By Mladen Dolar
Plutarch tells the tale of a guy who plucked a nightingale and discovering yet little to consume exclaimed: "You are only a voice and not anything more." Plucking the feathers of that means that hide the voice, dismantling the physique from which the voice turns out to emanate, resisting the Sirens' music of fascination with the voice, focusing on "the voice and not anything more": this is often the tricky job that thinker Mladen Dolar relentlessly pursues during this seminal work.The voice didn't determine as an important philosophical subject until eventually the Sixties, while Derrida and Lacan individually proposed it as a crucial theoretical predicament. In A Voice and not anything extra Dolar is going past Derrida's thought of "phonocentrism" and revives and develops Lacan's declare that the voice is without doubt one of the paramount embodiments of the psychoanalytic item (objet a). Dolar proposes that, except the 2 regularly understood makes use of of the voice as a car of which means and as a resource of aesthetic admiration, there's a 3rd point of knowing: the voice as an item that may be visible because the lever of concept. He investigates the item voice on a few assorted levels--the linguistics of the voice, the metaphysics of the voice, the ethics of the voice (with the voice of conscience), the paradoxical relation among the voice and the physique, the politics of the voice--and he scrutinizes the makes use of of the voice in Freud and Kafka. With this foundational paintings, Dolar provides us a philosophically grounded thought of the voice as a Lacanian object-cause.
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Here Merleau-Ponty forecloses the possibility of an encounter with an animal even as he imagines an inhuman gaze that turns humans into insects. This foreclosure, built as it is on animal metaphors (the insect), animal examples (the dog), and an opposition between human and inhuman, is yet another symptom of our ambivalence toward the animal, animality, and animals. Merleau-Ponty denies being embarrassed by this ambivalence. But it is precisely what gives Derrida a bad time when he sees himself through the eyes of his cat, as he says, naked as a jaybird.
It is more urgent . . to ask in what way—within man—has man been separated from 19 introduction non-man, and the animal from the human, than it is to take positions on the great issues, on so-called human rights and values. (2004, 16)8 Although Agamben is more concerned with separating the animal from the human in order to prevent treating people like animals than he is with the treatment of animals, he is right that we cannot begin to address the ways in which we denigrate some groups of people that we consider subhuman or nonhuman—that we consider or compare with animals—until we explore our ambivalence toward the animal, animality, and animals themselves.
The juridical notion of rights leads to calculations of whose interests are more important and whose rights trump all others. The calculus of interests and rights is particularly vexing when weighing human rights against animal rights, which is bound to happen given the oppositional nature of the concepts human and animal and the exclusionary nature of the concept of rights on which animal rights (like human rights) are based. Although the question of animal interests versus human interests raises hordes of practical concerns about human freedoms in regard to eating, clothing, and human welfare, as well as drug testing and medical research, the fundamental problem with arbitrating rights is not the practical matter of determining the proper balance or a fair utilitarian calculus.
A Voice and Nothing More by Mladen Dolar