J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature

J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature

By: Anton Leist (editor), Peter Singer (editor)Paperback

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In 2003, South African writer J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his riveting portrayals of racial repression, sexual politics, the guises of reason, and the hypocrisy of human beings toward animals and nature. Coetzee was credited with being "a scrupulous doubter, ruthless in his criticism of the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of western civilization." The film of his novel Disgrace, starring John Malkovich, brought his challenging ideas to a new audience. Anton Leist and Peter Singer have assembled an outstanding group of contributors who probe deeply into Coetzee's extensive and extraordinary corpus. They explore his approach to ethical theory and philosophy and pay particular attention to his representation of the human-animal relationship. They also confront Coetzee's depiction of the elementary conditions of life, the origins of morality, the recognition of value in others, the sexual dynamics between men and women, the normality of suppression, and the possibility of equality in postcolonial society. With its wide-ranging consideration of philosophical issues, especially in relation to fiction, this volume stands alone in its extraordinary exchange of ethical and literary inquiry.

About Author

Anton Leist is professor of philosophy at the Ethics-Center of the University of Zurich. His books include A Question of Life, Good Action, Ethics of Social Relationships, and Action in Context. Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, and The Life You Can Save.


Introduction: Coetzee and Philosophy, by Anton Leist and Peter Singer Part I. People, Human Relationships, and Politics 1. The Paradoxes of Power in the Early Novels of J. M. Coetzee, by Robert Pippin 2. Disgrace, Desire, and the Dark Side of the New South Africa, by Adriaan van Heerden 3. Ethical Thought and the Problem of Communication: A Strategy for Reading Diary of a Bad Year, by Jonathan Lear 4. Torture and Collective Shame, by Jeff McMahan Part II. Humans, Animals, and Morality 5. Converging Convictions: Coetzee and His Characters on Animals, by Karen Dawn and Peter Singer 6. Coetzee and Alternative Animal Ethics, by Elisa Aaltola 7. Writing the Lives of Animals, by Ido Geiger 8. Sympathy and Scapegoating in J. M. Coetzee, by Andy Lamey Part III. Rationality and Human Lives 9. Against Society, Against History, Against Reason: Coetzee's Archaic Postmodernism, by Anton Leist 10. Coetzee's Critique of Reason, by Martin Woessner 11. J. M. Coetzee, Moral Thinker, by Alice Crary 12. Being True to Fact: Coetzee's Prose of the World, by Pieter Vermeulen Part IV. Literature, Literary Style, and Philosophy 13. Truth and Love Together at Last: Style, Form, and Moral Vision in Age of Iron, by Samantha Vice 14. The Lives of Animals and the Form-Content Connection, by Jennifer Flynn 15. Irony and Belief in Elizabeth Costello, by Michael Funk Deckard and Ralph Palm 16. Coetzee's Hidden Polemic with Nietzsche, by Alena Dvorakova List of Contributors Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780231148412
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 408
  • ID: 9780231148412
  • ISBN10: 0231148410

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