Derrida just bein' Derrida (not snitchin' - that's Curtis just bein' Currrrtis; ask Cam'ron), with some cool ideas about humanity/selfness defining itself to itself by its (self-)consciousness of nudity in the inhuman gaze of the animal; of nudity, hence shame, being necessary to the human, and the animal being non-nude in its unclothedness; and ultimately, a tentative attempt at understanding the animal fuer sich
, as opposed to animal as Unknowable (I move we retire "Other" wherever possible and replace with this term) against which humanity is defined (and is always post-, following after), and to come to terms with what the subjection of the animal means for the human. He expands Bentham's "Can they suffer?" to "Are there types of selfhood beyond the ones we know?" - and of course it follows that the man/nature duality is bunk, but that's almost by the by. There's something mad and beautiful in it - not "extend humanity to animals" but "situate the logos inside something inclusive and large, that encompasses but is not limited to it. Be Alice in Wonderland. Be Nietzsche crying for a horse. Salute the divine in a pet. When you don't know what's a mouth and what's a sex organ, imagine what it would be like to look at you and wonder the same thing."
And does Derrida have a pun for it? You better believe it. It's animot, which I can only take to be putting mots in amongst a verdance of animal-language that helps us take difference on trust, and imagine ways a skylark could be as nobly foreign as a chimaera. Don't kill the foreign just because it pins you down and stares at you and makes you feel shame. Don't let autobiography, identity, make you septic. Don't be Bellerophon.
But Derrida's better than me at saying great stuff without forcing it into the positive and the imperative, so let me leave you with a quote: "It would not be a matter of 'giving speech back' to animals, but perhaps of acceding to a thinking, however fabuous and chimerical it may be, that thinks the absence of the name and of the word otherwise, as something other than a privation."more