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Philosophy, Animality and the Life Sciences

Wahida Khandker

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A study of pathological concepts of animal life in Continental philosophy from Bergson to Haraway

Using animals for scientific research is a highly contentious issue that Continental philosophers engaging with ‘the animal question’ have been rightly accused of shying away from. Now, Wahida Khandker asks, can Continental approaches to animality and organic life make us reconsider our treatment of non-human animals?

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Chapter 1: Forces of Nature: Evolution, Divergence, Decimation
Chapter 2: Pathological Life and the Limits of Medical Perception
Chapter 3: Violence, Pathos and Animal Life in European Philosophy and Critical Animal Studies
Chapter 4: From Animal-Machines to Cybernetic Organisms
Chapter 5: Organicism and Complexity: Whitehead and Kauffman
Chapter 6: Aped, Mongrelised and Scapegoated: Adventures in Biopolitics and Transgenics in Haraway’s Animal Worlds
Epilogue: A Vicious Circle

About the Author

Wahida Khandker is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has contributed to numerous philosophy journals.


Ranging across a remarkable array of crucial texts in the recent history of philosophy and the life sciences, this book provides both an invaluable critical overview of the work of Whitehead, Canguilhem, Bergson, Haraway, and others on the question of "life" and at the same time pursues its own highly original intervention in how we can think our ontological and ethical relation to non-human beings.

- Cary Wolfe, Dunlevie Professor of English and Founding Director, 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory, Rice University

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