We" Can Imagine "Us" to Be
  • Epilogue: Looking at There and Then to Reflect on Here and Now
  • References
  • Index.
  • 0-19-768641-9
  • 0-19-768639-7
  • 10.1093/oso/9780197686386.001.0001
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