Derrida: The Project of Animality Term Paper by SaraMax

Derrida: The Project of Animality
A description of Jacques Derrida's attitude towards the term "animal" and examination of the viewpoints of Martin Heidegger and Jacques Lacan regarding this term.
# 97799 | 2,874 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Sep 02, 2007 in Philosophy (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper examines how Derrida applies his process of deconstruction to the term "animal." It looks at how Derrida asserts that "animal" and "human" did not always represent two distinct categories; rather, there are humans, mice, monkeys, snakes, etc., and a human is no more different from a mouse than a snake is from an elephant. The paper also discusses how, when Judeo-Christian thought became dominant, the concept of "the animal" came into existence as an absolute other and, with this linguistic separation, came a psychical divide that caused us to lose touch with the dark, mysterious, "animal" which resides deep inside of ourselves.

Derrida On Lacan: The Animal Cannot Cover Up Its Tracks. But Can The Human?
The Seer
The Great Disavowal

From the Paper:

"An animal's relationship to the world is limited by its "disinhibitors" - its inner drives that render it completely passive to its bodily demands. Heidegger calls this state of passivity "captivation." The animal is completely at one with its disinhibitor - it does not have the reflexive ability to step back from its drives and perceive that it is controlled by them. Because it cannot see outside of its "disinhibiting ring," it only perceives the world insofar as it relates to its own instinctual demands. Not being able to escape this state of stupefaction, objects only exist for the animal in relation to its present needs. Unable to step out of its disinhibiting ring, it cannot perceive objects as existing in themselves, as more than a means to serve the ends of its disinhibitors. Passivity with respect to its disinhibitor implies passivity with respect to objects in the world - it must use and perceive them only insofar as its disinhibiting ring requires. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Agamben, Giorgio. 2004. The Open: Man and Animal. Translated by Kevin Attell. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Derrida, Jacques. 2002. "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)". Critical Inquiry. 28(2 -- Winter): 369-418.
  • Derrida, Jacques. 2003. "And Say the Animal Responded?" . In Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal, edited by Cary Wolfe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Derrida: The Project of Animality (2007, September 02) Retrieved January 18, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Derrida: The Project of Animality" 02 September 2007. Web. 18 January. 2021. <>