Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Derrida and Other AnimalsThe Boundaries of the Human$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Judith Still

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748680979

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748680979.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Man is a Wolf to Man1

Man is a Wolf to Man1

(p.67) 2 Man is a Wolf to Man1
Derrida and Other Animals

Judith Still

Edinburgh University Press

This focuses on Derrida’s analysis of the figure of the wolf in the first volume of The Beast and the Sovereign, particularly in La Fontaine’s fables (where the wolf can represent the sovereign as well as the outlaw) and in political philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, notably Hobbes’s De Cive and Rousseau’s Discourses. This is developed with reference to other texts of the period such as the Encyclopédie in which wolves are represented as man’s enemies, rivals for scarce resources, notably food. The wolf is typically evoked as solitary and hungry; for Hobbes he, like man in the state of nature, is dangerous. For Rousseau, on the other hand, both wolf and pre-social man are shy rather than violent, preferring flight to fight – and food is naturally abundant for natural man who would in any case prefer fruit and vegetables to meat. The politics of food and taste are critical both in the self-fulfilling prophecy that man will become a wolf to man, and in the extermination of wolves.

Keywords:   Hobbes, wolf, La Fontaine, Rousseau, Encyclopédie

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.