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The Animal That Therefore I Am: Consolation
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"The practice of keeping animals, regardless of their usefulness, the keeping . . to be precise . . of pets, is a modern innovation, and, on the social scale on which it exists today, is unique. It is part of that universal but personal withdrawal into the private small family unit that is such a distinguishing feature of consumer societies." *

Jacques Derrida (The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)) claims that the only difference between an animal and a human being is in our perception of our own nudity. It is in being seen (and in particular being seen naked) by his cat that Derrida claims to experience self-consciousness and shame. The eyes of his cat, he suggests, his own I’s first mirror, reflecting the naked truth of the autobiographical ,,I,,. **

His pet allows him to see something of the otherness of all non-human animals.  The domestic animal offers Derrida access to a philosophy and self-knowledge that is neither abstract nor self-centred, but embodied in and intimately related to another. In many ways as an alternative to Descartes’s “I think therefore I am” Derrida proposes the formulation: “The animal looks at us, and we are naked in front of it. And perhaps thinking begins here.”***

 

“La práctica de mantener animales sin reparar en su utilidad, de mantener…  para ser precisos… a las mascotas ... es una innovación moderna y única en la actual escala social. Es parte de esta universal aunque individual reducción a la pequeña familia privada como unidad, rasgo característico de las sociedades consumistas”.

Jacques Derrida (L’Animal que donc je suis) afirma que la única diferencia entre un animal y un ser humano está en nuestra percepción de nuestra propia desnudez. Es el ser visto (y en particular visto desnudo) por su gata lo que hizo a Derrida afirmar haber experimentado la autoconsciencia y la vergüenza. Los ojos de su gata,  sugiere, constituyen el primer espejo de su propio yo,  reflejando la verdad desnuda de lo autobiográfico.,,,,Yo,,**

Su mascota le permite ver algo de la otredad de todos los animales no humanos. El animal doméstico ofrece  a Derrida acceso a una filosofía y auto conocimiento que no es ni abstracto ni egocéntrico, sino que está encarnada  e íntimamente relacionada con el otro. En muchos modos, es una alternativa a la proposición de Descartes de "Pienso, luego existo". Derrida propone formularla como: "El animal nos mira y estamos desnudos frente a él." Y tal vez el pensamiento comienza aquí .***

*BERGER, John: About Looking /Mirar/ O pohledu, 1992
** DERRIDA, Jacques:L’Animal que donc je suis, 2006
*** BAKER, Steve: The Postmodern Animal, 2000