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Cover for Corporal Compassion

Corporal Compassion

Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body

Ralph R. Acampora


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/10/2006)


Most approaches to animal ethics ground the moral standing of nonhumans in some appeal to their capacities for intelligent autonomy or mental sentience. Corporal Compassion emphasizes the phenomenal and somatic commonality of living beings; a philosophy of body that seeks to displace any notion of anthropomorphic empathy in viewing the moral experiences of nonhuman living beings. Ralph R. Acampora employs phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism and deconstruction to connect and contest analytic treatments of animal rights and liberation theory. In doing so, he focuses on issues of being and value, and posits a felt nexus of bodily being, termed symphysis, to devise an interspecies ethos. Acampora uses this broad-based bioethic to engage in dialogue with other strains of environmental ethics and ecophilosophy.

Corporal Compassion examines the practical applications of the somatic ethos in contexts such as laboratory experimentation and zoological exhibition and challenges practitioners to move past recent reforms and look to a future beyond exploitation or total noninterference--a posthumanist culture that advocates caring in a participatory approach.

Praise For Corporal Compassion: Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body

"All philosophers interested in animal ethics should read this thought-provoking book."
--Environmental Ethics

”Reading Corporal Compassion soon went [from being] a fascinating journey to a gratifying learning experience. I recommend the book to all philosophers from an analytic background who would like to view familiar terrain through a new set of lenses. Acampora writes beautifully though exotically, and before too long one greatly appreciates--and even enjoys--the gestalt shift this book engenders.” 
--Bernard Rollin, Anthrozoos

“In this intellectually adventurous and scrupulously argued book, Ralph Acampora takes it as his aim to vitalize the Anglo-American debate on the ethics of transhuman contacts with a bracing injection of modern European thought.”
--J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822963233, 224pp.

Publication Date: November 28, 2014

About the Author

Ralph R. Acampora is assistant professor of philosophy at Hofstra University. He is co-editor of A Nietzchean Bestiary and a member of the editorial board for Anthrozoös.