Synopses & Reviews
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.
"All philosophers interested in animal ethics should read this thought-provoking book."
”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
Acampora details an inter-species morality by examining the underlying nature of bodily experience as animate creatures and as human beings.
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.