Blair McDonald on reconsidering
Heidegger's thesis, "the animal is poor in world", after Derrida.
[H]ere we recall one of Heidegger’s concluding concerns that we drew attention to at the beginning of this paper: “man himself,” he writes, “to whose essence world-formation belongs, at first and for the most regard, does not know of world as such.” In what sense then can we maintain that this crossing-through begins and ends with the question of the animal? And what about the stone, how would we write of, on, as a stone and its inaccessibility to the possibility of inaccessibility of things as such? Since it is always without the without of the animal’s so-called deprived relation, might we inscribe a double-crossing? Or are we “going too far,” and perhaps all these differences cannot be manifest in crossing-through words at all but rather only in silence, the writing of the blank? But can silence or the writing of the blank ever escape the linguistic frame, or is silence or the blank just as deceptive as the word?
As such are we coming any closer to the essence of the animal or
only casting a tightrope into the abyss? Let us go along with Derrida when
he writes: “it would not be a matter of ‘giving speech back’ to animals but
perhaps to accede to a thinking, however fabulous and chimerical it might
be, that thinks the absence of the name and of the word otherwise, as
something other than a privation.” The last part again: “the word otherwise, as something other than a privation.” This is what we have been attempting, by way of and in the hope of being able to do what one ought to do, namely, rewrite, unwrite, write-through, cross-out Heidegger’s thesis on the animal.